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He Gives His Beloved Rest

In my morning devotional I saw this quote and it reminded me of the sweet rest that Jesus died to give His children.

So often, especially now a days with social media, we can fall into the comparison trap. Whether we fall into comparing ourselves to others or maybe we feel that we haven’t yet reached that level of success we thought we should be at. We end up heavy burdened, overloaded, schedules busy with an empty heart, and void of what is truly important.

Jesus didn’t die so we could strive for greatness here on earth or be the best of the best. His plan wasn’t for us to have a full schedule of what seems to be godly activities but empty of His presence that comes from the mountain. Jesus died so we would no longer strive but simply abide. It was to have fellowship with us. It was and still is, relationship that He desires.

Let us not get so busy that it takes away what is most important. May we not miss the mark by viewing and chasing worldy success rather than reaping an eternal reward. Let our heart posture be understanding and living from the place of what is most important in the heart of the Father.

Being One With Him —
Resting In His Presence By Knowing & Trusting His Character —
Trusting That It Really Is Completely Dependent On Him —
Surrendering It Isn’t Dependent On Us —
Knowing He Will Finish What He Started —

Our king’s pace isn’t the world’s pace and hustle culture is not kingdom culture.

He gives His beloved rest.

Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.
Psalms 127:1‭-‬2 NLT

🖼: Ruth Chou Simons

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Choosing The Greater Portion

Martha was serving…

Serving: diakonía – ministry; active service, done with a willing (voluntary) attitude

But she was also distracted.

Distracted: to draw around (περί, III. 1), to draw away, distract; passive metaphorically, to be driven about mentally, to be distracted: περί τί, i. e. to be over-occupied, too busy, about a thing

Jesus spoke that Martha’s service (ministry) took her away from the ONE thing that is NECESSARY — to be with Jesus.

What was meant to once glorify God was the very thing that was drawing her away from Him. We too, can easily fall in this trap.

Our identities can be misplaced in what we do and results, rather than whose we are. We can fall for the deception that it’s dependent on us. If we don’t keep it all together, it will all fall apart. Forgetting that it is GOD who gives the growth and His purposes are already finished.

May we purposely choose to be undistracted. May we refuse to check off the boxes of religion that leaves us empty rather than choosing true intimacy with the Father.

May we purpose to choose what Jesus says is necessary, to simply be with Him.

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The Great Warning Of Apathy Through The Book of Jonah

I was reading the Book of Jonah this morning and Jonah’s heart posture stood out to me in greater measure than ever before.

(If you haven’t read the Book of Jonah, I encourage you to stop reading and go do so. This will help tremendously as you continue to read. )

What I came to see was that after Jonah had reluctantly obeyed God and after Jonah had been shown mercy, He had a really hard time dishing out to Ninevah what He has just been given. In fact, Jonah was angry at God for forgiving the people of Ninevah so much so He wanted to die. But, God came back with a question and I believe it is important for us to ask ourselves too.

We need to ask ourselves this question, do I have a right to be angry about this? Or is this what God has ordained?

We should never look at someone angrily because of a repentant heart. It doesn’t matter the weight of the sin, God looks at murder, gossip, and a white lie all the same. It is sin that needs to be forgiven. And truth be told, we all have fallen short and are in need of forgiveness.

You see, Jonah had became apathetic towards God’s own work-God’s people. We can learn from Jonah’s example that it is important to watch ourselves for pride or a biased expectation in the way we believe things should go. We must watch when we attempt to take place of God in judgment if we are not looking through the same heart of love God has for who He has created.

Rather, we should have an eagerness to willingly obey God and trust Him for whatever results obedience may bring. He desires no one to perish. We must look at everyone through eyes of love, mercy, and forgiveness.

If we cannot do this, we must check to see if our hearts have grown cold towards the very thing God loves most, His creation, His people.

When we are going through conflict we should remember these two things:

1. As God asked Jonah, do we have a right to angry about this? (See Jonah 4:4)

2. We also must remember the heart of the Father.

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
Psalms 86:5 NKJV

Unlike the example of Jonah, let us willingly obey the Lord without reluctance or apprehension and through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, give what God has delighted to give us.

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Is This All For Nothing? Encouragement For Your Heart Through Hardship

Did I purify my heart
and wash my hands in innocence for nothing?
For I am afflicted all day long
and punished every morning.
If I had decided to say these things aloud,
I would have betrayed your people.
-Psalm 73:13-15 CSB

Have you ever felt like Asaph in this Psalm? Sometimes as we follow Christ it feels like we are getting the short end of the stick. You live a set apart life, which is not easy, and still receive an immense amount of suffering. Maybe you feel like Asaph in that even when you do open up about the suffering you are facing, other Christian’s accuse you of hidden sin, slap a scripture on it rather than having compassion, or suddenly vanish when you needed them most. Well, my friend, you are not only in the company of Asaph when it comes to this, I understand too. But most importantly, God understands deeper than anyone ever could.

Let’s keep reading, shall we?

When I tried to understand all this,
it seemed hopeless
until I entered God’s sanctuary.
Then I understood their destiny.
-Psalm 73:16-17 CSB

In times of suffering and hardship, many times we don’t get the answers we are searching for. And if we are being honest, some of the things we face do not seem fair do they? Suffering can have a tendency to make us feel hopeless as we observe the wicked that seem to be prospering.

UNTIL…

Like Aspah, we have the understanding that this earth is not our home. That our story does not end here. In fact there will be a day where there is no more pain, no more sorrow, and no more suffering (See Revelation 21:4). The prospering of the wicked will soon come to an end and they will wish that they repented and sought the Lord’s heart. I have a feeling many will have wish they endured trials here when they see the joy and gift of heaven.

Our perfect heavenly Father can handle our hard questions. He will never leave us even if people do. And He isn’t ashamed of our feelings. So many times people can dismiss what you are feeling, but God doesn’t do that. Sorrow and grief can coexist with faith. In fact, we can see this right here in the middle of Psalm 73.

My friend, I know times may be hard but you are not alone. This suffering won’t last forever. But you know what does last forever and will carry you through? God’s Love. His Grace. His Mercy. Him.

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Soul Rest (Devotional)

When so much is happening around us or even to us, it can be easy to fall out of the place of rest found in Abba.

Let us think upon the goodness of God.
Remembering that our soul can be at rest with our heavenly Father who is with us every step of the way.
He is not surprised or taken off guard.
He is never weak nor tired.
He is trustworthy & abounding in faithful love.
His track record will never change. He is forever reliable.
Our souls can return to rest because of who He is💕

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.
Psalms 116:7 CSB