I know I have me MIA for about a week now. But, there is a big reason why. God is giving me more to write about and my nose has been in so many books!
There is a completely NEW section called “Book Reviews” for some of my favorite reads that I have been blessed to be able to review from publishers. While there are other books that I read in my spare time. I read a wide variety of genre’s. Mostly Christian Living and Self-Help books but I also love an occasional Women’s Fiction.
I once read a quote that said in order to be a great writer, you must both read and write! We will see how true this is coming up in these next couple weeks!
New Book Reviews To Look For Soon:
Everybody Always (Bob Goff)
The Root of Rejection (Joyce Meyer)
Overcoming Fear: The Supernatural Strategy to Live In Freedom (Dawna de Silva)
Pressure Points:A Guide to Navigating Student Stress (Shelby Abbott)
“There was also a prophetess, Anna, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well along in years, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and was a widow for eighty-four years. She did not leave the temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers.” -Luke 2:36-37 CSB
There is one specific part of this scripture that I believe God wants to talk about today. That is serving day and night just as Anna did. There is not much about Anna in the bible. There is actually one more verse to this passage of scripture and that is all we get to know about Anna. But, how many of you know that when God gives us even one word it is something of GREAT importance?
Anna, a prophetess had been living a widow for 84 years. Her husband died early on in their marriage, only 7 years. What she did in response is amazing to me and has put me in awe. She never left the temple and served God day and night and was consistently in fellowship with God through fasting and prayer. God had me study these two scriptures this morning and this is what he revealed to me. Anna knew her place in the body of Christ, she was equipped in the place she was serving because she was placed there by God! The word serving in this passage of scripture actually means latreúō. Which actually means, properly, to render technical, acceptable service because specifically qualified (equipped). Anna served day and night to God, worshiping him with her life. Her life was a sacrifice of praise unto God.
God has equipped every single one of us to serve in some way, somewhere. Are you where God has called you to be? Many times God will speak to you about what you are supposed to do and other people say that it can’t be done. Do not let those people discourage you. Christine Caine was told she would never be able speak in front of people and that she was incapable. Jesus was not acknowledged in his home town! So NEVER let other people’s opinions defer you from what God has already equipped you to do.
If you do not know the best place for you to serve, the best thing to do is go to the one who equipped you in the first place. No matter what you are CALLED to do, it is of great importance. Do not look around at everyone else and what they are called to do. Focus on Jesus and the talents and gifts he has placed inside of you. One part of the body is not more important than the other. The best thing you can do is what you are called to do! The reason I believe that Anna was able to serve so well is because she was in CONSTANT fellowship with God, she knew WHO she was, and WHAT she was called to do and she did that, with passion and reverence for God. Are you in a position that you are not called to be in? There is someone who is CALLED to be in that spot and they are equipped BY GOD to do so. I put emphasis on BY GOD because we can only be equipped through him, not people. They are called the gifts of the Holy Spirit for a reason. I believe that people can strengthen us and the body of Christ is a living organism, growing day by day. What God has equipped us with we are to share with others!
Anna may have only had three verses in the bible, but this great prophetess of God is known for serving wholeheartedly and passionately in the position God had equipped her in. If this is something that you are unsure of follow her example and pray and fast, spending time with the Father. He wants you to do what he has per-destined you to do!
FURTHER SCRIPTURE STUDY:
One Body with Many Parts
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles,[e] some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.[f]
14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And
the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the
greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be
seen, 24 while
the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has
put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those
parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. 28 Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:
first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, those who speak in unknown languages.
29 Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? 30 Do
we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in
unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown
languages? Of course not! 31 So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.
But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all. -1 Corinthians 12:12-31 NLT
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. -Ephesians 2:10 NLT
God loves when we follow the plan he has for us, especially since he knows what’s perfect. He loves when we earnestly seek to do his will. He “delights” in our every step. He is well pleased.
There have been times where I have had to make a BIG decision. I prayed and got impatient, later realizing I had made a mistake. I still thought that it was God’s will. However, later I realized I had made a mistake that caused me to stumble. I did not wait long enough for him to bring clarity. Yet we see, that even when we stumble there is abundant grace and mercy. He is ready and willing to lift us up when we stumble.
Do you remember when you tried to ride a bike for the first time? Your parents let you try without training wheels? If you were like me, you ate the gravel. I mean, I stumbled hard. I was a bloody, bruised, beat up, wanted to give up kind of mess. Just as my earthly Father saw what had happened and helped me up, God will lift you up when you stumble. He is much better than your earthly father. He is your cheerleader. He was delighted you wanted to please him! He lifts you and says, here my child try this.
God sees the desire in your heart to do his will and live out his plan for your life and that pleases him. He is delighted you a pursuing to be obedient. Even if you stumble, he is there to lift you up. He is proud of you! So dust the gravel off and keep riding.
Please take the time to prayerfully read through this scripture before reading the post:
Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the Lord ’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. But it was the Lord ’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord ’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels. Isaiah 53:1-12 NLT
As I read this chapter, I cannot help but be emotional about what Jesus had endured for us to be whole and healed.
I reflect on the fact that he had done absolutely nothing wrong, never decieving anyone, never sinned, and suffered the worst kind of death for us. Jesus did everything out of the abundance of his love and still does today.
Take a moment to reflect:
Can you imagine being falsely accused and going through a crucifixion? Being alone and laying down your life for those who won’t even acknowledge who you are? Laying down your life for those who ultimately betrayed you?
Not forgetting to mention, Jesus even though he was oppressed and suffering, stayed quiet and did not speak a word.
I think this speaks volumes about how we are called to live. Jesus being our perfect example, never complained and only spoke out of love.
Most of us, myself included, complain on a daily basis. The weather is too hot, too cold, ect. Yet, Jesus going through the worst suffering all alone and not deserving it, chose to be quiet and endure.
This blows me away and also convicts me to ask Holy Spirit for help. I need his help with complaining (which is the absence of thankfulness) but to also help me be quiet when I suffer. If I cannot say anything in love or thankfulness, it is better to say nothing at all.
Many times love comes in the form of correction. As I have been meditating on this, Holy Spirit has gently corrected me and showed me areas where I need to be more diligent and seek him in. But the reason why it made a difference is because it was done in love.
A question I had for God was how did the Lord endure such gruesome suffering and not complain or speak?
Lets be real, humble, and transparent. I have a hard time not complaining about the weather and when someone does me wrong I even have had the urgency to lash back. But Jesus, he doesn’t do this. How!?
If you read there is a verse that he pointed out to me that changed my perspective not only on suffering but the love of Jesus.
“When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels”-Isaiah 53:11-12 NLT
First, Jesus was not focused on his anguish and his suffering. He had the eternal perspective that what he was enduring was worth every ounce of pain he felt. When we are suffering we are not called to focus on the things of earth but the things of heaven.
Second, his eternal perspective was a relationship with us. Jesus suffered to set us free, make his whole, and for our healing.
I am in awe that he not only stayed quiet during the trials because he only spoke in love and thankfulness. I am also in awe that his eternal perspective that gave him the strength to endure the worst kind of suffering was his love for us. Yall I am in tears writing this.
My prayer for you today is that even if you are suffering, being falsely accused, feel alone, and are being rejected. You remember that Jesus knows how you feel and died for you to be whole and healed. I pray that you forgive as freely as he has forgiven us. I pray that he puts a door over your mouth so you may not speak thoughtlessly and you always speak the truth in love or do not speak at all, following his perfect example. I pray that you continually get a deeper revelation of his love for you and your grab ahold of his love that makes you whole and healed.
ABBA, I thank you for sacraficial servant love. I can only pray that we follow your example. I thank you for your mercy and grace and that you have died to make us whole, free, and healed. There is nothing you will not do for us. In Jesus name, Amen.
Paul and Silas, undaunted, prayed in the middle of the night and sang songs of praise to God, while all the other prisoners listened to their worship. Suddenly, a great earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. All at once every prison door flung open and the chains of all the prisoners came loose. Acts 16:25-26 TPT
There are three things I briefly want to touch on in these 2 verses.
One being, there were people surrounding Paul & Silas who were listening to their prayers and praises to God.
The second thing is that even in the midst of being “chained down” and imprisoned, they still praised God for how good he is.
The third being, because of the power of their praise and prayer, it set other people who were bound down free. Their praise shook the very foundation where they were held captive and bound down.
In conclusion, the very words we speak to the father and the praises that come put of our mouth are powerful and yes, people are listening. They may not say they are, but people’s true desire in their heart is the love of Jesus. No matter the circumstance, even if we feel bound, we should be inclined to have communion with Abba and praise him. He never changes and his love endures. Therefore, our praise should be endless too. Our praise can be the very thing that not only sets us free but shakes the foundations of hell (prison one is entrapped in) and sets other people free around us too.
At first glance, you see that Paul and Silas prayer & praise set them free. Yet, in reality, it shook the foundation that kept them and others captive. Their prayer and praise broke the chains that bound them down and set them free into what God had called them to do.
My encouragment to you this morning is, in every circumstance pray and praise. God hears every word you speak and your praise to the father loosens things that have tried to keep you bound! Not only that, but people are watching. Do not be a people pleaser, but a God pleaser. My prayer is that our prayer and praise is so contagious is free’s others just as Paul and Silas.
The words you speak, the prayers you give unto the father, and the praise you bring are all contagious and have the power to shake the foundations of hell. God has given you to the power to praise and pray in every circumstance. Even when you are not sure what to say, the spirit will speak for you. When you feel weary, he will give you strength. When you feel bound, he sets you free. When you feel like you are just surviving, he brings you to a place of living abundantly!
There is nothing he won’t do for us.
In every circumstance pray and praise. You never know what new freedom is awaiting you or the freedom it may bring to who you are surrounded by. There is nothing God won’t do. Hell cannot stand a chance. The victory is already won. For the power, the glory, are yours Lord forever and ever. Amen!
Scripture for Meditation & Application
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalms 34:1 NKJV
Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! Psalms 47:1 NKJV
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26 NKJV
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NKJV
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39 NKJV
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV