“Not so, my Lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. (1 Samuel 1:13)
Do you find yourself going through life just managing to keep it together, to keep yourself in? Have you ever found yourself scared of what would happen if you simply let it all out? Imagine a lake filled with water but that water never moves. It becomes stagnant, filled with bacteria. The water is vile and breeds all kinds of diseases.
This is what often times happens to our soul. We keep everything in so long that our souls begin to breed the diseases, of bitterness, distrust, selfishness, and the list goes on. We try to so hard to keep everything together that we soon find that we are not giving anything to anyone. Then we wonder why no one gives to us.
What we do in times when we have been hurt define us. How we react can make a lasting impact on the state of our souls, affecting our whole life and those we love. A lot of us end up blaming God, or those of us who are more passive aggressive simply choose to ignore his presence. But there are the few who do choose to still remember him and remember that he is good no matter what our circumstances look like.
There was a woman in the bible named Hannah who was one of the few. She was deeply hurt because she remained barren for years while her sister-wife had plenty of children. At this moment Hannah had a choice, she could have blamed God and turned away from God but she didn’t. Hannah went before the Lord and begin to pour out her soul before him. She did poured herself out to the point Eli, the prophet, thought she was drunk.
God heard her when she poured out and gave her a son named Samuel. This son became a prophet for the nation of Israel and anointed King David who the lineage of Jesus would be traced back to.
Her decision to pour out allowed God to fulfill the desires of her heart and also to carry forth his plan of salvation for the world.
Today, I want to challenge you to stop holding everything in before the Lord. Whatever you hold back and don’t allow to flow out of you will begin to breed bacteria in your soul. When you decide to pour it out, God will heal the barrenness of your life and give you the desires of your heart. Your pouring out is the catalyst for God’s will to be done in the earth.
Hold nothing back! Live a life poured out before him!
Written By: Danielle O'Neil @danielleoneil.com
We find five powerful words that describe Jesus Christ in Isaiah 9:6. Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. Reflect today on Jesus Christ as Everlasting Father. We know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God yet He is of the Father. The everlasting father!
As Everlasting Father Jesus Christ Is one with the Father and they are from everlasting to everlasting. Jesus is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. There is no time in eternity. Time is an earthly measurement. So what does this mean for us? Simply, the Jesus Christ sees us through His blood and His plans for us are not limited to time. As Father He cares for us, is concerned about every area of our lives.
Perhaps you are reading this devotion today and you did not have a positive earthly father. Take a moment and release all the hurt and pain from that horrible experience. Ask Jesus Christ to come in and fill the lonely empty places of your heart and soul. Take a few deep breathes and say JESUS, JESUS, JESUS.... You will begin to feel His presence. Listen to the song below and worship. Begin to call out the name of Jesus!!
We find five powerful words that describe Jesus Christ in Isaiah 9:6.
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. Today ponder these words and take a moment to consider areas and/or situations in your life where Jesus Christ has been Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.
Let’s look at the word "Wonderful." Wonderful; Jesus Christ is full of wonder! He performed miracles that made people wonder. Luke 11:14 Time and time again we can see in our lives where Jesus has done things that are wonderful!!
Take a moment and reflect on times in your life when God performed a "wonder" in your life. Confess, Praise Him for it, write it out and put it somewhere like your mirror or the refrigerator. All during this "wonderful" Christmas season thank Him every day for being "wonderful!"
ADVENT DEVOTION – HOPE
The first candle of Advent signifies HOPE. As we light the candle of hope we are reminded of the faith of our ancestral fathers and mothers of the faith – the ancient patriarchs. About 4000 years ago God called Abram from the land of Iraq and said, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).
Abram heard the call and responded in faith. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for; the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going… for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:8-10).
The blessing of Abraham is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. In Christ all the families of the earth may be blessed. Like Abraham we journey as strangers in a foreign land. Like Abraham we hope for that which we cannot see. We hope for the healing of humanity. We hope for the resurrection from the dead and eternal life. We eagerly await the blessed hope – the appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Like Abraham we hope for a city – the New Jerusalem, a new heavens and a new earth.
written by: Daniel Tomberlin @ http://www.danieltomberlin.net/
The Anticipation of Jesus Christ Coming-The Advent
Advent simply means the arrival or coming of something. As we begin the Christmas season let us be expecting the arrival of Jesus Christ! No doubt Jesus came to earth over 2000 years ago. Luke 2 recounts this wonderful entrance of baby Jesus who lived on earth for 33 years before dying on a cross for OUR sins. Jesus is coming to earth again! We find in Revelation 1:7 that He is coming again!
He came and He is coming! This is great new BUT He COMES! Each and every day in our lives we should be expecting Jesus Christ to come in our lives. He comes with His love, peace and joy. He comes through the smiles and laughter of those we love. He comes by providing and protecting us. There are so many ways He comes every day in our lives.
As we begin the journey to Christmas, the Advent, let us ponder and proclaim the ways we are anticipating Jesus Christ coming into our lives this wonderful Christmas season.
How to Find God’s Will for Your Life
One of the age old questions of the young and the old concerning life has always been, “What is God’s will for my life?”. There have been many books, blogs, and sermons preached yet the question in many of hearts remains unanswered. Why is this?
I believe it is because it is vague and vague makes us uncomfortable. I don’t know about you but I would love a list of ten ways to find God’s will. The bottom line is that God’s will can’t be found by checking off a to-do list.
How can God’s will be found then? There is an obvious answer that comes to mind, pray. While this is absolutely true, it is still vague. I believe that what is at the root of the most ministers instruction to read the bible and to pray is really them telling us to get back to the basics. Before, a builder can build a house the foundation must be laid.
Honestly, I find myself wanting more words from God telling me a specific action to take rather than living out what has already been given to me in his word. Maybe the reason God stays silent for so long is because we fail to obey his initial commands. His word even tells us over and over again in the gospels that a wicked and adulterous generation looks for signs but none will be given except the sign of Jonah. Instead of looking for more words, maybe it is time to live out what has been given and what has been spoken.
I can’t give a list of ten ways to find God’s will for your life but I can list out principles and directives that are already laid out in his word:
1. Love God
This sounds simple and begs the question of why I would even list this. The reason I put this on the list is because I find myself shamefully forgetting it to often. How in the world can I or anyone else find the will of God for their lives if they are not loving God with everything they have. In fact, ultimately this is the will of God for all of our lives. More than anything he wants us to be in relationship with him. I feel that when we come to him rattling off every question we can think of concerning our lives, he just sits with his hands pressed to his face, shaking his head, saying, “If you only knew I just want to love you right now and I just want you to love me. You’re worried about all the wrong things. If you would come and talk to me my voice would be very clear and you would know me so well that you would know the answer before you could ask it.” If you are struggling with the will of God for your life, start spending time with him. If you look into your heart and honestly don’t desire to then ask him to give you that desire. One of the most powerful prayers I have ever prayed is, “God I want to want you.”
2. Love People
1 John 4:7-8 tells us to love one another because everyone who loves has been born of God but whoever does not love does not know God. John 3:16 tells us that it was because God so loved the world that he sent Jesus to come down and die on the cross for us. God’s will, his desire, his heart cry is people. What consumes the heart and actions of God? People. God’s will is for us to be like him, to care about what he cares about. There is no way to find God’s will if one is not walking in love. One could be the greatest preacher, missionary, teacher, evangelist, or writer but if they are not loving on the people that they are around everyday they are missing the will of God.
What I’m trying to say is that there is that it does not matter what you do if you are not loving God and people it is a one-hundred percent guarantee that you are not in the will of God. On the other hand, if you are pursuing God with all you have and you are loving people there is no way that you can miss the will of God for your life.
Stop worrying and Start loving.
Written By: Danielle O’Neil @danielleoneil.com
Fear and Decisions
Through life, we encounter several significant moments that interrupt our day-to-day flow of things. I like to call these interruptions catalysts. There’s no doubt you’ve experienced these moments in your life. They may come in the form of an email, phone call, a thought, an idea or maybe you just read or saw something that sparked your passion. It was something that interrupted the normal process of your life that caused you to reflect and even rethink the direction of your life. You meditate on that moment and think about the possibility of pursuing what the catalyst started. Before you know it, you might be standing at a crossroads of a new adventure and a decision to accept. One thing is sure, you’re experiencing one familiar feeling – fear.
Fear is the one universal factor that everyone experiences at the point of decision. We fear because we feel that one single decision will determine the rest of our lives. We feel that if we make the wrong choice, we’ll never be able to recover from that decision and we’ll be stuck in a cycle of failure.
This is simply not true. Our lives are composed of several decisions made over a lifetime, and no one on earth gets it right every time. As soon as we understand that making decisions is a natural part of the journey and that failure is detrimental only if we allow it to be, we can begin to live effective stories and journeys.
So, how do we overcome the fear we face at decisions?
Here’s a few encouraging ways that will help you move forward.
Think through what life will look like if you do make the decision. Think about your life as if you had already made the decision. Would your life look the way that God intended? Does committing to the decision honor the divine design in you? The key here is to find whether your decision will steer you away from what God designed you to do. Your God given mission may change with this decision, be sure that it’s changed how God would want it changed.
Once you commit, stay committed. Once you’ve determined that the decision is the right one to make – commit to it. Many people say that they’ll do something, but never follow through, so the crucial component is to stay committed to what you have decided to do. Be encouraged in this process and rest assured that God is leading and guiding you through this transitional season.
Finally, Trust God. If you’re committed to following God with all your heart, then He will be faithful to direct and guide your path. This is His divine promise to us. Stay focused and committed on your newfound path, and trust God to lead and guide you even through the rough things. He is continually shaping, molding and changing you to become His perfect masterpiece.
Decisions can often bring a fear component with them – don’t let it paralyze you. I hope these few thoughts have encouraged you today and perhaps affirmed you to take the new adventure and trust God.
Written by Dr. Kent Ingle @ kentingle.com
Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. James 5:7 NIV
If you prayed today, and asked God for it not to rain would you believe him to do it? Elijah did and God did it. What we pray reveals what we believe about God. In fact even when we do not pray, that reveals what we believe about him.
Elijah believed that God cared about him enough to provide all of his needs. He believed that if he prayed according to God’s will that God would answer him. What are you praying for today? What do you believe about God?
Today, be reassured that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. The difference between Elijah and most of us is his closeness to God. The power of prayer is only dependent upon God. Therefore, the way to pray effectively is to gain closer proximity to him everyday.
Rest in the fact that the power of your prayer is not dependant on you but on God!
Written By: Danielle O’Neil @danielleoneil.com
…” Don’t be afraid, Just believe.”
In today’s world, there are lots of dangers and tragedies. All one has to do is look in a newspaper, turn on a TV, or talk to a neighbor to hear of the injustices going on in the world. In all honesty I have been discouraged, hoarded everything I have, and looked at the world and said in mind, “It is dead. What can we really do? Let’s stop bothering God about it, and pray to him for things that can actually be fixed.” “Why try to fix the things that are dead?” “Let’s direct our focus to the things that are living.”
Then I found that there were people with attitudes just like mine in the word. When a synagogue leader named Jairus came to Jesus and had him go to his daughter so that he may heal her, the other leaders said,”Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher anymore?” Jesus replied to Jairus, “ Do not be afraid; just believe.”
I would like to encourage you not to have an attitude that says, “Well this is dead so there is nothing I can do.” I also want to encourage you that if people are saying that about a certain situation in your life not to be afraid and to believe in God.
Just because something is dead does not mean God can’t restore it and bring it back to life. Do not be afraid to ask God. Just believe.
From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Have you ever felt discouraged in your walk with Christ because it seems like no matter how hard you try your life is not filled with the fruit of the spirit? Have you ever thought to yourself I prayed for x amount of time today and nothing in my life has changed? When I am going to see the harvest of God’s blessing?
Proverbs 18:20 tells us that from the fruit of our mouth our stomach is filled; with the harvest of our lips we are satisfied. In order for our bellies to be full and to reap a harvest of blessing, we must speak blessing. The truth of the matter is no matter how hard we pray if our speech does not change we will never see the blessing God intends for our life. Verse 21 tells us that the tongue has the power of life and death. In order for us to have God’s best, we must speak life. Speaking life means changing our speech from negativity, gossip, and slander to positivity, encouragement, and support. You can pray all day long but if you are speaking death (cutting yourself and others down) you will never see the harvest of God. Speak life today!