Are you worried about the wrong things?

WORRIED ABOUT THE WRONG THINGS!
 

Martha and Mary

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

This passage speaks volumes, it truly does! There is so much to learn here. Jesus came into Martha’s home. Upon His arrival, it seems that Mary, Martha’s sister was in awe of Jesus’s presence and wanted to spend every second soaking Him up. While Martha worried about making everything perfect for Jesus while He was there, and she soon became overwhelmed. If Jesus came to your home now what would you do? Would you be trying to clean, cook and get everything right? Or would you be sitting at His feet focused on Him? If you’re a neat freak like me always cleaning before you have company, and like to have everything things in order for your guest, these questions could be hard to answer.I reflected on these verses, and I could see how this story reflected different areas and seasons of my life. At times, we feel as though we have to get things right and in order before we can come to God and sit in his presence. For example, we may feel like we strayed from the path God had set for us; now things have fallen apart, and we feel obligated to put things back together before going to God.  The fact is things are in such disorder because we worry about the wrong things!

Come to God with all of your mess; especially when you’ve strayed. God knows that we will stumble. We can’t be fruitful in life without Him! He takes joy in being our restorer. Don’t let the enemy play with your mind and have you feeling like you can’t come to God ANYTIME, ANY HOUR! I like to think of being overwhelmed or upset as God using my frustration as an opportunity to say: “Tomasa, Tomasa, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.” The truth is things don’t become right or fall into place until we submit to God’s will for our life. God wants us to come as we are so He can perfect us! We are mere humans, and nothing we do alone will be good enough for our God! (Isaiah 55:8-9, John 4)

Have a lot on your mind? Are you confused about your purpose or identity? Are things just not going as you would have hoped? Do you feel overbooked with tasks? Or maybe you can’t put your finger on what’s wrong but know things aren’t right?  If so stop and sit at the Lords’ feet in silence and relax. Let Him renew you and make you whole! Let Him declutter your life and organize your comings and goings. If we stay consistent and focus on Him, He will supply and take care of our needs!(Matthew 11:28-29) The Lord loves you, and if you chase after Him with all your heart, he will not leave you with a need or worry!

Prayer: Lord God, let me not worry about the wrong things. Let me come to you wholeheartedly and put You first in all I do. Comfort me in knowing that if you are my center, you will protect me. If I place you first in all things, you will bless the rest. I am nothing without you, Lord. In Jesus precious name I pray, Amen.

Some Related Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:4, Jeremiah 29:11-14, Matthew 11:28-29,John 14:27, Proverbs 1:33, Romans 10:9

What Defines You?

what-defines-you

What defines your worth?

It’s a real question, isn’t it? One I’ve been asking myself lately, as I learn more and more about who I am in Christ. I’ve chewed on it and rolled it around in my brain until I thought I couldn’t think on it anymore.

It led me to a second question:

Why do I assume I’m not likable/attractive?

Yeah, I’ve dealt with those feelings for a long time now. What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I feel like anyone will ever find me pretty? You know what, that’s a great question! I puzzled over it again and again until God finally pulled up one specific memory. I’ll give you the basics.

I was 11, maybe 12 (a very impressionable age), and not the prettiest flower in the meadow. My other friends were. Anyway, I was sitting in the church foyer during a wedding reception, talking to these two guys who were supposed to be my friends. (Keep in mind, these are junior high boys.)

Basically, the air had broken and in the middle of July, that’s not the best scenario. So I may have mentioned something about my being hot. Being juvenile boys, they took it and ran, insisting that I wasn’t. Meaning they didn’t think I was even remotely pretty.

It’s taken a lot for me to get over the hurt of this memory. For years, those three little words haunted me. “No, you’re not.” I let them stew inside my head, and I let them define what I thought other people would think of me. Because of those juvenile boys, who probably didn’t even realize the damage they were doing, told me I wasn’t pretty, I chose to believe it for almost ten long years.

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that they were being idiots, and I don’t need their confirmation of facts I already know. Neither do you.

Let me show me something.

“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had good plans for you…”

Jeremiah 1:5 (MSG)

If God knew you before you were even born, don’t you think His plans are perfect? Don’t you think He knew what you would look like, how you would sound, what your style would become? He put those things in you. He has good plans for you! And that’s not all.

“Oh, yes, You shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank You, High God-You’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration-what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body…”

Psalm 139:13-15 (MSG)

He knows you, inside and out. He made you! He knows every bone in your body. He knew what you would look like when He formed you, and God doesn’t make mistakes. He made you perfect!

I know you may not believe it now (even I have a hard time believing it sometimes), but to someone out there, some day, you will be the very thing they’ve been searching for all their life. To God, you’re already perfect. To that future someone, you’ll be perfect too! Everyone has different ideas about perfection, and despite the fact that you might sometimes feel like a failure, you’re not.

Don’t let the mean girls of this world define you. There will always be a voice trying to tell you that you’re not good enough. Don’t listen! The Voice above all other voices says “you’re perfect.” He leans down and whispers, “I made you, and I won’t leave you. I’m not going anywhere, and I’ll always look after you. You. Are. Mine.”

Why do we feel we need to go anywhere else to find our true worth? The One who created worth wants to hold you. Forever.

To Be Seen, To Be Known

ToBeSeen

Have you ever felt invisible, as if no one can see you?  A few weeks ago, I sat with a woman who was lamenting about being overlooked.  Her heart wanted desperately to be seen as valuable, worthy, capable, and a blessing.  As we dug deeper through our conversation, she shared that she had been overlooked her whole life.  Then she said these words.

I think this is why I am fat.  I am making myself seen.  You can’t help but see me.

At first, I was stunned to hear this woman speak these words.  I have known her for years, and I would hardly consider her a woman who was invisible.  She was one of the first women I was drawn to at our church, because of her beautiful heart for God. Her infectious sense of humor and her wisdom.  I sought her out, and yet she feels invisible.

Then I began to reflect on women in my circle. Including myself.  There is the woman who incredibly loud, The woman who dresses over the top for all occasions.  There is the woman who is always up for anything, the life of the part.  The woman who posts a million photos on Facebook and Instagram.  The woman who always has something to say in every conversation.  The woman who is quick to raise her hand, volunteering on every committee and project.

I wondered, how many of these women were just trying to be seen, to be known.

I thought about all of the times when I have cried out to God, and it seemed like He didn’t hear me.  I thought about the number of occasions I was waving my arms at God saying “pick me, use me” and felt He had passed me by.

Have you ever felt invisible to God?

But whoever loves God is known by God.

1 Corinthians 8:3

His word tells us that He knew us as we were being stitched together in our mother’s womb, that he knows our voice, He knows those who belong to Him, he calls us by name.

Last week, I stood in line at the Deli section of the grocery store waiting for my number to cue.  I watched the people working behind the counter rushing to serve each customer efficiently but quickly.  When it was my turn, I used all the manners I had been raised with.  Please.  May I have…?  Then, as she handed me my last package, I glanced down at her name tag.  “Thank you, Linda.  Have a great weekend.”

I was no different than the customers before me, with one exception.  I called her by name.  I saw her.  She was known.  I watched the stress lift from her face, her eyes light up, and the corners of her lips turn up into a smile.  I made eye contact with her, smiled back, and went about my day.

She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

Genesis 16:13

The Lord knows you, by name.  You are His, and the Lord is the Good Shepherd, who tends to the needs of His flock.  We may not always understand where our Shepherd is leading us, or why He asked us to wait.  But, he has not forgotten us.  He is the Shepherd, who seeks the one lost sheep.  The Creator who provides for the sparrows of the field.  The Lamb, who was slain for my sins, … your sins.  He gave His life for you that you would be covered by the blood and saved FOR eternity with Him.

When the road is weary, the wait is tiring, and your strength seems to fade, remember His promises.  Wait on Him.

Isaiah 40:28-31

 28Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.

      29He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.

      30Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,

      31Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

Praying knowing the Power of God

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Peter Freed from Prison

But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. 13 He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it.14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!” 15 “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.” 

Acts 12:5,13-15 NLT

This story of Peter is great encouragement on why we should keep praying regardless of what the situation may look like. Herod had just killed James, the brother of John. When Herod saw that killing James made the Jews happy he arrested Peter with the intentions of putting Peter to death too. Peter got arrested during Passover, so he was held in prison. They kept Peter in what we would call a maximum security prison. He also was under heavy guard so escaping was not an option. The Church knew that Herod’s plan was to kill Peter. They began to intercede on Peter’s behalf praying earnestly for him.

It’s important to understand what earnestly means because this is essential in prayer. According to Dictionary.com earnestly means:

  1. serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous
  2. showing depth and sincerity of feeling
  3. seriously important; demanding or receiving serious attention

This means that they were praying for a purpose, sincerity, and serious intention. They were pleading for a move of God to set Peter free. They knew that this was a situation in which only God had the power to provide a resolution. 

While they were praying, an angel of the Lord came to free Peter. Peter thought it was a vision then he realized that the Lord had sent an angel and saved him from Herod. Peter then went to the home of Mary, the same place where the Church gathered to pray for Peter. Peter knocked on the door, and Rhoda was amazed. How could Peter be at the door? Instead of opening the door Rhoda ran with excitement to tell everyone that Peter was there. They were all in disbelief and thought she was crazy because they were praying for Peter. Peter kept knocking, and they finally opened the door, and they were overjoyed and amazed at how God answered their prayer.

Peter’s story shows us the power of prayer. No matter what your situation looks like nothing is too hard for the Lord. I urge you to keep asking, keep praying and believe that God is able! As in Acts 12 literally, while you’re praying the answer may show up at your front door, and you too will bask in the incredible power of our Lord. What a mighty God we serve!

Prayer: Lord you’re mighty and worthy of all the praise. Father, we ask that you increase our prayer life that we may pray earnestly. Allow us to pray with expecting hearts. Let us not limit you Father God. We know that you are a God, who can do all things. I pray that we open the door when you answer our prayers. Let us continually lift the body of Christ in prayer by interceding for one another. It’s in the precious name of Jesus that we pray and give thanks, Amen.

I want God to Hear my prayer!

I want God to hear m prayer!

How do I pray and know God hears me? I honestly have to remind myself of the answer  sometimes when it seems like God isn’t there. The great thing about the God we serve is that He is always there, and He has not left us without direction. God has provided us an entire operations manual about life, The Holy Bible! The More that we read God’s Word, the more we will understand and learn what God expects from us.

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25

Forgive We can’t expect God to forgive us of our sin if we don’t forgive others.(Matt 6:14-15) It’s also important that we try to resolve any conflicts with someone who may be upset with us. The Bible says in Matthew 5:23-25 if someone is angry or upset with us we must go to them and try to resolve the situation before we come to God. So if someone gets offended by something that you did or if you had a blowout with a neighbor make things right with that person. We don’t want anything blocking our prayers and preventing God from answering. If you’re not sure if you’ve done something to offend someone, I would recommend asking God to bring it to your remembrance so you can make it right. Doing this is a humbling experience because sometimes people get offended even when you think you have done nothing wrong. Before approaching that person ask God for the strength to be gentle, loving, kind, and patient with that person.

“We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.” John 9:31

Confess All Sin It’s important that we confess all sin to God and ask Him for help. Let Him know that you want to change and you need His help to live a life free from sin. It’s important that we humble ourselves before God and honestly check our lifestyle and actions.

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” Hebrews 5:7

Reverence God Humble yourself when you come before God. Acknowledge Him for who He is. Tell God how powerful and mighty He is and how thankful you are for His grace and mercy. The book of Revelation helps me to remember who God is. I think about how God’s described and that the angels in Heaven are worshiping Him this very moment, and it humbles me.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6

Thank God Tell God what you need and thank Him for what He has done. Make sure you thank God for the things that He is already doing and has already done. Don’t be ungrateful! We all have a reason to thank God. He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins so that we could have eternal life. We should never stop thanking and praising God for that!

If you’re asking for something in prayer, let God know how what you’re asking for will bring Him glory. This helps prevent the “I want because I want prayers”. I urge you to memorize Scriptures. This will allow you to claim the promises of God in prayer. For tips on how to learn Scriptures Click Here.

It’s important that when we pray we have:

  • Forgiven others and have tried to resolve all grievances.
  • Confessed our sin
  • We thank God for all the things that He has done for us.
  • Most importantly, we must reverence God for who He is and come humbly before Him.

These steps do not guarantee that God will answer your prayer on your timing or at all. God is sovereign, and He knows what we need and when we need it. These steps can help make sure we are in right standing with God before we make requests to Him.

Are We really living for Christ?

Living for God 
 
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect”
Romans 12:1-2 NLT 

What is sacrifice?

The surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having higher or more pressing claim. (Dictionary.com, 2014)

The Bible says that we need to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. Meaning we have to live for Christ. We need to make it a habit to consult God in the choices we make.

I faced a tough decision recently and was unclear on what choice to make. Terrified of making the wrong choice. I wanted God to audibly tell me what to do. I had to make a choice and doing nothing was not an option. So I prayed a prayer of desperation.  I came to the Lord and said “Father you know my heart and that my desire is to please you. This is a tough decision and I want to make sure that I am moving in the direction that you would have me to go. Please give me discernment and a peace that surpasses all understanding around the right choice.”  I’ll be honest I still didn’t feel like I knew what to do. So I made my choice based on what would bring God the most glory. The choice that would allow me to serve the Lord the best way possible. Looking back I see that God’s silence allowed me to remember what I’ve learned about Him and apply it. Had I been looking in a worldly perspective it’s likely I would have made a completely different choice. Sacrificing my will for the will of God truly gave me peace. Psalms 32:10 tells us that we’re protected by the Lord.

Knowing the promises of God helped me make a tough decision. It’s important that we stand on the promises of God and speak them over our lives. Know that if you make choices to glorify God He will protect you and give you peace! He will not put more on you than you can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13) All things are possible through Christ who gives us strength. (Philippians 4:13)

If you’re in a situation where you’re not sure what the right choice is, tell God! Let him know why you’re apprehensive about preceding and ask Him for discernment and peace around the right choice. 

Prayer: Father God you’re more than worthy of all the praise and honor. We thank you, Lord, for being our protector, comforter, and provider. Father, we believe but, help our unbelief. Let us consult you and follow your direction in the choices we make. Provide us with discernment. Teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Protect us from the evil one Father God. We love you, praise you and worship you. It’s in the matchless name of  Jesus we pray Amen.

You gotta have faith!

Gotta Faith 
  
“Take control of what I say, O  lord,
and guard my lips.
Don’t let me drift toward evil
or take part in acts of wickedness.
Don’t let me share in the delicacies
of those who do wrong.” Psalm 141:3-4 NLT
 

 I love this Psalm written by David; it shows the power of prayer! This Psalm is written by David, and if you read Psalm 141, you can see it’s a prayer for safe keeping from wickedness.  I’m sure we have all been in situations where we have wanted to say or do something that we knew was contrary to God’s will. Sometimes it can seem as if people just want to test out your faith by pushing your buttons. David is my encouragement in those moments. I look at the life of David, and I see a man who truly had a relationship with God. David knew he could not go through life without God. He needed the power of God to help him in those tight situations. We can truly appreciate David’s example of relying on God in situations cannot handle in our power.

Can you imagine showing the love of God to someone who talks about you behind your back but, smiles in your face? Someone who attempts to slander your character with lies? What about someone who steals from you? What about someone who hates you enough to kill you?

I believe that the prayer in Psalms 141 was during the time where David was on the run from Saul, who was trying to kill him. Saul was very jealous of David. During his time on the run, David had two opportunities to kill Saul. Even David’s men were encouraging him to kill Saul. Their theory, God, was delivering Saul into David’s hands for payback. However, David being a man of God refused to kill Saul even though Saul was trying to kill him. This prayer in Psalms 141 could have been what helped David remain faithful to God and not kill His anointed one. We also see how God protected David during this time because Saul never captured David. God is faithful. He will provide. David’s story is proof that God will answer prayer and provide in our hour of need.

I thank Jesus for dying for our sins and sending us the comforter who can help us be like David when we run into trouble. Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) tells us about the fruits of the Spirit. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  We should be excited this means we don’t have to rely on our strength when faced with trials and tribulations. Galatians 5:22-23 is another one of my favorite passages in the Bible, it’s so encouraging! It reminds us that we are human and apart from God we are imperfect.

We can all recall a time when we found it hard if not impossible in our strength to love or be gentle with someone, remain joyful in the midst of pure chaos and confusion, show kindness to someone whom you may not like, or maybe you’re like me and struggle with patience. I have good news; God will provide! So next time you’re in a situation where you see yourself lacking in one of these areas before you react pray! Ask God for the strength through the Holy Spirit to overcome the situation. As with David God will give you the strength to overcome!

Prayer:  Father God, we just want to thank you, Lord, for your protection, faithfulness, and guidance Lord. You’re so worthy of all the praise and glory. Guard the words of our mouth oh Lord and let us not partake in evilness. We thank you, Father, for the fruit of the Spirit that allows us to get through trying situations. Please remove anything in us that’s not of you Father. Continue to mold us Father into the faithful Christian men and women you’ve called us to be. It’s in the precious name of Jesus that we pray and give thanks. Amen.

Are you worried about the wrong things?

Worried
 

Martha and Mary

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

This passage speaks volumes, it truly does! There is so much to learn here. Jesus came into Martha’s home. Upon His arrival, it seems that Mary, Martha’s sister was in awe of Jesus’s presence and wanted to spend every second soaking Him up. While Martha worried about making everything perfect for Jesus while He was there, and she soon became overwhelmed. If Jesus came to your home now what would you do? Would you be trying to clean, cook and get everything right? Or would you be sitting at His feet focused on Him? If you’re a neat freak like me always cleaning before you have company, and like to have everything things in order for your guest, these questions could be hard to answer.I reflected on these verses, and I could see how this story reflected different areas and seasons of my life. At times, we feel as though we have to get things right and in order before we can come to God and sit in his presence. For example, we may feel like we strayed from the path God had set for us; now things have fallen apart, and we feel obligated to put things back together before going to God.  The fact is things are in such disorder because we worry about the wrong things!

Come to God with all of your mess; especially when you’ve strayed. God knows that we will stumble. We can’t be fruitful in life without Him! He takes joy in being our restorer. Don’t let the enemy play with your mind and have you feeling like you can’t come to God ANYTIME, ANY HOUR! I like to think of being overwhelmed or upset as God using my frustration as an opportunity to say: “Tomasa, Tomasa, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.” The truth is things don’t become right or fall into place until we submit to God’s will for our life. God wants us to come as we are so He can perfect us! We are mere humans, and nothing we do alone will be good enough for our God! (Isaiah 55:8-9, John 4)

Have a lot on your mind? Are you confused about your purpose or identity? Are things just not going as you would have hoped? Do you feel overbooked with tasks? Or maybe you can’t put your finger on what’s wrong but know things aren’t right?  If so stop and sit at the Lords’ feet in silence and relax. Let Him renew you and make you whole! Let Him declutter your life and organize your comings and goings. If we stay consistent and focus on Him, He will supply and take care of our needs!(Matthew 11:28-29) The Lord loves you, and if you chase after Him with all your heart, he will not leave you with a need or worry!

Prayer: Lord God, let me not worry about the wrong things. Let me come to you wholeheartedly and put You first in all I do. Comfort me in knowing that if you are my center, you will protect me. If I place you first in all things, you will bless the rest. I am nothing without you, Lord. In Jesus precious name I pray, Amen.

Some Related Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:4, Jeremiah 29:11-14, Matthew 11:28-29,John 14:27, Proverbs 1:33, Romans 10:9