God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them
reflecting our nature
So they can be responsible for…every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”
God created human beings;
he created them godlike,
Reflecting God’s nature.
He created them male and female.
God blessed them:
“Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!
Be responsible…for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.”
(Genesis 1:26-28 The Message)
God in His great mercy and kindness gave us animals to care for and love. Mark and I have a Golden Retriever named Rhema who we adore. In the one year we have had her, she has taught us so much about God and His love for us.
When I fed her this morning, I sang a little spontaneous song over her, asking God to help her grow in obedience to me as I grow in obedience to Him. It might sound corny, but I do this almost daily. Then I kiss her face, look in her eyes and wonder, “If I love this creature this much, how much must God love me?”
Today is National Dog Day. Let’s pray that these soul-ish creatures in our lives would bring us joy, teach us to love, teach our children responsibility, and bring healing to us and those around us with their unconditional love and faithfulness.
Sometimes when I look in the eyes of my dog, I am struck with the love and beauty you have put into your creation. I am in awe of how much you love me. Please use my dog as a reminder today that with you always at my side; therefore, I do not have a care. With you holding the leash of my life, I am in the best of hands. Pain, problems, stress, and trauma are no longer a primary focus; I have nothing to fear, nothing to dread. I am loved by my beloved Master, my Father God.
…Diligently listen to and obey Me, says the Lord, and bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but keep the Sabbath day holy (set apart to the worship of God), to do no work on it… (Jeremiah 17:24 Amplified)
Four times in Jeremiah 17 God prohibits his people from carrying a load on the Sabbath. In Hebrew, the word “burden” can mean, “that to which the soul lifts itself up,” – a burden of the soul. We are invited to lay all our burdens down as though they don’t exist. Questions like, “How will we pay our bills next month?” or “How will I navigate this relationship?” evaporate on the Sabbath. In place of worry, we worship. In place of grief, we glorify God. In place of stress, we sing praises.
Should this be something I do one day a week? No! Worry does not please God. It is self-defeating. We are called to make relinquishing worry a part of our daily prayer routine, always giving him our burdens, and allowing Him to carry them. When we worry, we take the concern out of His hands – the only hands capable of fixing what is broken in our lives.
I refuse to carry this load any longer. It is breaking my back, weighing me down, and forcing me into defeat. Please take these burdens, for I trust you to carry them! I trust in you to fix them! I ask for wisdom to do my part and faith to trust you to do yours.
In Jesus’ Name Amen!
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. (Prov. 11:25)
Who in your world needs shoes? Who needs pencils and a fresh notebook? Who needs some clothes to give them the joy and courage to return for another year of learning at school? As a BeliefNet community, we are sending out the challenge to each reader who can help: call a struggling friend and offer some support to make sure their children are equipped to start the new school year with confidence. And after you do, please share your joy with us by commenting below!
You have taken care of me every day of my life. Thank you for the resources you have put in my hands. Please lead me today to one who needs my help. As I give to them, Lord, I am giving to you. Bless the children who will benefit from these gifts you have given. Grant them joy and confidence, a desire to learn and grow and change the world with your help and with your unending love in their hearts.
In Jesus’ Name Amen
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). ~John 10:10 AMP
Twenty years ago we miscarried a baby at 12 weeks gestation. It was such a difficult loss for our family; we wondered when the grieving would end…
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. ~Psalm 30:5
A year and a half later our youngest son was born. God did not take the life of our unborn baby, but he took our sorrow and replaced it with joy and blessing – He gave us life when life was taken from us.
That’s what he wants to do for you today, my friend. If you have experienced loss, injustice, if something has been stolen from you, or part of your life destroyed, you have a Shepherd who gives life, restores joy, freedom, and anything that has been ripped away by the enemy of your soul, the devil. Allow us to pray for you today…
We lift up to you every one of our beloved blog readers who are feeling the acute pain of loss today. May they come to see that while they have experienced defeat, you are still there willing and able to offer a fresh start, a vibrant life, a hope that cannot be contained, and joy unspeakable. Please, Father, give them grace to give you all that appears to be left of their lives and the faith to believe that you will take that offering, small as it might seem to be, and make something beautiful of it.
In Jesus’ Name Amen