April 17, 2014

Easter Guided Quiet Time from My Heart to Yours

Easter Quiet Time

Guided Abiding Time with Jesus 

 

Easter is such a precious time in our faith. One of my favorite ways to celebrate is to simply sit and soak in God’s Word. Below please find a message from my heart that I pray tenderly leads you to a sacred meeting place with Jesus in the Holy of Holies tucked inside your heart. There are no rules…you can do it in one sitting or over several days.

Hear the Word of the Lord

Psalm 33:1-11

Donna'sCross

Praise our Abba Father…

a. Psalm 27:4

 

b. Psalm 84

 

c. Psalm 90:1-2

 

d. Psalm 145, especially 14, 17-20

 

e. Isaiah 43:1-7

 

Do you know He has called you by name, created you for His glory? Do you know He and He alone is your dwelling place? Journal your thoughts.

 

See how great is the love of God…

a. Isaiah 1:18 and Isaiah 53:1-12

 

b. Psalm 51

 

c. Psalm 139

 

d. John 8:36

 

e. Romans 8:1

 

f. 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

g. 1 John 1:8-9

 

 Spend a few moments praising God and receive the unfailing love of our awesome God.  Journal your thoughts.

John 3.16image

Our Savior’s sacrifice…

Jesus Christ… the Son of God…the Author of Life…the Anointed, Chosen One, stepped out of heaven and into our earthly realm, choosing to leave His honored place in heaven.  He was born into poverty.  He learned obedience.  He was hated by His own people, ridiculed and persecuted.  His own creation arrested Him, stripped Him naked, and forced a crown of thorns into His head.  They beat Him and knelt before Him, mocking: “Hail, King of the Jews.”

When He was so weak He could barely stand, they forced Him to the ground and onto the cross.  They stretched out His arms and drove nails into His hands and feet.  His blood poured forth onto the ground.  Upon crucifying Him, they divided His clothes and kept watch over Him through the night. As He hang dying, many stood at the base of the cross hurling insults at Him, mocking Him.

After hours of agony, darkness fell over the land.  Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me!”  At that moment, the curtain of the Temple ripped in two from top to bottom.  The earth shook, rocks split.  Tombs broke open.  Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands, I commit my Spirit.”  Upon speaking these words, our Lord and Savior breathed His last breath.

God could have stopped this scene. Jesus could have lifted Himself off the cross, but He chose not to because He saw my name.  He saw your name.  He saw my sin.  He saw your sin.  He knew the only price to pay for that sin was death.

 

Jeremiah 31:3

 

Romans 8:38-39

 

Pray this prayer:  Lord, Your Word says the sacrifices You desire are a broken and contrite spirit, and a contrite heart You will not despise. Today, I confess my sin, especially _______________. Thank You that Your Word promises that when I confess my sin, You are faithful and just and will forgive my sin and purify me from all unrighteousness. Thank You that Your blood, the blood You shed on the cross sets me free and Your Word promises that when You set me free, I am free indeed! Thank You that according to Your Word there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Thank You that You see me through the blood of Your Son Jesus. Thank You that all things old are gone and the new has come. Thank You that You have washed me white as snow and that my sins are as far away as the east is from the west! Today I receive Your forgiveness and cannot wait to live in the fullness of all You have to offer. AMEN.

Do you understand the depth of this love God has for you, the depth of the sacrifice He made for you and for me?  Tell Him so now.

 

The gift of new life…

As if forgiveness of sins was not enough, God gave us another gift.

The Resurrection

Three days later, an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, His appearance like lightning, His clothes white as snow.  He rolled back the stone at the tomb.  The tomb was empty!  The angel said, “Jesus of Nazarene, who was crucified.  He has risen!  He is not here.”  After Jesus appeared to His friends, He was taken up to heaven to sit at the right hand of God, His father.

Because of this gift, you and I receive the opportunity for new life and the gift of God’s Holy Spirit.

Read these powerful words from the Lord:

a. Ezekiel 36:26-27

 

b. John 14:16-21

 

c. John 16:13-15

 

d. Galatians 5:22-23

 

e. 2 Timothy 1:7

 

Do you know the joy of having the power and presence of the living God residing within you?  Speak to the Spirit and ask Him to fill you with the fullness of God at this moment, to receive all God has for you.

 

Spend time with the Lord and draw near to His heart…

DrawNeartoGod

a. Proverbs 2:1-15

 

b. Proverbs 4:20-27

 

c. Isaiah 55:1-3, 6

 

d. Hebrews 10:19-25

 

e. Phil 3:7-10

 

What do you need to consider loss, what do you cling to that keeps you from fully surrendering to Christ?  Ask Him to take it from you now.

 

Sit and soak in God’s presence…just you and His Word…

Scripture teaches that one day at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

a. Joshua 1:8-9

 

b. Psalm 1:1-6

 

c. Psalm 63:1-8

 

d. Isaiah 30:15-18

 

e. Isaiah 40:28-31

 

f. Exodus 33:14

 

Close in prayer…

 Thank you, Father, for this precious time to be still and know that You are God.  Father, take this time, bless it, take what I have offered to You, and continually remind me of what You have taught me and spoken to my heart.  To You alone I give all glory, majesty, power, and authority now and forevermore.  Amen

 

My heart fills with gratitude as I thank God for you! You are the most amazing community of women. Thank you for your prayers and your sweet words of encouragement through the years. I pray that each one of you will experience God in very deep, rich and personal ways as you sit at His feet during this Holy week.

If you feel led to share how the Lord speaks to you through your time alone with Him, I would love to hear from you!

March 21, 2014

Does God Really Hear My Prayers?

We Pray So That…..

Happy Friday Morning sweet friends!

I didn’t plan on writing a post this morning, but the Lord prompted my heart to write, so I trust that if God brought you here today, this is a message from His heart to yours!

I thought we would talk a bit about prayer today. I included a chapter in my new book Living So That, entitled “Pray So That,” because I think we often forget what an amazing gift God has given us in prayer.

PraySoThatChapterPage

Does prayer intimidate you?

Do you wonder if God really hears you?

Do you wonder if God’s too busy with more important things so you don’t want to bother Him with your prayers?

I’ve had these thoughts. And at a desperate time in my life, I needed to KNOW if God really heard my prayers…if He really listened…if He really cared. So I began to search His Word on prayer, and He took me on an incredible journey and revealed to me much that I didn’t know.

What a privilege it is to enter into the presence of God and pray.

Did you know in the Old Testament the Israelites had no direct access to God? Jewish law allowed one Israelite, the High Priest, the privilege of direct communication with God. The law gave only him the privilege to enter into the presence of God. And even then he was only allowed access one time a year.

Solomon built God’s temple under the Old Covenant. God directed that the inner chamber include two rooms separated by a heavy veil. One of those rooms was called the Holy of Holies. Once a year Jewish law allowed the High Priest, chosen by God, to enter into the the Holy of Holies to offer up sacrificial prayers for himself and the sins of God’s people. God’s presence resided in that sacred place and only the High Priest had the privilege of entering in.

In the New Testament, under the New Covenant, God changed everything! He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross. Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection gave His people, Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) alike, access to enter in to His presence. Jesus’ death removed the curtain that had separated the heart of God from His people.

Scripture beautifully explains this:

At this point it was about noon, and the darkness fell over the whole region. The darkness persisted until about three in the afternoon, and at some point during this darkness, the curtain in the temple was torn in two. Luke 23:44-45 (The Voice)

The tearing of the curtain served as a powerful symbol revealing that God’s people were no longer separated from His presence. Jesus’ death opened the way for all people to have access to God. They no longer had to go through the High Priest. They no longer had to rely on another’s sacrifice on their behalf. Jesus was the only sacrifice needed for people to meet with God.

Now every believer in Jesus, no matter her past, title, position, or denomination, may enter into God’s presence any time, any place.

This means we can enter into God’s presence on our back porch, in our car, on a walk, at our desk, in our kitchen, in our laundry room, anytime…anywhere. Why? Because WE ARE NOW HIS TEMPLE. He comes to live inside ALL who invite Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior!

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians,

Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who comes from God and dwells inside of you….? 1 Corinthians 6:19 (The Voice).

Listen to the words of the author of Hebrews:

So, my friends, Jesus by His blood gives us courage to enter the most holy place. He has created for us a new and living way through the curtain, that is, through His flesh. Since we have a great High Priest who presides over the house of God, let us draw near with true hearts full of faith, with hearts rinsed clean of any evil conscience, and with bodies cleansed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-22 (The Voice)

Hebrews10verse.Curtain

 

God paid a high price for us to have this gift of prayer. Scripture gives us full assurance that when we pray, God is listening and receiving every word we speak.

Do you exercise this beautiful gift of prayer?

Colossians 4:2 directs…

Pray, and keep praying. Be alert and thankful when you pray. (The Voice)

James 5:16 promises…

Your prayers are powerful when they are rooted in a righteous life. James
5:16 (The Voice)

Concerning prayer, Scripture tells us…

Be still, be calm, see, and understand I am the True God. Psalm 46:10 (The Voice)

If you think your prayers are not important enough. If you think God is too busy. If you wonder if God hears you. If you wonder if He cares. Remember the truths you have learned today. Remember God gave the life of His One and Only Son SO THAT you can enter into His presence and communicate with Him. You are precious and valuable in His sight!

Trust God with your heart. Know you are worthy of His time. He created you and longs to engage with your heart. Come before Him with thanksgiving…praise…confession…questions…doubts..hurts…hopes…dreams.

He is waiting for you!

Let’s start right now! Join me today. Find find a quiet place and pray. Ask the Lord to help you carve out a special time to be with Him each day for the next few days…even if only for a few minutes.

For a sneak peek at Living So That, please sign up for my FREE five-day companion devotion “Five Days to a Faith-Full Life” by clicking here.

If you want to dig deeper into this topic, join us for the Living So That Proverbs 31 online Bible study beginning April 6th! Sign up by clicking here.  

And to purchase a copy of  Living So That, visit the following links:

Proverbs 31 (signed copy if purchase by 3/24)

Amazon (kindle only $2.99 right now!)

LifeWay 

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on prayer today. And if the Lord prompts you over the next few days, stop back by and share what He has spoken to you. I look forward to hearing from you! 

Blessings,

February 19, 2014

Free Devotional: “Five Days to a Faith-Full Life”

If you’re joining us from Encouragement for Today, I’m so thankful you stopped by! Please leave a comment and let me know a bit about yourself. I love making new friends! I’ll choose two names from the comments left between now and  Friday 2/21 to receive a signed copy of my new book, Living So That, hot off the presses.

Living So That March 2014

Living So That: Making Faith-Filled Choices in the Midst of a Messy Life releases on March 4th as part of Thomas Nelson’s Inscribed Collection! To celebrate its release and give you a taste of what the book is about, I’ve written a free five-day companion devotional, “Five Days to a Faith-Full Life.” I would love to share it with you today. Simply sign up below and share with your friends!

Sign-up for Five Days to a Faith-Full Life

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In the short (6 minute) message below, I share a bit more about Living So That.

Living “so that” comes down to choices.

We can make faith-filled choices or we can make faith-less choices.

Faith-less choices come easier and occur when we react quickly out of our emotions and do what comes naturally. They lead to a frazzled, highly charged, chaotic life.

Faith-filled choices are more challenging. They require patience and occur when we react not out of our emotions but out of a Spirit-led heart and mind. They lead to a peaceful, content, more fulfilled life.

I found myself making faith-less choices day in and day out, which often left me feeling like the worst wife, mom, friend, and co-worker. Can you relate?

Tired of feeling unequipped for daily living, I dug into my Bible and discovered two words that have changed the way I read Scripture and live my life: “so that.”  

Living So That dives deeply into God’s Word. Each chapter helps you gain a new perspective on daily living and studies the “so that” Scriptures in the New Testament, covering topics like:

•  Jesus Came So That
•  God Spoke So That
•  Pray So That
•  Trials Come So That
•  Let Your Light Shine So That

You’ll find prayers, biblical teaching, personal stories, application questions, “going deeper” sections, and calls to action to put into practice what you have learned.

To discover all you need to know about Living So That, click here. On this page, you’ll find more information about the book, an invitation to share the free five-day devotional, a link to sign up for the Proverbs 31 Living So That online Bible study, learn what others are saying about LST, find tweets to share, and discover great promotions for bulk purchases of LST for your church and/or small group.

And if you order your copy of Living So That from Proverbs 31 by March 14th, I’ll sign your book! Click here to order your copy today.

Over the next month, we’ll be having fun giveaways to celebrate Living So That‘s release. In fact, over the next few weeks on our Inscribed Facebook page, we’ll be giving away books from the Inscribed Collection, including Living So That. I’ll be hosting our Facebook page next week, so please stop by and visit. You’ll find our page by clicking here.

To be sure you don’t miss anything, visit the right side of my blog and look for the link at the top that says “Sign up to receive Wendy’s blog posts in your e-mail.” Enter your e-mail address in the box and click “subscribe.” Be sure to respond to the confirmation e-mail you’ll receive to confirm your subscription.

Living So That will be part of Thomas Nelson’s newly launched Inscribed Collection of books. To learn more about Inscribed and my fellow authors and their books, click here.

Thanks for taking a few minutes to spend with me today! And don’t forget to sign up for “Five Days to a Faith-Full Life” and leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Living So That!

Blessings,