Injustice. What to do?*

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With so much injustice in the world, what is a person to do?

In Romans 12 we are encouraged not to let other’s sin cause us to sin, but instead leave the revenge to our just and compassionate God.

“Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.”

“Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:17-19, 21

‭‭We leave things to our God who is sovereign over all and can work ALL things together for good for those who love Him. We release the desire to get even, to our God who has compassion for us in pain and can heal broken places, fractured relationships and hardened hearts. We let go and let our God, who will right all the wrongs, be God.

So as Christians, how do we do this?

We love Jesus, seek to know Him and we do good.

We love one another because love comes from God. We see each and every human as created and loved by our God who has a plan for each and every life.

We love one another the way He calls us to love. We forgive and give grace. With Him we CAN forgive; only with Him can it be done.

We can pray. Always we can pray. We can pray for all people involved- the victim (that’s easy to do) but also the perpetrator (that’s the hard part). The Bible tells believers to pray for those that hurt us (Romans 12:14, Luke 6:28).

It’s backwards or upside down, isn’t it?

But such is this life we are called to live as Christians. It goes against the world and our flesh and towards the will of our Father. The will of loving Him, and loving others.

We can beg God for injustice to stop but we have to know we live in a sinful fallen world with sinful fallen people and it’s always been that way and it, according to the Bible, will get worse before it gets better.

It will get better, though, for those who love Jesus. Because He is coming back to redeem all. that. is. broken.

So share Him today. In your smile, in your giving, in your goodness and living.

Give Him away.

Know He is in charge and will take care of injustice. Know He is a good, good God always. He alone is worthy.

May the injustice being brought to light bring a revival in the hearts of those who know Him so others will be drawn to Him.

Love Him. Love His people. In Jesus name amen. 🙏🏼🙏🏼

*This is a recent devotional originally posted to my church’s women’s ministry devotional series, Flourish Friday.

We Do Not Lose Heart!

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My Bible reading this morning was really encouraging and I hope it is the same for you!

Watch below and keep reading for the three main take-always from 2 Corinthians 4 verses 1, 8 and 16-18 ♥️

1. Our fallen bodies and worlds are wasting away but inside we can be renewed day by day by coming to the well of Jesus.

2. Look to the unseen and not the seen. We will be afflicted, perplexed, etc by looking at the seen but focusing on Jesus and our faith, the unseen, we will not be crushed or destroyed or driven to despair.

3. Because of Jesus we can have hope for each day.

More background on these words— Paul, who was hunted down, imprisoned, wanted for dead, etc… wrote these words to encourage the Corinthians in their faith. His circumstances make our afflictions truly seemingly light. Wow. What an example to live out not losing heart. Paul knew His circumstances were temporary and that a greater glory was awaiting him in heaven one day. I love Paul and how he held fast and firmly to his faith not by His own efforts but by the grace of God.

“The suffering in Paul’s ministry brought forth life.” (Enduring bible commentary)

And we can not lose heart, not quit and faint not in our callings because of hard times, we press on and into the Lord for strength. Yes, Jesus, please help us in this today!

What Would Jesus Do During the COVID 19 Coronavirus Pandemic?

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I walked to my mailbox, surgical gloves on my hands, grabbed the mail and was careful not to let any of it touch my clothing. I brought it inside, laid it on a counter and began sifting through it- imagining every piece contaminated, the small unseen COVID-19 lurking everywhere just waiting for it’s next host.

And then I snapped out of it and thought- what am I doing? Is this really happening? I’m crazy, this is crazy! Oh goodness did I just touch my face!?

Is anybody else here with me on this?

In that moment, I thought, “What would Jesus be doing right now? What would He do during a pandemic like this?”

Would He put on gloves to open His mail? Would he wonder if he washed His hands for 20 full seconds? Would He wipe down every. single. thing that comes into His house? Would He wash His phone with alcohol multiple times of day? Strip all clothing off when He comes in from going anywhere? Would He have shaved His beard and worn a mask? Wait. Would Jesus even be able to contract the virus?

You can see, I’m a gal of many questions and curiosities (I get on my own nerves sometimes, I promise!). And we don’t have time to answer all of them today, mainly because a lot of them are answered with, I don’t know.

BUT! I did realize a couple of things Jesus would be doing during a pandemic and want to encourage us all to do the same during this time. No, we aren’t Jesus; but we have the Holy Spirit’s mighty power inside of us to do more than we can think or imagine with willing, humbled, surrendered souls. Oh, that we would be those souls!

  1. HE WOULD SEEK HIS FATHER AND PRAY:   We see, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ humanity in the emotions displayed before He faced His death that saved believers. I’m grateful that Jesus was 100% God yet 100% man and could relate to our emotions but without sinning. The picture of Him here, greatly troubled, in distress, in extreme anguish and His words to His Father in these verses (Matthew 26:36-56) show me how near He was to us as a human walking the earth. He related to us. He felt. In His darkest moments He sought His Father. And we can too.
    1. Read His Word Daily. There are so many Bible reading plans out there to get you started! Or just start with the book of John- it’s sure to ignite a fire for more of Jesus.
    2. Memorize His Word. Psalms 23 is a great place to start! Search the Psalms and find a few verses that speak to you, print them off and meditate on them, memorizing them with your head and heart.
    3. PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. Set aside time each day or once a week to do some major praying and even fasting. Pray while you walk or run. Get on knees and pray… Write down requests, go through your phone list or family members and pray for them. Ask the Lord how you can be His Hands and feet during this time, perhaps with a family member, neighbor or friend? 
  2. HE WOULD HELP OTHERS, HEAL OTHERS, PRAY WITH OTHERS AND TEACH OTHERS
    1. Healthcare Workers: You are in scary but unique positions to be the hands and feet of Jesus. On the front lines, holding peoples hands, caring for them, helping them get better, praying with them, being with them when they are healed either here or in death. YOU ARE BEING JESUS. Keep it up, we are praying for you! Draw your strength from His never ending well of hope, love and grace.
    2. Pray with others–call a friend and pray! Have you ever done it? It’s beautiful, meaningful and God is in the midst even if you can’t be.
    3. Teach children: We have such a unique opportunity with our children right now. I’m reminded of Deuteronomy 6:6-7, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them with you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  To teach them His Word, We must know His Word and be in it for ourselves. Study it together! One verse a day, one chapter a day, family devotionals or based on their ages, Bible studies for them. We have loved the resources at http://www.notconsumed.com
  3. HE WOULD BE FULL OF ALL THE HOLY SPIRIT OFFERS
    1. Peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. We cannot have these fruits walking in our flesh, we must die to self, surrender to His grace and giving of these things to our souls. His Word tells us these attributes of Him are available through His Spirit. And He will supply our every need (Philippians 4:19). I don’t know about you, but I am in desperate need of the Holy Spirit these days. I’ve seen all too much of my many bends to everywhere but Him. This is all hard and we need something bigger than ourselves to walk steadfastly to come out of this time better than when we started it.

One final truth about our Lord is He is not a God of chaos or fear (1 Corinthians 14:33, 1 Timothy 1:7). So anytime we are experiencing either, know they are not of Him but can be corrected and calmed by Him. I’ve felt much chaos and fear during this whole pandemic and that is so natural and common to man. The Lord sympathizes with us in our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15) with compassion and holds out His hand to help us. He is calm not chaos; faith not fear. Thank You, Jesus.

So. Not sure if I really answered any of my specific questions, maybe with more research I could come to a better conclusion on Jesus and social distancing, but for now, we can practice these things I listed and grow in Him during this time. We can be, as Jesus was, about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49b) and be renewed, our families can be renewed and flourish in Christ no matter what is going on around us. There’s nothing He wants more for His children.

Love you all,
Sarah

Are We Walking Resurrected?

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Happy Easter, friends!

Today we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from His death on the cross. What a glorious day then, and now.

To resurrect means to revive, restore to life, raise from the dead, breathe new life into, renew, awaken, wake up, renovate, rejuvenate, and my favorite: to bring back into use or existence after it has disappeared. What a beautiful word with such meaning.

Scripture tells us Jesus not only WAS resurrected, but He IS the Resurrection.

This means He is our revival. He is the One who can restore our lives and relationships. He can raise us from the dead of our sins, He can breathe new life into us and renew our relationship with Him. He can wake us up from the death of sin and awaken us to new life with Him. He can renovate and rejuvenate our calloused, hardened hearts. He can return to us the joy of our salvation. He can give us hearts that long to please Him. He can roll away the many stones that have piled up between ourselves and Him.

Do you ever find yourself walking in your own strength? Toiling, striving, yet never getting anywhere? Are you tired of trying to keep up with the ways of the world? Tired of trying to fill a void that only the Lord Jesus is meant to fill? Does it seem impossible, as if too much would have to change for you to be made new?

When we surrender, Jesus revives us. He breathes new life into our hearts and changes our desires, realigns our priorities, helps us love others and truly live in freedom. He teaches us about grace- for others and ourselves. He gives us sure-footing and a security the world can’t offer.

Are we walking resurrected, dear friends?

“Awake, O sleeper, arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:14

God’s loving plan was always to redeem His Son; God’s loving plan is always to redeem His people. Once and for all but also every day. Because He lives, we can too. Both now and forever.

Today, as we think of the empty tomb, may anything dead in us be revived. May stones be rolled away, and our hearts awakened by His Spirit. May the miraculous, mighty power of Jesus’ resurrection stir new life, love and healing inside of each of us. In Jesus name I pray.

Love you all,

Sarah

Thank you, Melinda Emerson, for this beautiful artwork.

(This devotion is from my church women’s ministry page- wanted to share with you all too)