Hoping to send #winning to the printer today!!!
As Stephen stood before the Sanhedrin Council he relayed the history of God’s chosen ones. This was the perfect connection to where they stood that day. As I read the account I could imagine the confidence within Stephen growing. He, hearing himself speak, was reminded of God’s goodness and favor. It gave him courage and boldness to deliver the message God had given him.
I pray that we learn from Stephen. That we gain boldness to go forth in our calling because we remember that the One who called is Faithful.
Scripture taken from:
That statement is in direct contrast to “for I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end”.
But sometimes we allow our emotions to override what we know to be true and begin acting as if the first statement is true.
But no matter where you are in your life it never is. God is ever-present, guiding us, loving us, bringing the best for us. We can rest easy when we believe and live according to the Word.
Sarah laughed when she heard that she would be a mother in her old age. Probably because she had named herself as a bitter, forgotten, useless woman.
But time had come for her to make a choice. Would she be a help to herself, her future, or would she continue as before?
She chose her future. She chose to see herself as needed, helpful and loved. The Lord blessed her inkling of optimism and blessed her as mother of the nations.
God sees us at our best. He doesn’t hold our worst against us. Neither we should we. Let bygones be bygones. Jump at the next opportunity the Lord gives you— I promise you there’s one coming.
The woman didn’t fear a snowstorm. She was ready. She had warm clothes for herself and her household.
Understand that there will be “storms” in your life. Prepare for them: wrap yourself in strength and honor by relying solely on Jesus, living according to the Word.
Because more important than the When? What? Why? and Where? of the storm is the Who you’ll be facing it with.
Trusting Jesus takes the fear out of the future.
Goliath’s sword had quite the history with David. It was the weapon used to dismember Goliath’s head from his body.
Goliath’s sword was also the weapon David used to cut a piece of clothing off of Saul while he slept in a cave.
David was able to make use of the victories God had previously given him. He was able to take from his past to help him in the present.
Have you made a habit of doing the same thing?
Bring to remembrance the times that God has provided for you. Write them down. Meditate on them.
Because going to your history with God will strengthen you as you walk in the here and now.
Have you allowed yesterday’s poor decisions affect today?
Have you allowed a missed opportunity to proclaim Jesus put you in a place where you’ve decided you’ll never be of use to The Lord?
Have you committed a sin that you feel has completely ruined your witness? Are you wanting to just give up serving Him because you think there is no coming back from it?
Remember Paul? The guy who we first met at the stoning of a Christian? The guy who was living his life to see Christians persecuted and sentenced to death? He was literally doing everything he could to get rid of Jesus’ followers.
Until he became one himself.
Then he turned into a huge advocate for the case of Christ. He spoke to councils. He led churches. He became one of the first missionaries. He penned down the majority of the New Testament.
How did he do this?
He kept his eyes fixed on Jesus, not on his past.
You do the same.
Peter watched the woman walk out of sight as the past few hours came screeching back to his memory.
“I don’t know him.”
“I don’t know him.”
“I don’t know him!!”
Three times Peter denied Christ.
Now he stood alone, ashamed and heartbroken. He had just denied the very man he said he would never turn against. He had just professed his love for Jesus only days before. And now this?
Peter broke down in tears. Sobs shook him to the very core of his being. Thoughts whirled around his head. What kind of friend am I?!? What type of person have I become?!? I am so weak! I’m pitiful! I’ve failed miserably!!
Surely the self destructing torment carried on for hours, if not days.
But then Peter came to himself. He remembered that the God he served, this man called Jesus, was a forgiving man. He was gentle. Full of love.
Peter stopped the tirade warring within and took his place again as a follower of Jesus. He didn’t allow his mistake keep him from Christ.
But how did Christ handle Peter’s denial? What became of his relationship with Peter?
He forgave him. He loved him. He even used him to pen down part of the New Testament.
The light of Jesus was within Peter. His past mistakes didn’t affect His future with Jesus because he was forgiven. And Christ used him, the willing vessel.
We are all capable of making bad decisions. Occasionally we choose our fleshly desires over the Spirit’s guidance. Some of us may get to the point where we feel ashamed for the witness we’ve given, the defeat we’ve experienced, the guilt of not doing right. But you don’t have to stay in that place of darkness. Reach out to Jesus for forgiveness and then let it go. Forgive yourself. Move forward.
The light of Christ is within you. Let it shine. Get back to your Father’s business. His glory is upon you.