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When Simple Obedience Doesn’t Feel Purposeful

As I began to search the scriptures I saw how important not only hospitality is, but simple obedience. We often hear about the stories about miraculous healings and a lame man’s friends ripping off a roof to get to Jesus. But, what about day to day obedience? Does this really make a difference too? We are in a day in and age where there is a lot to be seen, which can make us question if what we are doing is truly important in retrospect to the kingdom of God. You know, changing the endless amount of diapers, being extra friendly to the cashier that seems to be a little moody, leaving a gift to your postal worker, and loving those who seem to hate you. Will these seemingly “little tasks” end up to be important to God?

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrifice the Passover lamb, his disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare the Passover so that you may eat it?” So he sent two of his disciples and told them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Wherever he enters, tell the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’  He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” So the disciples went out, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.” -Mark 14:12-16

I would like to challenge you to see that Jesus spoke two things that could be easily overlooked in today’s society…A man brought a jar of water to the city to meet the disciples and the owner of the house had an upper room readily available for them to use.

Simple Obedience.

I wonder what would have happened if either of them overlooked what God had asked them to do. Would there have been a last supper if the man thought it was silly to go to town with the jar of water? What if the man of the home did not feel like having guests? Would he have missed the Messiah?

Because of likes, follows, and social media platforms, comparison often creeps in to whisper the lie that day to day life is pointless. How could cleaning up crayons off the wall for the 3rd time this week possibly bring people closer to God? Instead, Holy Spirit see’s you raising up the next generation of an artist who likes to color outside the lines. We question, how could this conversation help this man who is homeless? Yet, the conversation you had with him birthed new hope to live another day.

Life often give us ‘take this jar of water to the city’ moments. I have come to find that there is such a great reward of intimacy with Abba through these tasks that aren’t glamorized and often overlooked. The next time the enemy whispers the “pointlessness” of where God has you, look back at the man with the jar of water who ushered in Jesus and the disciples to the last supper and remember the room the homeowner had prepared for them. Where God has you and what He asked you to do may seem simple, but in His eye’s it is of great importance. Let our heart beat for days of simple obedience. Let us yearn to not overlook the simple tasks that make an eternal difference.

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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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Unifying The Body Of Christ Through Honor, Humility, and Love (Devotional)

The body of Christ is much bigger than any man made building or denomination. It’s the most unique body of people on the planet. It’s diverse. It’s beautiful. It is a group of people marked by the Holy Spirit where ALL parts are called to have the same honor and function as a cohesive body. We can be sure pride is in our life when we elevate people, look at status, or value one gift over the other. In turn, this breaks down the unity and love in the body of Christ.

Prayer:

Today we invite you in Holy Spirit to examine our hearts. Expose to us any pride, favoritism, religion and tradition that may be hidden. Let us come forth with boldness to recieve the mercy and grace you have for us. We thank you for it. Holy Spirit help us to live a life full of honor. Let us see people the way that you see them and help us to walk in humility and love above all else. We thank you for your help that is available today. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Scripture Study:

  • I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 1 Corinthians 1:10 NLT
  • Who is Apollos, really? Or who is Paul? Aren’t we both just servants through whom you believed our message? Aren’t each of us doing the ministry the Lord has assigned to us? 1 Corinthians 3:5 TPT
  • As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that are weaker are indispensable. And those parts of the body that we consider less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unrespectable parts are treated with greater respect, which our respectable parts do not need. Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. 1 Corinthians 12:20‭-‬27 CSB

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Results Of Obedience (It’s Not Always What You Expect)

The Holy Spirit told me to go get an oil change today. So, I went to 3 different places. One didn’t have the filters, one wanted double the normal cost, and another had no oil! I wondered why He told me to do something if I was unable.


Holy Spirit’s response was:
“It wasn’t the result that I wanted or expected, but you still walked in obedience to what I have called you to do.”


So often God asks us to do something and we expect things to go a certain way and even look a particular way. So, when it does not, we question, “Did I hear God correctly?”. We question if we fully obeyed because our own expectations were not met. Did we miss a step?


In reality, we did exactly as He asked. There is a reward for this, even if we do not see it in the here and now. We can trust that if God asked us, there is reason for it because His will is perfect, even if it’s not the result we expected. Our obedience really is not about the results, it is about trusting in Him.

Scripture:

  • The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I also will love him and will reveal myself to him.” -John 14:21 CSB
  • The instruction of the Lord is perfect, renewing one’s life; the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy,  making the inexperienced wise. The precepts of the Lord are right, making the heart glad; the command of the Lord is radiant, making the eyes light up. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are reliable and altogether righteous. They are more desirable than gold—than an abundance of pure gold; and sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb. In addition, your servant is warned by them, and in keeping them there is an abundant reward. -Psalm 19:7-11 CSB
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Having The Heart of Jesus In A Culture Of Disposal

Disposable.


The paper plates and plastic wear you throw away when you don’t want to do dishes. The one time use razors to shave. The rare but needed toilet paper that was hard to get ahold of just shy of a year ago. Our culture has made a habit of one time uses because it is well, convenient. However, I am sad to say that many of us have felt the weight of disposability when it comes to relationships and even our hearts.


As I was crying out to God yet again after what had seemed to be a relationship that had came and went without a word, I wondered what I was feeling. I had been praying for God to take out people that were not meant to be in my life and send people that were. I knew that this was an answered prayer but there was such a weight on my heart I knew I needed to talk to the Father. Our conversation went something like, “I forgive them Lord. I know I did as you told me to. You’ve searched my heart. But I just feel…I’m not sure how to explain it.”


Then I heard the Holy Spirit whisper that wretched word, disposable.


Quite often in my 28 years of life, I have tried to build relationships. But there comes a point in many of them that when I was no longer useful, I was tossed to the side. I was good until I was no longer useful. It seemed that through the seasons, I was labeled with a lack of durability for the long haul. Because of my previous history of trauma and abuse I lacked on understanding healthy boundaries. Truth be told, boundaries even felt ‘un-Christ like’ at times.


Disposable was slowly becoming my identity as each person came and went. It felt that each time, they took something with them when they left.


When we are built for community, it can be hard for us to understand why the cherished friendships we have cannot come with us in the next season. It can be hard to understand why when you are innocent, and you are made out to be the villain. Relationships can be messy. A wise counselor once told me that relationships are not only a place of hurt, but they are also a place of healing.


I have missed the mark countless of times in relationships and I am so thankful for grace and mercy. However, one reminder has remained the same through each season:


It is important that we value people through the heart of the Father and not our flesh.


Pride can sneak its way in and we slowly begin to have a fogged lens of superiority over one another. This is not the way God wants it to be. After all, it is only through His grace that we have been saved. It is a sheer gift, not something that can be earned or deserved.


If we treat others while remaining in the love of God there is no possible way we could treat them as something that can be used and tossed to the side. Because when we have God’s heart, we know that His Children are worth dying for when they have nothing to offer.


For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. How much more then, since we have now been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from wrath. -Romans 5:6-9 CSB


Jesus not only died for us and made us His children, but He encourages us that as we are being sanctified each day, that we are to be made into a vessel of honor for special use. The only way to no longer treat people as disposable and not allow ourselves to be used is through the Spirit of God. When we walk in step with the Holy Spirit, we will remain humble, living a life full of honor, love, and put boundaries in place that not only protect us but the relationships he has given us. We will not always get this right. But what we do after we have missed the mark is imperative.


Will we come boldly before God and expose the times we have had wrong motives? Are we courageous enough to call and ask for forgiveness when we have hurt those around us? And even if they do not forgive us, can we still pray for them with Abba’s heart? When we walk in love, remaining in the Spirit, we cannot help but see the value Jesus has placed not only on us but those that surround us.

Other Scripture To Meditate On:


If, then, there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others. -Philippians 2:1-4 CSB
Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also those of wood and clay; some for honorable use and some for dishonorable. So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But reject foolish and ignorant disputes, because you know that they breed quarrels. The Lord’s servant must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. Then they may come to their senses and escape the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. -2 Timothy 20-26 CSB