"...How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing" (NIV) - Matthew 23:37
“..How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!" (ESV) Matthew 23:37
Prayer: Lord, you are a marvelous! Show me what you are saying to me in this verse. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen!
What a verse! It's amazing how God continually shows us through Scripture how loving and kind hearted He is.
The thing is, fam, if we wanted to paint a picture of God as this big-mean guy waiting to say something or be mean to us, we'll definitely find it when we read Scripture because we'll be picking out what we want to see.
There are two things I'd love to share with you before we start:
1. Please read my last article about Scripture being God-breathed. There, I encouraged you to start reading the Word like a love letter. God is for you and not against you!
2. Also, when you read, pray first and ask God and the Holy Spirit to come lead you, help you, and to speak to you (i.e. give you revelation). We do have a flesh so sometimes we can go to Scripture and interpret it in our own way, when really all God is showing us is that He loves us. I guess my point here is this: be faith-based, not fear-based when you read the Bible. Each time I head to Scripture and it's something that brings fear, I'm like..hmmm okay God, this feeling is not from you, i.e. I'm not interpreting this right, you are not here to condemn me / put me down / this isn't your nature so I'll ask You about it instead. Like I said last time, if there is any discipline from our Abba, He does so in a loving and kind way. He is a God of grace, doing so to help you, and to build you up.
K! Now onto the message!
I have to confess, I felt like this really needed to be said. I felt a heavy burden to tell people that God loves them very much and wanted them to know that He is a gentle God. God hears you when you cry out to Him.
This verse is one out of a ton that demonstrates God's nature.
The Savior is always showing His tender love to us.
Tender means showing gentleness and concern or sympathy.
He is gentle, tender and sympathetic with us. He empathizes with us when we hurt. He is not here to hurt us or condemn us.
Looking at the definition of tender, the dictionary also defined it as 'not rough'.
Jesus is not rough.
If anything, He is the most gentle person you will ever know.
Think of Someone who was pushed in a crowd, touched, used, abused, and still in the end lay there saying no harsh words or continued with what He promised to do.
That's the awesome God we serve. :)
Also, remember when Paul continued walking and got back up in Acts 14:19-20? Paul was telling the people in Lystra that God never left Himself without testimony. Some Jews came and stoned Paul. They even dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead - it was brutal. But what did Paul do? He got back up and went back into the city, and the next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe (another city).
Those were qualities of Jesus. That was Jesus in Paul!
We know it's Jesus because no one in their carnal mind would ever get stoned and STILL get back up and continue the work of spreading the message of Jesus Christ! It's a miracle! We praise the Lord!
It's stuff like this that's all around us.
There are qualities of Jesus all around you. He manifests Himself to you in every way possible to show you kindness, and love. He manifests Himself to show you that He is capable, He is able, He is yours and His promises are so true and will never stop demonstrating them to you. And that includes comfort - comforting you.
Allow God's tender Hands to let the eyes of your heart be opened.
Dear child, stop hurting.
Jesus wants to show you that He loves you and He cares for you and that He wants to protect you through it all. He wants to protect you through it all.
Like a hen protects her chicks, the Father protects His, under His glorious wings.
Do you know who your Father is?
He is a gentle God, a gentle God waiting to show you that He loves you.
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10). Amen
Challenge: For the next 30 days, could you read a verse a day about God's love for you and meditate on it? See what it says and ask God to speak to you through it. :)
Life's circumstances will come and go, but God's love will remain the same. :)
Jesus loves you no matter what.
Song: Listen to: "You Are For Me" - by Kari Jobe
You might be wondering what Scripture is for? (I.e. what is the text in the Bible actually for?) Well, hopefully this verse can help us learn some more!
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work" -2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)
It is breathed out by God. How amazing is that! It can be used for a number of things: to teach, to reproof, to correct, and train in righteousness.
It does this for a number of things:
1. For Profit :)
It is to profit you. It's not here to condemn you or 'catch' you at every mistake. If anything, any type of 'catching' is for good discipline, as the Lord says, He disciplines those He loves (Proverbs 3:12). We may not like it at the time, but in the end we'll rejoice and know why! (Remember how God is sovereign?)
We also remember that God only knows how to give good gifts to His children, so He won't let anything fall by you or come to you that's not going to profit you or the situation (and even if the enemy tries anything, God will still use it for good: "all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them"-Romans 8:28).
2. So we may be complete, equipped for every good work.
This reminds me of David, who, before he was to go face Goliath the giant, acknowledged that the armor Saul gave him (although seemingly strong from the outside) was not what he was used to (1 Samuel: 17:39). In that moment, and instead, David used what was in front of him, and what he knew best).
Connecting this in the context of The Bible, the Word is what is in front of us, and from it we have our own armor that has been proved to work best (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Fam, along the way, it will help us make good choices, especially for that good work ;-)
"Oh breath of God come breathe within."
Maybe this song from Hillsong will guide you as well :)
Prayer: Thank you God that Your Word is this powerful! I know that you will guide me throughout the way, but help me to soak up in Scripture so I may be diligent, equipped, complete for every good work. Thank you Father, thank you. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.
P.S. Will you read your Bible like a love letter to you? Try it this week! I encourage you! :) Tell me how it goes! God bless you!
Yesterday we spoke about how God is Sovereign, that Jesus is a Friend who is able to save, and is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother.
Today we'll continue to touch on His sovereignty and how He is there through any storm.
"Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you" -Psalm 119:91 (Emphasis mine).
All things serve Him.
To endure means to stick through, to remain in existence.
Before this verse, it says, "Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures." Psalm 119:90.
His faithfulness continues through, it says. You see, to go through something is different going by.
If you say to someone "I'll go through it with you", you mean that you will be actively engaging with them in the process, not just being passive. That's what His faithfulness does, it continues through ALL things.
Psalm 119:90 says that He established the earth and it endures, it stands (as opposed to the ever changing things around us).
I remember one time a scientist gave his opinion by saying that he was amazed at how the earth was positioned and that he if it were to move an inch to any side, he believed it would disrupt the formation of the earth, planets etc.
Whether his claim was true or not, one thing I know is that scientists can't fully scientifically explain away all the reasons of how the earth is where it is, how it's position is there, how it is sustained (yes, we know gravity...but you know what I mean). They can calculate how the earth is held up, or that if it moves an inch, it could fall down...but even if we had ALL the calculations, GOD is still in control.
Remember how I posted about how God knows when one sparrow is about to go down?
*light bulb moment* Yea..I know.
Imagine for us, how much more for us, who are created in His image! How much more!! Amen!
Know that God is sovereign over all, and He loves us very so very much.
Because of the Lord's great promises, we can endure until the end.
A Few Things:
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Fam, I have a question. Do you think God sustains you?
To be sovereign means to have unlimited control over all.
I'm currently learning about God's Sovereignty, and how Sovereign He is over all. I can't remember the exact moment that prompted it, but it was some time during the oh so fabulous storm I went through, which taught me to just seek out God in terms of knowing that He truly is Sovereign and that I did not need to fear.
I had written on my Facebook page some time during that time, that nothing created could limit God, nor His plan/purpose for our life.
God created all things, so how can anything possibly overcome Him? And we are His aren't we? So if we are His, how can anything possibly overcome us with the power that is within us?
Didn't death lose it's sting centuries ago?
It lost it's sting.
I feel like someone needs to be encouraged about this, and so do I! :)
Sometimes we forget that God has power. Unlimited power. Sovereignty, rule over all things.
I say this because we're human, and we go through life, often forgetting whose we are, needing to be reminded over and over again...but that's life, isn't it?
So here's another reminder, family:
He's in control.
"In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will." -Ephesians 1:11 (Emphasis mine).
The verse says ''for the purpose of His will"...it's HIS Will, and HIS plan, so He's in control.
We are also promised that:
"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right Hand of the Majesty in Heaven." Hebrews 1:3 (Emphasis mine).
To sustain is to strengthen or support physically or mentally.
Fam, do you think God sustains you?
To sustain is to also bear the weight without breaking or falling.
I said, it is to bear the weight. Without breaking, or falling.
Hebrews 1:3 also mentions how Jesus is the exact representation of God. They are One.
That's how Sovereign God is.
He is able to come to earth, conquer death, and rise on the third day so He could break the curse, and call us His own.
He wants us to trust Him, know Him, not just every day, but every moment of the day that we're in as well.
It also says that He sustains all things by His powerful word (i.e. His command, His voice)
Fam, His commands, his word sustains all things.
Philippians 3:20-21 says that "Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body." (Emphasis mine).
"So how is Jesus able to save me?" you ask?
See, He, (Jesus) is able to do what the above verse says because He is the exact representation of God, and thus He has been given the power that can bring everything under His control.
Note, it says that "by the power that enables Him to..."
Key word: Enables.
There is a story about the paralytic in Mark 2:1-12 where Jesus tells the paralytic: "Son, your sins are forgiven."
After He says that, the pharisees think in their hearts: "Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
It then says, "Immediately Jesus knew in his Spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them,“Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?" -Mark 2:8-9
In those days, it was possible for people to "perform" (for a lack of a better word) healing practices, but it would have been an abomination for someone to go around saying, "you are forgiven" because it would mean that they were implying that they were God.
You see, If Jesus was not the Son of God, He would not have been given (enabled to have) the power to heal by God's grace. Jesus showed that not only was He able to forgive the man's sins, but AFTER he forgave Him, He could still miraculously heal him because His Father had enabled Him to do it.
Right after verse 10, it says, "But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” Mark 2:10-12 (Emphasis mine).
My point is this: Jesus, being One with God, is our Savior at all times, and He has the authority on earth, which mirrors Philippians 3:21 where it says, that He also has the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control.
His Sovereignty is powerful. My friends, it is powerful, powerful indeed.
Side note for those needing extra encouragement :)
The other day, I prayed and heard God say, "Best Friends."
Remember that He is our Friend, a Friend that sticks closer than a brother. So no matter what, through the highs and lows, He is there, sticking closer than a brother.
A Few Items on the List:
1. If you would like to receive a newsletter with new posts, encouragement, and updates, you may subscribe here.
2. I would love to join you in prayer to our Wonderful God! If you have any prayer requests, please send them here.
3. If you have some time, please check out this lovely lyric video of a lovely song by Francesca Battistelli. Speak to your Abba and say, "Lord, Write your story on my heart..I surrender to You, let your Will be done, I'm all Yours Abba, All yours. Amen :-) "
"And you also were included in Christ when you head the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Having believed in Him you were marked in Him with a seal, the Promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession –to the praise of His glory." Ephesians 1:13 -14
Fam, the battles will come and go, and the enemy will try to tell you that 'you're not Saved' or 'you're alone in all this', and any other lie that he can conjure up to help you lose hope. But we know that there is always hope. In Christ Jesus, there is always hope. Amen.
We are promised in His Mighty Word, of who we are, and WHOSE we are. He shows us when we're lost, and when we are tired, that we are His, Predestined, Saved, Loved, and having believed in Him, MARKED, for life. Not for now, but life. WE are His :) Amen!
"He chose us in Him before the creation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight." Ephesians 1:4
He chose us in Him, and in Him alone.
"In LOVE He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will" -Ephesians 1:5.
When people are adopted, it is impossible to un-adopt them. It's not even legal to do that.
Adoption means that He can't give us up. Ever.
So you think, why isn't He here then?
I assure you, He also hears your cries.
"The Lord is King for ever and ever, the nations will perish from His land. You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more" Psalm 10:16-18
You are protected. Your Father is your protector, your voice, your portion and your strength.
I had been through a storm, and my Abba wanted to remind me that I was His, and I need not believe the lies of the enemy. At times we may not feel Him, but He is still there. It's not based on feelings, but really knowing who our Abba is. Who He says He is, and how He faithfully continues to show us this by reaching out to us everyday. During a storm we can often forget this because we are caught up in the moment.
As I read this verse the other day, I felt my Abba say to me: "I adopted you when you were 19"
(As some of you may know, I became a Christian at 19).
Friend, you were forever welcomed into the family of God when you became a Christian, the heavens celebrated like no other, and nothing, no one, no circumstance, can ever take that way. Remember whose you are and that you are forever is.
"I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand"
Is a girl who fell deeply in love with Jesus,