Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lights, Camera...

"Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, 'YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY'" (1 Peter 1:13-16).

Did you get to see any movies over the holiday break? I admire how much action and work happens before the making of a movie. God asks us to be prepared for action, too. However, what sort of action does God want us to do?

With Christ's work on the cross and the Holy Spirit's work within us, we are able to be obedient to God's lead. Will we follow it? Have we confessed our sins before our holy God? Will we let the Holy Spirit work in us and give us the power to follow Him? Christ came to earth to die in our place for our sins, but He also showed us how to live for God out of love for Him and for others.

As believers, we know that God is the source of light. We are given light from God that comes from being a part of His family and having the Spirit working in us. The camera is ready, as there is a world of people who don't know the Messiah yet. What is left? Action. Will we obey and follow God's lead, to live for Him and to reach a world in need?

Do you have the light? Do you see the camera? If yes, then let us move forward to action, following our Savior's footsteps.

Lord, thank You for helping us come to know You. Thank You for developing a relationship with us. Help us honor You in our resolutions and in this upcoming year. Guide us in how to bring Your light to the world through our actions. Amen.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from www.lovelyandcompany.co.uk.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

"'Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, 
For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, 
And has raised up a horn of salvation for us 
In the house of David His servant - 
As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old - '"
(Luke 1:68-70, New American Standard Bible).

Jesus was the answer for the Jews and the world for a Redeemer, because He was God's fulfillment of His promise to send a Savior to the world.

"The Lord God of Israel," the faithful One (Psalm 18:2, Luke 1:70), who created the world and provides for it, sent Jesus. Jesus was born through the line of David (Matthew  1:1). This was important, because it fulfilled the old prophecies that God gave years and years before (Genesis 22:18Psalm 89:3-52Luke 1:32Galatians 3:18). As my friend Jenna once said, "Jesus was God's Plan A."

Jesus did not Himself sin, yet His sacrifice paid the price for our sins (Hebrews 9:12). We see the all-powerful God's great love, kindness, and grace in that He sent Christ to us (Luke 1:76-78). Through Him, we are able to be forgiven from our sins, when we ask for it out of a genuine faith, so we can have this good relationship with Him and then walk with Him (Luke 1:79).

Enjoy celebrating our great Savior with loved ones today! Let us pray we get the chance to share who He is with someone else this week. Praise God that He is Emmanuel, God with us.

Best wishes for a merry Christmas!

Recommended song: "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" by Sojourn Music www.youtube.com - "O Come O Come Emmanuel"

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Praise and Renewal

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect" (Romans 12:1-2, New American Standard Bible).

What is the biggest transformation you've seen? As believers, God transforms His people because of His love. This transformation begins when we are first saved, but we can continue to grow after we have been redeemed.

A living and holy sacrifice to God. While Jesus was on earth, He showed us how to be a living and holy sacrifice to God. Although we are not God and are not perfect, walking with God is our goal. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10), so we walk to live out that faith. We can follow God's Word by His power that works through the Holy Spirit that is given to believers. We can have transformed bodies and minds with His power, as we grow closer in our relationship with Him (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).

A service of worship. Worship is done out of devotion to Him, to praise Him. In 2 Corinthians 9:7, we are told that God loves a cheerful giver. This is a matter of heart, since God cares more about our relationship with Him. He wants to transform our hearts (Isaiah 29:13). We were dead in our sins, but as believers God makes us alive in Him (Romans 6:13).

The world's will vs. God's will. The flesh's will and God's will stand in contrast, since God's will is good, acceptable, and perfect (verse 2). We have seen His perfect love and mercy in His Son, Jesus, who came to rescue us from a life caught up in sin (Galatians 1:4) to bring us into life with Christ.

Dear Lord, we want to savor You and Your Son. Help us praise You with our lives. Help us share more of who You are with others this weekend. Amen.

Recommended reading: "The Sacrifice of Praise" by John Piper - you can find it on the Desiring God blog here.
Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo of Yolanda Adams is a Getty Photo found on www.examiner.com.
Hear a song sung by Yolanda, "Lift Him Up" at www.youtube.com.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Keep your head up

"Therefore if you have been raised up in Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth" (Colossians 3:1-2, New American Standard Bible).

In a holiday rush, with flash sales, traffic, and other things asking for our attention, it can be easy to take our eyes off the Lord and begin to focus on other things more. In the verse above, we are called to set our hearts and minds on God.

How? One way to remember Him is to thank Him for who He is in the past, present, and future:
This reminded me of Peter's story, when Jesus asked Him to walk on water. You can read more of his story here. Lecrae refers to Peter's story in his song, "Walking on Water:"

"Let me show you my Supply, yeah you need to know Him
He got me walkin' on the water when the wind's blowin' 
And when the storm's brewin', and when the tide's high
That's when I lean into the truth that I abide by."

God Father, thank You for sending Jesus to free us and for inviting us into a repaired relationship with You. Help us remember and share who You are. Help us keep our focus on You. Amen.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo by Mike Specian from http://www.pha.jhu.edu/~mspecian. He has another website, http://www.mikespecian.com/.
You can hear the full song "Walking on Water" on YouTube here.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Press On

"Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him" (Colossians 2:6, New American Standard Bible).

There is something about the perseverance of marathon runners. Great perseverance can also be seen in the football player who was tackled, then stands up to continue the game. It can be seen in the sculptor who keeps molding to evoke just the right feeling on their masterpiece. It can be seen in the counselor at a homeless shelter as she continues to have hope for the next person coming along.

Spirit-filled perseverance can be seen as a Christian keeps their trust in God, no matter the circumstance. It is startling for me to hear stories of Christians dying as a martyr in their home country, because they confessed they believe Jesus is the Messiah and Lord over all. It can also be seen when the teenager stands up to obey God, even when their friends disagree, and when the businessperson decides to act honestly in a tough situation. It can be seen in the family that keeps trusting and praising God, in the midst of financial hardship.

With God leading the way in life, we can trust that He will be faithful to guide us. As believers, we can continue to walk in Him, trusting in His lead. We do this out of thankfulness for who He is, instead of out of guilt, because He has redeemed us - we have experienced and witnessed His love, His grace, and His transforming way. Let us cling to that change He is making in us, and let us walk forward with hope and confidence in who He is. Let us be ready to reach out to serve and to witness to others with the same kind of love He has shown us.

Lord, thank You for Your mercy and Your Word. Help us cling to it, and help us get to know You more through it. Guide us in how to follow You with perseverance today. Help us share why we desire to keep our course with You leading the way. Amen.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from www.shape.com.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

All Misfits Welcome in God's Family

Is there someone that God has placed in the path of your life that may feel like a "misfit" and may need to know about the purposes that God has for their life?  Without Christ, we all feel like a misfit!!  I would encourage you to stop, take a few minutes to pray, and make a list of those in your life that need to know that God has a plan for their life.  In God's family everyone is welcome!
It is important to keep in mind that "misfits" tend to feel isolated where it can seem like they are forgotten and all alone?  Good News:  In God's Word we see some great promises of Hope that can be shared; ""'For I know that plans I have for you,'" declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and pray to me, and I will listed to you.  You will see me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'" Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)
As a Christian, you have the Good News of Jesus & Christmas to share with those that need Him!  During the season of Christmas, look for great opportunities to reach out to and include those that may need to be rescued by God from an island of isolation and have an opportunity to belong to The Body of Christ!!
Jesus was born in Bethlehem to give His life for the misfits. Jesus Loves & Cares About Everyone!! Jesus said, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.” Matthew 9:13 (MSG)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Power Source

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1:8, New American Standard Bible).

Recently, I have seen advertisements for power outlets that charge standard electric plugs and USB plugs. I thought that was brilliant. Of course, what is even more powerful is God's power. He is able to not only to forgive sins and to work within us, but also to work through us to share our faith in Him and to draw others around the world to Christ. He has the power to change us and others.

Where does our source of power, energy, and courage come from? How do we trust in God when life gets tough? Have you shared your power source with someone else this week?

God can draw others to Him through us. Once we are believers, we are given the Holy Spirit. By the Holy Spirit's power, He can work through us to share Him with a world in need of Him (see more verses on sharing Christ with the world here).

Lord, thank You for being our Savior King. Thank You, Father God, for sending Jesus to earth to live here among us, to sympathize with our temptations and yet live in purity, and to overcome sin by His sacrifice. Transform our hearts and lives, and help us share Your power with others this week. Amen.

Suggested extra reading: Ephesians 2:1-10

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from www.geekalerts.com


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Like a Waterfall

"Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.' But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:37-39, New American Standard Bible).

Have you ever seen a waterfall? I saw some stunning waterfalls while traveling in Alaska with family and some friends. We saw them in the Prince William Sound and Port Wells area. In an attempt to capture their grandeur, I took a few pictures as we passed.

In a way, it is awe-inspiring how God can work not only in creation but also in us and through us. When the Spirit is given to believers, God gives us new life with Him. The Spirit is a part of us, because we have accepted God's call to turn to Him and trust in Him. When we are filled with the Spirit, it then begins to transform us and can flow from us.

The Spirit offers a new, Christ-centered perspective on life. He can renew us every day to center us on Christ with all of our heart, mind, and soul. We can be filled with joy and hope, even in the face of hard times, as we are in a good relationship with our Creator and the Lord. It is stunning to see how the Spirit can flow out, like a waterfall, from a life transformed by God.

Lord, help us overflow with Your Spirit. Let us be a living testimony to others as to what You can do with not only our own lives but others' lives as well. Help us be instruments in drawing others to You. Amen.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from discoveryvoyages.com.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

In the Light

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us form all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9, New American Standard Bible).

If you rub your hands on a newspaper, then what happens? Usually, it makes my hands smeared with black ink. When we sin, our hearts are marked up by it. We are further from God because of it, because He is holy. 

In this verse and the verses surrounding it (1 John 1:5-10), we learn that God is light. As believers who have turned from sin and seek to live life with the holy God, we also seek to walk in the light. Sin separates us from God, yet He still desires for us to come closer. Remember how He loved us while we were still trapped in sin (Romans 5:8)? Jesus was sent to die for our sins so that God's wrath on the sin would be paid.

Therefore, as believers, we are forgiven and are under grace (Romans 6:14). Yet, in our relationship with God, we must still confess the sin that He sees and turn from it, so this relationship will strengthen (Romans 6:15). God is faithful to forgive us from those sins.

So, God not only walks in the light, but also desires for us to walk in it as well.  When we turn to God, turn away from sin that threatens to damage us, and ask for forgiveness, it is like He washes hands that have been covered in newspaper ink. We are made new, as white as freshly fallen snow. Jesus came into the world, after all, to save us from lives marred from sin, so we would have the chance to be in a mended relationship with God (Titus 2:11-14).

Lord, thank You for sending Your Son to the world, and thank You for Your forgiveness. Give us hearts that ache to be made right with You and follow You, so that Your Spirit can continue its work through us. Help us to share the power of Your forgiveness with someone else this week. Amen.

"Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" (Psalm 51:7, NASB).

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from interactive.wxxi.org.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What A Special Name!


As you experience God this Christmas season, I pray you personally experience some of the special names of Jesus that we see written in God's Word from Isaiah 9:6.  "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:  the government shall be upon His shoulder:  and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace..."

I encourage you to make a list about your life today and how Jesus is:
*Wonderful
*Counselor
*The Mighty God
*The Everlasting Father
*The Prince of Peace

I encourage you to make a list of people that you know that need Jesus to be:  Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Please be ready to share some specific ways that He could meet the needs of the people that you know that need the Lord, this is a great way to be a witness during the Christmas season! 

What are some ways that you could encourage the people that God has placed in your life to look to Jesus for the specific needs they have in their life today? 
  • Think about His name and what it means to you each day!
  • Think about His name and what it could mean to someone that needs Jesus!  Do you remember the day you experienced "The Prince of Peace"?  People all around us are searching for that Peace, especially during the Christmas Season!
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there is something about that name! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1NsGJsCVbM  (The Isaacs - There Is Something About That Name)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hunger and Thirst

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied" (Matthew 5:6, New American Standard Bible). 

After a long hike, it's common to crave fruit, water, granola or something to satisfy thirst and hunger. I remember hiking with some friends in Tennessee this past summer, and we were relieved to find a rest spot to try to open a bag of dried fruit someone had brought (we tried, because the bag was stubbornly refusing to open for a while). Yet, more than food or water, we are made to need God and to have a relationship with Him. God gives forgiveness to us while we are still sinners, when we confess our sins, believe in His Son as our Savior, and turn to Him to lead us.

God desires to and has the ability to satisfy our hunger and to quench our thirst. He takes the first initiative, as He reaches out to save, teach, lead, and transform us. Revelation 3:20 says, "'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and will dine with him, and he with Me'" (NASB).  

As we seek to follow God, it helps to remember that God speaks to His people and gives assurance of His words. He does that through the Bible and the Holy Spirit. In His Word, we can learn from the past how He spoke through the prophets and through Jesus, His Son (John 13:15). Plus, we have the most excellent teacher in the divine Holy Spirit (John 14:26).

As we experience this relationship with God, with getting to know Him more, He transforms us and helps us follow Him.  Of course, we are not God, so we will continually need His instruction, wisdom, and grace. Let us ask God what He wants us to learn or do today, and let us remember that He is gracious to forgive us and to continue to help us along the way. 

Lord, as believers, we trust You and want to obey You. Give us hearts that hunger and thirst for You more than anything else. Help us live as witnesses to who You are, for Your glory and honor. Amen.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from www.summitattempt.com.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Under the Influence

"And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18, New American Standard Bible).

Do you have a craving? I have a craving for coffee. Although, that is normal for me. If you scroll through any website, you likely will see an advertisement that says it will satisfy some sort of craving or desire. Desires can be important to notice, because they can influence our hearts, minds, and actions.

Our Creator God is the source of life, and He desires to fill us with the Holy Spirit. When someone first believes in and turns to follow Christ, the Holy Spirit enters their life and can work in them and through them. God can bring joy into life that lasts through whatever circumstance, because it is fixed on the unchanging character of God. We can have faith that we are now and forever a part of His family. As believers, we are not exempt from challenges, pain, or sorrow, but we find the greatest hope there is in Jesus.

Now, I confess that I am not resolved to give up coffee. I do pray, though, that my ultimate satisfaction is continually rooted in God and His Son who redeemed me. The Holy Spirit, sent from God and His Son, can fill us up with contentment in Him as we trust in our Faithful Redeemer.

Lord, thank You for filling us up with the Holy Spirit. Help us continue to find satisfaction in You, and help us share with others the joy we find from being with You. Amen.

"Delight yourself in the LORD..." (Psalm 37:4, NASB).

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from skreened.com.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

In His Image

"So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" (Colossians 3:12, New American Standard Bible). 

When I first read about the camera feature pictured, I thought it was pretty brilliant. The idea is that you cut a heart shape out of a piece of paper, then attach it to the camera lens. When you take a picture, the result is the photo is in the image of a heart.

We are created in God's image, so God could be able to shine through us. In our sin, that image is skewed. When we turn to follow Him, He forgives us of those sins and makes us new. As believers, we seek to be more like Christ, and this happens with God's power. When Paul wrote "put on" in verse 12, he explained that our new identities, as believers, take shape as we come to know Christ more (see Colossians 1:15, 2:1-3).

We can see God's likeness come to light when He grows believers in compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, gentleness, and patience. This is a process, as we grow in our relationship with Him. We are given righteousness, not because of our own doing, but because of God's sacrifice for us. God genuinely, passionately loves His creation (John 3:16, Romans 8:32, Titus 3:4, 1 John 4:9, Romans 3:21-26, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30, Galatians 2:20).

God asks us to be holy, because He is holy. As followers of Him, we are called to live in the world, yet driven by Christ's lead. We are called out to follow Him, not only to be saved ourselves and to be a part of His family, but also to serve others and to love the world with the love and grace He shows us. We can be witnesses who live out the love of Christ.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from www.thespohrsaremultiplying.com.



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fruitful Faith

"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5, New American Standard Bible). 

I used to work with kids in arts and crafts often, which made for several great stories and memories. Some teachers and leaders above me helped me see the importance of not only providing materials for the art project, but also guiding the kids as they sought to complete the project. It gives the student a chance to possibly make a better craft, to learn more, and to hopefully trust the instructor more.

In a similar way, God is there to help believers when He talks about bearing "much fruit." He guides us through His Word and through the Holy Spirit that we receive as believers. What sort of fruit is this?  The "fruit" is the change God makes in our lives and in others' lives, as we abide in Him. The ultimate example of the kind of life that produces good fruit is Jesus, God incarnate, the One who died to save us.

As we put our faith in God, He helps us grow. He desires for others to grow closer to Him as well. We can share how that is just who God - the Lord who transforms lives like that - is, and He can produce the same goodness in others.

Lord, thank You for being there to save and transform us. Help us bear fruit with significance that honors You and draws more people to a restored relationship with You. Amen.

"You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you" (John 15:16, New American Standard Bible).

More verses on this include Colossians 3:12-171 Peter 2:9, and Galatians 5:22-23.
Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from www.naparealestatematch.com/blog.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Stronger than Fear

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13, New American Standard Bible).

"Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear," said the character President Snow in the movie The Hunger Games. He said this as he was trying to convince someone to reduce the hope of a people, a people who had rebelled against him in the past. Even though this is a fictional character, I see truth in what the writers had him say about hope - it is stronger than the sort of fear that the character sought to elicit on people.

In contrast to this character, God is real, and just, and He brings hope instead of aiming to crush it. Even though we cannot see the nail marks in Christ's hands and feet like Thomas did (see John 20:24-29), we can have faith in who God is and what He did through Christ, His Son. There is this pattern that the Bible takes in revealing God's identity and how He's worked to free us from the slavery of sin.

We can have a healthy fear of Him, in regards to knowing He is just and in having respect, honor, and trust in Him (Exodus 18:21Psalm 115:11Revelation 14:7). This mighty God is also our Counselor (Isaiah 9:6). We can fully trust in God for who says He is through His Word and how He's been faithful to fulfill His promises.

As we put our faith and trust in Him, we put our hope in Him. We can have full confidence in Him, and He will not leave us empty. In His nature, He can make this hope within us flourish.

Lord, thank You for being our hope. Help us increase our hope in You, and help us share the hope we have with others who need You, too. Amen.

"For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7, NASB).

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from hungergamesmovie.org.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Psalm of Thanks~Living!



"Praise the Lord!


I will thank the Lord with all my heart

as I meet with His godly people.

How amazing are the deeds of the Lord!

All who delight in Him should ponder them.

Everything He does reveals His glory and majesty.

His righteousness never fails.

He causes us to remember His wonderful works.

How gracious and merciful is our Lord!

He gives food to those who fear Him;

He always remembers His covenant.

He has shown His great power to His people

by giving them the lands of other nations.

All He does is just and good,

and all His commandments are trustworthy.

They are forever true,

to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity.

He has paid a full ransom for His people.

He has guaranteed His covenant with them forever.

What a holy, awe-inspiring name He has!

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.

All who obey His commandments will grow in wisdom.

Praise Him forever!"  Psalm 111 (NLT)

Happy ThanksLiving!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn5CMSSAx_c  (Shout To The Lord - Darlene Zschech)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kta0lv6qpB8  (Thank You - The Katinas)





Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Best

"'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search with all your heart'" (Jeremiah 29:11-13, New American Standard Bible). 

God's unconditional love is something that reveals His divinity and His unmatchable, pure heart. He encourages us to receive His love. He invites us to trust in Him and talk to Him through prayer.

In Isaiah 46:4-5, God spoke to His people through the prophet Isaiah and said,
"Even to your old age I will be the same and even to your graying years I will be with you! 
I have done it, and I will carry you; and I will bear you and I will deliver you. 
To whom would you liken Me and make Me equal and compare me, that we would be alike?"

The God of all time - past, present, and future (a.k.a. the "I AM") - has a divine plan to save His people. He sent Jesus Christ to show us His love on earth, as He came to speak and live God's Word, as well as sacrifice for our sins.  He did all of that so He could bring us out of the sin that threatens to damage us and into His family, where we are forgiven for our sins, are given the Holy Spirit, and can grow in our relationship with Him.

In Jesus, we can see even more how God loves us and wants the best for us and His kingdom. What's our response to God? Do we trust Him? Have we asked for forgiveness and leadership from Him? Are there ways we can share who He is with others today?

Lord, thank You for Your incomparable love and for wanting the best for us. Help us love You more and to trust in Your plans. Help us share where our hope comes from with others today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo is a print by Kyle Steed found at steedagrams.com.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Holy Spirit gives new birth

"Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit'" (John 3:5-6, New American Standard Bible).

The Holy Spirit brings great spiritual renewal from God. In the verses above, Jesus explained to Nicodemus, a well-studied man, what it meant to have a "second birth." God has the power to forgive us, since He rules over all. We are asked to ask Him for forgiveness and believe in Him. Then, the Holy Spirit is given to us at this time of conversion. It is a new birth, because the old has passed away and the new life, walking with Christ, has come. We are brought into God's family.

Our good and loving Father is there to keep forgiving us for sins that come. The Holy Spirit is there to help us understand God's will and turn to God. Jesus is there as an example of how to live on earth and as a reminder that our sins have been paid for on the cross. The Holy Spirit is there to guide us out of sin and into God's truth.

So, this new birth is a monumental moment. When we have it, we no longer live under wrath but we live under grace. We can rest knowing that the Holy Spirit is with us as we live today until we are able to be in God's presence forever in heaven.

Lord, thank You for this new life with You. Help us share You with others so they can have new birth, too, and experience the healing You bring. Thank You for Your presence. Amen.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from www.photo-dictionary.com.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Holy Spirit guides in truth

"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come" 
(John 16:13, New American Standard Bible).

One of the neatest things about God, I think, is that He does not leave us on our own to understand Him. A lot of people seem to search for truth every day, even if they are not a detective, judge, or someone who performs experimental research. God sends the Holy Spirit to believers to reveal truth and to guide us in understanding it.

The Holy Spirit does not only declare truth, but also seeks to guide people in knowing and living truth. We may rely on the testimony of the Holy Spirit, because He is one with the Father and the Son and was sent by them (1 John 5:7). The eternal Word and the eternal Spirit never disagree. The Spirit can remind us of writings in Scripture from the past, interpret the gospel for the present, and reveal things to come.

Lord, help us listen to Your Spirit and follow its lead, as we seek to understand You and hear from You. Help us lead others in Your truth. Amen.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from www.lifestylemirror.com.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Holy Spirit testifies to truth

"When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me" (John 15:26, New American Standard Bible).

"The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" is a common phrase heard on witness stands in courts in America. It is expected to be included in their sworn testimony. The Holy Spirit has a similar role as a truthful witness, as His teaching lines up with the Lord's law found in Scripture. The meaning of the Holy Spirit, "parakletos" in biblical Greek, is one who pleads another's case. The Holy Spirit, a part of the Holy Trinity, in this verse is described as being a witness to Jesus' identity.

Why is the Spirit comforting as we face our sins? The Holy Spirit can bring light not only to our sin, but also to God's grace. When we see the gravity of our sin, we can confess it and turn from it to God. God has the power to forgive that sin and free us from being slaves to it. Our sins were already paid for on the cross, so God forgives us out of His mercy. The Holy Spirit testifies the truth of Jesus to bring God's glory to light.

The Holy Spirit reveals the light and hope from God and helps us with the mission that God calls us to. Like a witness that testifies truth, the Holy Spirit helps us see the truth of who Jesus is. As the truth of God comes to light, we can pray that we and others are continually drawn into a closer relationship with Him.

Lord, help us see, by the power of the Holy Spirit, who God is and what He has done for the world. Speak to others about who You are through us. In Your name, Amen.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Holy Spirit teaches us what to share

"'When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say'" (Luke 12:11-12, New American Standard Bible).

Will you zoom into view this point of time with me? Jesus was speaking to His disciples. In case they would be arrested and questioned in court on the account of following Him, He encouraged them to not fear what to say. The Holy Spirit would give them the words to say.

We may never be questioned in court about who we believe Christ to be, but we may be questioned by others. We may suffer in this world, but the suffering only lasts a moment (Romans 8:18, John 16:33, 1 Peter 4:13). We can rest in knowing God's truths last forever (Isaiah 40:8). God cares for all living creatures (Luke 12:6-7). He will be faithful to speak through His people at the right time, when we trust in His Word and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. He will help us know what, how, and when to say something.

It may be a suffering feeling, sharing who Christ is, since not everyone believes that He is Lord and Savior over all (John 3:3). No doubt - people may question the validity of our faith. As believers, we can rest in knowing that God will give us the words to say in such a situation through the Holy Spirit. He has been faithful to keep His Word in the past, so we can trust it for the future (Psalm 100:5). As we rely on the truth of who He is, He will teach us what to say as we share who He is with others.

Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness to speak truth to us and the world. Help us to be willing for You to speak through us, to proclaim Your glory to the world. Give us the words to say. Make us a living witness to what sort of change You can  make in a life. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from www.access-board.gov.
Recommended reading: the book Lost Letters of Pergamum by Bruce W. Longenecker; the verses Matthew 10:19, Mark 13:11, Matthew 6:25, 1 John 5:1

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Holy Spirit and the desperado

"'But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 
And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 
concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 
and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 
and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged'" (John 16:7-11, New American Standard Bible).

"For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit" (1 Peter 3:18, New American Standard Bible).

Have you heard the song "Desperado" by the Eagles? The illustration to the left is of the band, by Mark Stutzman (from www.rollingstone.com). The word "desperado" means criminal, but it reminds me of old stories about cowboys in the American wild west. I could be way off in my interpretation, but the desperado described seems to be about someone who seeks freedom by living apart from people and love (you can find the lyrics here, at azlyrics.com).

As believers, the Holy Spirit points out sin that separates us from God (John 16:8-11). The purpose of  conviction is to help us see our need for a healed relationship with God, our Creator, Savior, and King. God loves us, and Jesus paid the price for sin already. The hope is that we come to Him for forgiveness, restoration, and a closer relationship with Him.

1 Peter 3:18 explains that the end goal for the convicting is to make us alive in the Spirit. Is there some part of your life that is away from God? God wants us to desire Him more than sin and then put our trust in Him and His lead.

Lord, thank You for loving us enough to want to bring us back to Your presence, even when we sin. Convict us; help us see where we need more of You. May the Holy Spirit convict others, too, so they can also know and trust in You. Amen.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).


Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Holy Spirit gives us God's power to witness

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1:8, New American Standard Bible). 

The witness. Jars and vessels, like the basket jars pictured, are usually made to have something inside them. What is inside you? As believers, God has forgiven us of our sins and as He is transforming us from the inside out. The same God who transforms us also has the power to tell His story through us.

The power. In 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Paul explained his message was based on things He learned from God. We are saved by God's power, and the body of believers that have come to Him are a result of that power. We can praise God that others can be saved by God's power rather than our own wisdom.

The vessels. What is your story of God working in you? As followers of Christ we have a story, a testimony of what God has done in our life through His Son. 2 Corinthians 4:7 explains how we are like vessels and jars, since God works through us to bring others to Him. The origin and power of saving grace is from the Lord.

Lord, help us remember to share what You have done in our life with someone else. Help us depend on the power of the Holy Spirit to help us share our faith with others. Amen.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo of Williams Sonoma Vessel Jars found on seasidestyle.blogspot.com.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Holy Spirit walks with us as we witness

"And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age'" (Matthew 28:18-20, New American Standard Bible).

More than a ship's captain, God knows how to navigate waters that lie ahead. He can help us walk through whatever comes across the path He leads us, even as we are given opportunities to witness. We are not expected to make disciples and baptize them without God's help.

M. David Sills explained this commandment as he wrote, "Making God known is what faith is all about" ("The Biblical Basis for Missions" article from The Apologetics Study Bible). When Jesus gave this command to the apostles, He knew God would send the Holy Spirit to guide them. In this Great Commission to go and share God's good news with others, we are not expected to go alone. God gives the Holy Spirit to guide each believer.

Lord, thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to be with believers. Help us remember that You are Immanuel, God with us. Let us listen to the Holy Spirit's lead as we seek to witness who God is to others who do not know You yet.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo of Mortimer McCarthy at the wheel of the Terra Nova found on www.jamescairdsociety.com.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Shine Out His Light!!






"Let Your Light Shine Before Men, That They May See Your Good Deeds And Praise The Father In Heaven"! Matthew 5:16




Jesus Said, "I Am The Light Of The World. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life "! John 8:12

Today is 10/31/12...This is the day The Lord has made!! What are some evangelistic ideas that you can share with others on how to make trick or treating, fall festivals, hay rides, pumpkin carving, and parties full of Sharing The Good News of Jesus? Please share "Your Evangelistic Good Deeds" ideas!!



Below is one idea, please join us by sharing one of your ideas that will encourage and equip one another!! Thanks!!!


  • When you hand out candy at your door, at a fall festival or carnival, please include a child's version of The Good News about Jesus & How To Accept Him As Savior!! Don't forget about the adults because I personally accected Jesus by reading "The ABC's to Jesus" Children's Version:-) and I was a 22 years old mom! You can find age appropriate witnessing booklets, that do not cost much at all, at your local Christian Bookstore!! ♥Shine Out THE LIGHT!!♥


Please share at least 1 idea that you have!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVqR6kTu8lE

GO LIGHT YOUR WORLD!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

We pray they grow in the Lord

"Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude" (Colossians 2:6-7, New American Standard Bible).

"But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh" (Jude 20-23, NASB).

Praise for a firm foundation. When someone we know comes to receive Christ and be a follower of Him, they have a firm foundation to keep going because they are rooted in who God is. As believers, we have access to talk with Him and pray with Him because of Christ's sacrifice, and we can depend on Him to receive us with mercy. Let us pray thanks and celebrate that this new believer has Christ as their firm foundation!

Prayer for perseverance. Also, we can pray this person looks to keep following Christ's lead and growing in their faith in who God is. Hebrews 9:28 reads, "so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him" (NASB). We can pray that even as this person falls into sin again, we can remember we are all human and pray this person sees they still need God. Thank God that when we sin, God does not wish to destroy or to banish His children. It's His desire to win us back, forgive us for our sins and lead us into lives of repentance. So for this new believing brother or sister, we can pray they continue to love and follow God.

Lord, thank You that this new believer has a faith devoted to trusting in You. Help their faith grow and help them persevere in following You.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999)

See music video by David Barnes, "Carry Me Through" on www.youtube.com

Saturday, October 27, 2012

We pray a seed is firmly planted

"When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road" (Matthew 13:19, New American Standard Bible).

The grace found because of Jesus' sacrifice may be widespread news, but Jesus explained that not everyone who hears His message will receive it as true. Many will reject it. The verse is a part of Jesus' parable of the sower (see Matthew 13:1-23 to read more of this parable). Some people hear the message of Christ, but they do not understand it. The devil snatches away the Word of God that was sown.

Do you remember when someone first shared God's word with you? What about when you first received His message as true? When we share our faith, we may not know whether God's message will be received. We may not be able to see fruit immediately afterward. However, we can faithfully share God's word when given opportunity and pray people understand and embrace God's word as true.

Lord, we ask that, for the people we witness to, that You plant the seed of Christ firmly in their hearts. Amen.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from a film posted on www.videojug.com film, about how to sow lupin seeds.
Do you know what a lupin seed is? I had no idea. You can find out more here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Passionate Aim

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only on receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified" (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, New American Standard Bible).

What is your target? Where is your aim? What is your passion?

Aligning our passion with our aim contributes to meeting a goal. In a Christian's life, how does God fit into the picture?  The article "Passionate Aim" by Jaye Martin discusses these things and this verse on www.christianity.com. You can find it by clicking here.

Photo from discoverarchery.org.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

We pray they believe and confess Jesus as Savior and Lord

"That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation" (Romans 10:9-10, New American Standard Bible).

Do you know anyone who has been adopted? In the past few years, I have gotten close to a few families who have adopted children. It has been inspiring and a joy to see people love each other as family, even when they are not family by blood.

Adoption is a great reflection of how God loves those who receive His call to be a part of His family. God already loves us, His creation. Do we know someone who has not yet received His invitation to lead us as the good and loving Father God?

John 1:12 explains, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name" (New American Standard Bible). God, most holy and righteous, sent His Son to die a death we deserve to die. If we receive His invitation by turning to Him and trusting in Him, then we are invited into His family, His protection, and His presence. His love and mercy draws us to Him and puts us in awe.

Lord, this person on our mind who does not know You, please help them believe in You and Your Son, Jesus. Help them believe in You and confess their sins, so they can have a mended relationship with You. We pray they confess and believe, so they, too, will be a part of Your family.

More verses on this: Matthew 10:32, John 5:24, John 20:31, Romans 10:13, Joel 2:32
Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from stlfamilylife.com.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

We pray God sends someone

"Then He said to His disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest'" (Matthew 9:37-38, New American Standards Bible).

"How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!'" (Romans 10:14-15, NASB).

I love the farmer's markets in the fall, filled with produce like pumpkins and sweet potatoes. When Jesus talked about a harvest in Matthew 9:37-38, He was trying to explain how there are many people who still haven't heard the good news yet. Just like farmers hire workers to work the land, Jesus asks His followers to share who Christ is with others. He encourages us to pray, asking God to send out people to share His message of saving grace.

As believers, God entrusts His message with us to pass along to someone else. Can you remember how much it meant when someone explained God's Word to you? Maybe someone in your life now is helping you understand the Bible.

Is there someone on your mind who doesn't have a redeemed relationship with Christ yet? Whether it be us or someone else, let's pray God will send someone to speak and explain the good news with them.

Lord, please send people to speak Your good news to unbelievers on our minds today.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo of pumpkins from www.treehugger.com.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

We pray they believe in God's Word

"For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe" (1 Thessalonians 2:13, New American Standard Bible).

"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17, NASB).

What do you believe in? I believe tomorrow the sun will rise and may wake me up before my alarm goes off and that my neighbor will walk her dog around the same time I go for a run. Yet, there is more to believe in, of course.

In the book of 1 Thessalonians, we can read how the Thessalonians received God's Word. They not only heard it, but also believed it as true. God's Word brought a revolution in their lives and community.

As believers in His Word, we believe in who God is and accept the sacrifice Christ made and the forgiveness God offers. Believing in the Word of God can save us from the damage of sin, and God transforms us as we are in a good relationship with Him. We are saved by God's grace, as we respond to His Word by having faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8).

Is there someone on your mind who does not believe in God's Word?

Lord, help this person on our mind believe in You and receive Your Word as true. Help us to continue to learn from and trust in Your Word. Let us experience the positive transformation that comes from believing in You and allowing You to work within us.

"Let the word of Christ dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God" (Colossians 3:16, NASB).

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo of Amish Oak Bible Stand from www.dutchcrafters.com.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

God Is Always There For You!


"In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, and He lifted them and carried them all the days of old."  Isaiah 63:9 NASB

God knows your affliction.  He feels your pain.  The Lord promises to carry you through!  You are either in the middle of pain, coming out of pain, or about to experience pain...pain and affliction are a part of life until we see Jesus face to face! 

Someone Needs HOPE!  Often people turn to the Lord in the middle of a crisis of pain and affliction.  God Cares!  God is always there for you and those that He has strategically placed in your life that are experiencing situations where they need the Hope that comes from Him!

What are some simple ways you can share HOPE?

H - Share examples from your life when you received Hope from the Lord that helped you through your pain or afflictions?  Share Him & the Hope He has given you!  Jeremiah 29:11-13 says it best! "For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." (NASB)

O - Share examples from your life when you Opened your life up to the Lord and asked Him to save you!  Share some examples of how He has helped you with your pain or afflictions?  Share Your Testimony With Others!  John 3:16 says it best! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (NASB)

P - Share examples from your life about how the Lord has answered your Prayers & Pray for those that are experiencing pain or afflictions!  Romans 10:9-10, 13 says it best!  "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.  For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed....for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (NASB)

E - Share examples from your life that will Encourage someone that is experiencing pain or afflictions with the encouragement God has given you?  Share God's Promises with those that are hurting!  Here are several promises from God's Word that say it best!; Isaiah 35:3 "Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble." - Romans 15:5 "Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus" - 1 Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing." - 1 Thessalonians 5:14 "We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone." & 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20cor%201:3-7&version=NASB (NASB)

Also, when we share songs that are full of Hope, God often uses His Praise & Worship to minister to those that are experiencing pain or afflictions!  He inhabits the Praise of His People = God Is Always There For You!! 

Here is an example of one of those songs of encouragement that is based on the Poem "Footprints in the Sand" & goes so beautifully with Isaiah 63:9 NASB  "In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, and He lifted them and carried them all the days of old."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBLkbBEfjcc  (Footprints in the Sand - Leona Lewis)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

We pray they seek God

"But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul" (Deuteronomy 4:29, New American Standard Bible).

"That they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us" (Acts 17:27, NASB).


Even in exile, God told His people if you seek me, then you will find me. God has been faithful to keep His covenant of extending mercy over time. This is great news for us, since we desperately need Him.

In Deuteronomy, the Lord kept His promise in giving grace to Israel. He helped the Israelites believe, repent, and return to Him (Romans 11:25-36). In Acts, Paul and Barnabas explained how God revealed Himself even in nature and by providing food for them. God addressed the idols in these peoples' lives. Even today, He seeks to bring light to His grace and glory that is worthy to be celebrated.

Is there something you honor more than God? Do you put someone or something as more important than Him? Let us pray for ourselves and for others, that we may seek to put God first. It is amazing, God's love, because the relationship He wishes to have with us is not based on what we have done. Instead, it is based on who God is and the forgiveness He offers.

Lord, we pray for an unbeliever on our mind today. Help them seek You with all their heart. Give them the desire to learn more about You and to put You first in their life, so one day they may be a part of Your covenant of grace.

"You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13, NASB).

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999)
Photo of opera glasses from www.opticsplanet.com

Monday, October 15, 2012

What is the book of John about?

"So Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep...I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep'" (John 10:7, 11, New American Standard Bible).

The book of John has revolutionary truths about who Christ is, how He lived on earth and how God saved us through His sacrifice. A couple months ago, a video tool was released by BibleStudyTools.com and www.godtube.com of Jaye Martin describing concepts we can learn about Jesus in the book of John. We recommend checking out more videos released continuing the study of the same subject. You can find these videos by going to www.godtube.com and searching "Jaye Martin," or you can follow this link: Video Tools - "What is the book of John about?".

Photo above of a shepherd in Ireland found on vancouversun.com.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

We pray that minds be opened

"Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" (Luke 24:45, New American Standard Bible).

The look of worn out pages, the smell of years of storage, the way a story draws you in and won't let you go until the end - there is something I love about books. Yet, it is the story that sticks with me most. It can open my mind to another world, to another perspective I haven't seen, or to a truth I haven't remembered in a while. The beauty of the Bible is that it is God's story on how He came to save us, and it speaks truth to us about who God is.

A great story comes before the verse mentioned above, Luke 24:45, in Luke 24:13-35. Not long after Christ had been crucified on the cross, two men were traveling on foot to Emmaus. They were discussing the news they had heard, that Christ rose from the dead after His death and burial (vv. 14-24). On their journey, Jesus came alongside them and started to talk with them. I assume they were probably baffled as Jesus started explaining how the prophecies from the Old Testament were fulfilled in Christ to prove that He was the Messiah (vv. 25-27, 31-32).

Today, let us pray for someone on our mind who does not yet see the truth in God's Word and what it says about Christ. We pray God brings clarity to an unbeliever so they can understand and have a relationship with our Savior King.

Lord, this person on our mind, please open their mind so they understand your Word. Help them see Christ as true, and help them hear Your call to be a part of Your salvation story.

"And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life" (1 John 5:20, NASB).

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999)
Photo of Trinity Library in Dublin, Ireland from fromeuropewithlove.tumblr.com

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Christianity is a Team Sport!

"Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?  But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.  If they were all one part, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts, but one body.


The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”  On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."  1 Corinthians 12:15-26 NIV

As a first-generation Christian, I was not raised in a Christian home or ever heard the name of Jesus until I was 22 years old.  But at the age of 22, Praise the Lord, someone shared John 3:16 with me and I RAN TO JESUS and gave Him my LIFE and accepted ETERNAL LIFE!♥  My life has NEVER been the same since that day 7/21/85! 

Before I gave my life to Jesus, there were little gods in my life, lost people look like lost people and they fill the voids of their lives up with whatever they can to find temporary fulfillment.  One of my gods, growing up as a lost person, was sports.  I searched for fulfillment & purpose through the involvement in sports.  I saturated my life in one sport after another, therefore I clearly remember the process of becoming a part of a team.  I remember how teammates were picked, usually the most popular or strongest athlete was chosen first and then the process would continue until all the people going out for that specific team sport was placed on a team.  The saddest thing to me was the people that remained unchosen or unpicked until the very end of the team building process.  I remember how I felt about the process of choosing a team.  Those that were left out until the end were often looking down, with an ashamed downcast look on their face.  I felt sorry for those left out.

Today, as a growing Christian that is striving to know God, share Him, and lead others to do the same, God has brought many women to cross my path that have shared with me their feelings of being left out, looked over, or are still waiting to be chosen to be a part of a team at church/the body of Christ/Christianity.  This should never be!  There should be a plan in place so that everyone has the opportunity to be a part of God's Team because as we read above from 1 Corinthians 12:15-26, there is not one member of the body of Christ that we can say to them, "you are not needed"! 

Being a Christian is a Team Sport, everyone is needed, and there is no "I" in the word TEAM.  Being a Christian is a Team Sport and there should not be a spirit of competition between Teammates.  Today's encouragement is to remind us all that everyone is a special, unique, and important part of the body of Christ!  When anyone is left out or looked over, the body of Christ, is not complete and there will be dysfunction because God has a special plan and purpose for every believer!  When the same people are chosen over and over it sends the wrong message to those that are hoping to be included!

  • Look for those that are Left Out!  Open your circle to new members! 
  • Look out to those that are Left Out!  Come alongside of those that need to be included!
  • Look for ways to include those that are Left Out!  Create a plan of action to do away with rejection!
  • Look for opportunities to serve the Lord on a growing Team so that no one is Left Out! 
There are many people all around us that need the Lord.  They are seaching for belonging, purpose, and a team/family that is forever.  As Christians, we have the answer to what they are searching for, and His name is Jesus!  What a joy and privilege it is to share Jesus with those that need Him, it is the passion and purpose of my life!  HeartCall and Gifted2Go are some of the powerful evangelistic tools that have been created to help us share Jesus with those that need Him!  As His evangelistic leaders, we are here to encourage you and equip you as you share Jesus with others.  Please always feel free to message us or e-mail us with any questions you may have or encouragement you may need as you follow God's Plan for your life.  As Christians, we are all on His Team and everyone is needed!
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAWeHo8E70E  (If We Are The Body-Casting Crowns)