ISAIAH 55:11 – GOD’S WORD WILL NOT RETURN VOID

ISAIAH 55:11 – GOD’S WORD WILL NOT RETURN VOID

so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

GOD’S WORD IS A GIFT

I would like for you to imagine telling someone there is a gift waiting for them with their name on it. Imagine telling them this particular gift will renew their perspective, remind them of their priorities, and reveal their purpose. Now, imagine if that person said, “Wow, that gift sounds awesome! How wonderful to have access to that!”…and then they proceed to ignore it? They decide to leave it unopened. Would you be outraged? Shocked? Puzzled, at the very least?

If that gift was offered to you, would you ignore it and allow it to remain wrapped? No way!

But we all do it! We leave one of our most beautiful treasures unopened. Friends, we’ve been given a gift beyond words: a love letter from the Originator of Love. A Holy Book filled with love, lessons, and life. Literally!

Read the rest at Devotableapp.com.

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What About Love?

A quick check of trending Twitter topics often include hashtags that involve the word, “love.” There are memes about love and movies about love. Music has a whole genre devoted to love. Songs tell us that love, sweet love, is what the world needs now, that love will keep us together, that love is a battlefield, and that love can build a bridge.

We have all heard sentences begin with, “If he loved you, he wouldn’t do such and such,” and “If she really loved you, she wouldn’t have said so and so.” Maybe you and I have started some our own sentences with something very similar.

Love. The word itself gets thrown about quite liberally, and so do opinions on it. Beliefs abound on what it should look like and sound like. How it should act and react. Unfortunately, we get bombarded by several worldly views and versions of love. Take just a moment to determine how many times you hear made-up definitions of love that are not drowning in self-centeredness and superficiality?

Recently, this thought has occurred to me: what if we quit assigning our own meanings to love and instead went directly to the Originator of love to determine what it truly is? Can you imagine what would happen if we would decide to immerse ourselves in God’s Word, which so wonderfully displays His pure and perfect love? If we would learn it and then live it? We would do well to educate ourselves on His definition, espouse it as our own, and strive to excel at living it out.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is arguably the most popular passage in the Bible regarding love. It reads: 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

That is quite a list! If we strive to adhere to that list of verses when we love others, then the first three words of the very next verse (1 Corinthians 4:8) will show itself to be true: ‘Love never fails.’

Conversely, the worldly views of love that we are seemingly inundated with are prone to failure.

The instructions on how to give true, unfailing love are found in God’s Inspired Word, which we have wide-open access to.

Therefore, we can choose to research the real meaning and choose to reject the world’s meaning. We can choose to show the real meaning and choose to shun the world’s meaning.

Lord, with Your help, please help us live out true, unfailing love. Amen.

What Will You Do With The Gift?

I would like for you to imagine telling someone there is a gift waiting for them with their name on it. Imagine telling them this particular gift will renew their perspective, remind them of their priorities, and reveal their purpose. Now, imagine if that person said, “Wow, that gift sounds awesome! How wonderful to have access to that!”…and then they proceed to ignore it? They decide to leave it unopened. Would you be outraged? Shocked? Puzzled, at the very least?

If that gift was offered to you, would you ignore it and allow it to remain wrapped? No way!

But we all do it! We leave one of our most beautiful treasures unopened. Friends, we’ve been given a gift beyond words: a love letter from the Originator of Love. A Holy Book filled with love, lessons, and life. Literally!

The Bible reminds us who we are, whose we are, and how we can live in a way that communicates God’s life-saving message to others. While reading His Word, we are given the gift of being in His presence and hearing His voice speaking directly to us.

When it comes to the gift of His Word, why do we sometimes pretend it’s not there? Why do we dismiss it as an unimportant aspect of our Christian walk?

Sometimes the thought is, “The Bible is hard to understand.” Yes, some parts ARE difficult to grasp. Remember, we serve a God whose ways are above our ways! That doesn’t mean we should avoid His Word. Instead, that can be one of the reasons we strive to read His Word more often – to get to know Him better.

I have heard people say the Old Testament is boring or that it does not relate to today’s world. However, as I’ve begun to see the historical relevance, the way in which the Old Testament and New Testament completely intertwine, and the character of God revealed through the ‘pre-Jesus’ time of the world, I have come to love that part of Scripture!

I would be lying if I said that the quality and quantity of my Bible-reading time is what it should be. But let me say that the times in my life when I have taken the time to delve into the Bible and take His Words to heart, I have been able to hear Him speaking to me much more clearly.

While regularly reading our Bible will not mean that our life will become peaceful and free from hardship, our ability to deal with those messy life circumstances will improve immensely.

Our focus will no longer be the problem. It will instead be the One who is bigger than the problem. We will become less concerned about what the world thinks of us, and instead be more enthralled by what God thinks of us. He delights in us and rejoices over us. We will discover a generous amount of beautiful truths such as those when we open our Bible.

When my husband and I give our children a gift, their thankful reactions and smiles bring us happiness. Imagine the happiness we bring our Heavenly Father when we unwrap His Inspired Word – the happiness we bring Him when we see, experience, and thank Him for such an indescribable gift. May today be the day we open His gift and marvel in it!

Coincidence? God answers in time of doubt

Coincidence? God answers in time of doubt

During the early years of my marriage, I went through a phase of feeling very inadequate. The voice that casts doubts on whether we are good enough, smart enough, witty enough, pretty enough, interesting enough, capable enough etc. was screaming at me, and I was listening.

You know that voice? Sure, you do. It whispers, speaks, or shouts at different levels and at different times during our lives. Some of us are just much better than others at quieting it. Some of us have even found a way to turn the voice off. Unfortunately, at that point in my life, I didn’t know that not listening was an option.

I vividly remember one early morning sitting down in my living room recliner asking God through tears why I couldn’t be this…or that…or more this…or more that. And that particular morning that voice had convinced me that my husband was wishing or hoping or even praying that I was more than I was. What I was struggling with the most was that I didn’t feel beautiful enough…on the outside or inside. Mirrors constantly reminded me that I had never seen myself as beautiful. And comparing myself to others constantly reminded me that I wasn’t interesting enough to ever be described as having a “beautiful” personality.

My Bible was in my hands. I opened it, and it ‘happened’ to be these words that I read on page 1384: “Instead, it (beauty) 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.” A rush of tears came and fell. I wept because He answered me so specifically, so intimately, and so perfectly. God heard me. God cared about me. And God cared about what I cared about. Goodness gracious…my Bible “fell open” to that particular verse…a verse I had never noticed before…a verse that hit the nail precisely on the head with my pain of feeling like I lacked beauty inside and out! He’s just that good. What I received from that answer to my tearful prayer was the promise that God says that the quiet, gentle trust I have placed in Him makes me beautiful, and it’s a beauty that does not fade. (1 Peter 3:4) The Bible says so.

I should mention that my husband hadn’t done anything to make me feel like I am not enough. This mindset was invented courtesy of me and the voice I hadn’t learned to hush. I am now confident that when he looks at me, he sees inside and outside beauty that he’s pretty thrilled with! I should also mention that I’m not saying a woman has to be reserved and quiet in order for God to find her valuable! The Bible doesn’t say a gentle and quiet personality…it says a gentle and quiet spirit. A gentle and quiet spirit comes from an assurance that God is taking care of you and that He loves you, despite what life’s circumstances might lead you to believe. It’s the type of assurance that gives us the peace that “transcends understanding,” talked about in Philippians 4:7. Our spirit doesn’t have to be caught up in the rush of anxiety and “disquiet”. We don’t need to be controlled by unrest, wondering if He has our best interests at heart. He does…and He proves His faithfulness over and over.

God gave me a confidence that day. It was placed in me by the One who knit me together in my mother’s womb. Wow! It’s a confidence that says I am of great worth in His sight. You can have that confidence too! That is a beautiful truth about a beautiful God who created people that He finds beautiful. People that sometimes just happen to open the Bible to the exact verse that speaks to their exact issue at that exact moment. What a beautiful coincidence.