February 27, 2017

Walk Step by Step in the Light, Part 1 (Winner announced)

It’s hard to come face to face with our sin. The sin that comes because of our fallen nature (because of what happened in the Garden when Eve ate the fruit). It’s especially hard with those sins we commit over and over again. We speak a harsh word. We engage in gossip. We lose our temper. We succumb to fear instead of trusting God. Each time, we tell God we’re sorry and promise we will do better next time.

And we don’t.

It’s a vicious cycle.

On the other side, God’s Word calls us to live in the light.

What does that mean? It requires that our hearts, our actions our words, our thoughts, our values, and even our schedules align with His heart and His character, not with our sinful nature and fallen character.

So much harder said than done.

The good news I celebrate today is that living in the light doesn’t require perfection! Let me repeat those words.

Living in the light does not require perfection.

God does not require perfection.

Let those words sink deep.

Only Jesus is perfect.

God requires repentant hearts. When we sin, He asks that we immediately bring that sin before Him and confess it. When we follow this formula, He forgives us fully and completely.

In 1 John 1:7, John teaches his audience to “walk in the light.” The Voice translation says, “walk step by step in the light.” Jesus is the Light of the World, so walking in the light means walking step by step with Jesus, letting Him lead, direct, and guide us.

It’s a daily walk. And we don’t walk alone. We walk with a loving, forgiving Father who empowers us to do better each and every day through the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit.

At times, we will take a wrong step … away from the light and toward darkness. And this step may interrupt our fellowship with God. But the good news is, we need only turn our hearts back toward our heavenly Father and ask forgiveness. He waits for us to come to Him with open arms. He longs to forgive and restore our fellowship with Him.

The key is agreeing with God about our sinful thoughts! Because agreeing with God about them brings them into to the light.

What happens in the light is glorious! We don’t find shame or condemnation, we find love and forgiveness. It is the place where God will work in our hearts not only to correct us but also train us to think, speak and act in new ways.

When we don’t take immediate action to walk back into the light, we leave the door wide open for the enemy to take full control of the reins of our heart and lead us deeper into darkness and further into sin.

I have lots more to share on this topic! In fact, it’s a bit of a foreshadow of things to come. Will you come back next week and join me for Part 2? I will have a script we can follow when we find ourselves in a cycle of sin. And I can’t wait to share it with you. Please come back next week!

Let me close with a prayer.

Thank you, Jesus, for leaving the glory of heaven to enter into the grit and grime of this dark world. Thank you that You are the Light of the World. The One who can shine light into the darkness lurking in our own hearts. And when You shine that light, it is free of shame and condemnation. Your light brings with it mercy, grace and conviction. We confess that we have dark places in our hearts. I agree with You in this moment, they interrupt our fellowship with You. We ask You to shine the lamp of Your light into the deepest crevices in our hearts. Forgive us. Renew our thoughts. Renew our hearts. Make it so we honor you in all we say and do. We ask this in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

And I would love to hear your thoughts on what I shared today from 1 John and how sin interrupts our fellowship with God. If you have a few minutes, please leave a comment.

*****WINNER OF SHARON JAYNES’ BOOK*****

Susan who posted on February 20 at 11:03 pm.

Congratulations! Susan, please e-mail me at deuteronomysix@aol.com with your full name and mailing address so we can get you your book.

Blessings,

February 6, 2017

My Morning Prayer (+Cindy’s winner)

Happy Monday!

Mornings now don’t look like they did when both my kids were at home. Our mornings were busy, and sometimes all I had time for was a quick prayer. So, I thought I would share the prayer I often prayed on those busy mornings. It brings back sweet memories.

FatherHearYourVoice.John

My Morning Prayer

Lord, I don’t know who or what will cross my path today. But I do know that You are my Rock and my Fortress. You are my Shield and my Strong Tower. Help me to anchor myself to You today. Teach me how to stand strong in You and choose only Your way today. Help me walk by Your Truth and not my feelings.

Help me to embrace anything that comes my way as an opportunity to see You at work and as an opportunity to point others to You.


Thank You that You love me and nothing can ever take that away from me! Even if I fail today and fall short, You whisper Your unconditional love deep into my soul and remind me that Your mercies are new every morning.

That is truly amazing, Lord.

Thank You for meeting with me today and wake me again tomorrow with the same sweet whisper of Your love. I can’t wait to meet with You again. I ask all this in the powerful and majestic Name of Your Son, Jesus! Amen.

Please don’t fret if you can’t spend extended time in the Word each morning, reading and praying. God simply wants us to give Him our first thoughts of the day … whatever that looks like. Maybe it’s meeting Him in our First 5 App. Maybe it’s reading your favorite devotional. Maybe it’s spending time with a few verses before you jump out of bed. Or maybe it’s offering a morning prayer. He loves it all!!

I’d love to hear YOUR favorite way to meet with God in the morning. Please leave a comment and share with us.

If you are looking for encouragement on how to have a quiet time, click here to check out “Quiet My Anxious Heart,” a free on-line study I did a few years ago.

*****CINDY’S WINNER*****

Shawna who posted on 1/31 at 9:37 a.m.

Shawna, please e-mail me at deuteronomysix@aol.com with your full name and mailing address so we can get Cindy’s book to you.

January 17, 2017

Remember Who and Whose You Are

I love the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17). The story of the little shepherd boy who defeated a 9 foot giant with only a sling and a stone. This past year, I felt as if I was against a giant. A giant so big, I felt helpless to battle it.

God took me back to this familiar story. What could I learn from this little shepherd boy He tapped to become the King of Israel?

The words I heard: Wendy, through this story, I am reminding you of who and Whose you are.

Who-I-am.LisaBuffaloe

Before David ever stepped foot on that battle field to fight Goliath, he knew who and Whose he was. We see this first through the words David spoke to King Saul when he volunteered to fight Goliath.

“Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:34-37).

The shepherd boy remained undaunted because he remembered his personal experiences with God. How God faithfully provided for him as he watched over his sheep. David refused to allow the words of his brothers, King Saul or anyone else to define and direct him. Instead, he went back to the last place God had been faithful. The last time God provided for his every need.

As children of the Living God, we too should never allow someone else’s words or opinions define and direct us. We must STOP listening to the words of man and return to the last time God was faithful. Recall His faithfulness. The times we remember Him acting, moving, and providing on our behalf.

We again see how David remembered who and Whose he was through the words he spoke to Goliath:

You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:45-47).

David measured Goliath not against his own strength but against the strength of his God. In the physical realm, the 9 foot giant should have won the battle. But he didn’t. David won and won big! He won big because the Commander of Heaven’s Armies was on his side. And He’s on our side too, my friend! Sometimes I forget this.

Whatever our obstacle … fear anxiety, sickness, financial struggles, marriage, rebellious children, depression … we do not fight alone. The Commander of Heaven’s Armies is on our side. He is for us and with us. His very Spirit indwells us to equip and empower us. He promises that we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.

The key is remembering who and Whose we are.

We have a cloud of witnesses behind us who knew this same truth. When Abraham acknowledged and depended on God, God made him the father of many nations. When Moses acknowledged and depended on God, He parted the Red Sea. When Joshua acknowledged and depended on God, the walls came tumbling down. When Daniel acknowledged and depended on God, the angel of the Lord shut the mouths of lions.

Is there something in your life over which the Lord wants to give you victory? Do you believe it’s too big for God? Reread the story of David and Goliath with fresh eyes and an open heart.

And then pray David’s prayer with me:

Father, today I come to you feeling overwhelmed. Powerless. Weak, feeling as if I can’t breathe. Like I can’t take that next step. I want to curl up and hide from the world. But, Father, I know those are lies. So, in full confidence, I come to You, the Commander of Heaven’s Armies, knowing who and Whose I am. In my weakness, You are strong. In my fear, You are brave. In my anxiety, You are peace. In my sadness, You are joy. In my despair, You are hope.

Today, I remember your faithfulness …  the last time You walked me through a hard place. You used it to mold, prune and train me. Through it You ensured I depended upon You and Your alone. You used it for my good and Your glory. Keep that memory ever before me. I want to trust You here again because I know You are for me.

This is YOUR battle. I know You are on my side. I trust You for victory. Empower me to walk through this in Your strength and power. I ask this in Jesus’ mighty and powerful Name. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer with me today, please let me know.