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

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 - "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
Hear a song sung by Yolanda, "Lift Him Up" at

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 He has another website,
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

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

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

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

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:
*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!  (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

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