“Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
“Don’t be afraid; just believe…” ~ Jesus (Luke 8:50)
As I was waking up early this morning, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, “Your faith gives me something to work with.” Since my childhood I (Jill) struggled with fear, mostly phantom fears of my own imagining. But slowly by God’s grace – and with some amount of effort on my part – Jesus is transforming my mind to no longer be fearful but to hold on to the faith I have professed since my childhood but was unable to lay claim to consistently when it came to believing God for myself.
Faith is God’s workshop where He labors to answer my prayers, meet my needs, and to rebuild my life when fear has wrought destruction. Fear is Satan’s playground, the toy he plays with most, the substance that gives him power over my life. And the things I fear can and often do come upon me.
On the other hand, the things I have true faith to believe come upon me as well. God does miracles when we believe in him. What do we do when we need the kind of faith that pleases God? We ask Him for it!
You know my heart. I want to please you and walk in your ways, but fear often trips me up and causes me to fail. I do believe. I ask you to increase my faith. Teach me to study your Word, to memorize your Word, and to rejoice and give thanks to you more and more each day as you lead me to a place where my faith can be strong enough to not only move the mountains in my life, but to move mountains on behalf of orphans, widows, prisoners, slaves, addicts, the sick, the destitute, and anyone you put in my path.
IN JESUS’ NAME. AMEN!
“I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” ~ Jesus (John 17:4)
On January 3rd Dr. Lowell Gess of Alexandria, Minnesota will travel to Sierra Leone to bring $100,000 of medical supplies to help against the fight of Ebola in that region. Dr. Gess lived in Sierra Leone as a medical missionary during the 50’s and 60’s while raising his six children. Now at age 93 he wants to return. His mission is encouragement. “Just being there with them facing this terror every day is encouraging because they feel abandoned,” he said to MPR. “They think that the world really has abandoned them.”
Dr. Gess is completing the work God gave him to do. He’s unafraid. Let’s pray for his safety and pray that we could follow his lead, to complete the work God has given us.
We pray Psalm 121 over Dr. Gess:
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
May I follow the lead of this, your servant. To go and do whatever you call me to do, fearless and with joy.
IN JESUS’ NAME. AMEN!
Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you.” John 17:1
Jesus gave tutorials on prayer to His disciples. He gave them an outline of subjects for prayer; he also gave them examples of how to present (and how not to present) our prayers to God. But in John 17 it is simply his own heart-felt prayer that we can observe and soak into our spirits. John must have been eaves-dropping during this intimate time that Jesus had just hours before he was arrested. John knew that Jesus was modeling something life-changing. We do well to examine it closely and to follow his lead.
His first prayer-point is to request that God would glorify him, and then he, in turn, would glorify the Father. Glorify isn’t a word we use much unless it’s in a lyric of a worship song. What does glorify really mean? In Greek it means to praise or celebrate. So Jesus is saying, Father, you celebrate me, and I’ll celebrate you. It is a wonderful circle of love and admiration that never ends.
Let’s make that our life style. Let’s make this our prayer.
Celebrate me today and let me receive your affirmation so that I can give that praise and love and joy right back to you. I don’t know what’s around the bend for me today, Lord, but if you will glorify me, I know I can get through anything. I am here in my closet today to receive all that you want to give me. I open the capacity of my heart and ask you to fill me with the power of your great love that is wide and long and high and deep. May my love for you, my Father, grow in knowledge and depth of insight. May this love strengthen me to do all that you have given me to do in this life.
Thank you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
“It is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. ..When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” John 16:7,13
The Holy Spirit is your advocate. The term “advocate” used in Greek is a legal term denoting someone who:
1. Speaks in your defense.
2.Gives you wise advice and counsel.
3. Encourages, instructs and strengthens you.
Who doesn’t need someone in their corner? Who doesn’t need wisdom? Who doesn’t need encouragement? That in the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives. Reach out to him today! He is waiting to help you, and he responds to your cry. But it won’t be all on your terms, my friend. We have a part to play, too. And that part is to make Jesus the leader of our lives, to follow him, to love him, and to obey his teachings.
Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to be present with me always. Thank you that he is my defender, so I have no need to fear. He is my advisor, so I can make wise choices with my life. He encourages me, so that I can have courage to love others the way you have loved me. I receive his counsel and encouragement as I go about my day.