Tuesday, November 3, 2015

the devil doesn't have a shield...but we do!

I can't find in Scripture where it says that the devil has a shield. Hmmmm. Have you thought about that, Sisters? God has given us a powerful shield. Hmmmm. So we have a shield and the devil doesn't. Hmmmm. 

And how do I back up my statement? Well, with Scripture, of course! I'll just briefly share a couple of places where his fiery darts fizzled out every time Scripture was hurled back at his taunts. 

Look at the passages of Scripture in Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13. Both passages describe The Temptation of Jesus. The enemy (devil) was in his usual state as our "adversary prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8). That's how the devil rolls and Jesus was fully aware of his evil schemes. Each time the enemy fired death-threat darts at Jesus, Jesus confidently lobbed Scripture bombs back saying, "It is written...." and then quoted specific verses. (Check it out for yourself! It's true!) 

Yep. And the outcome of that particular episode of spiritual warfare? Jesus quoted one last verse to end it: "For it is written, 'You shall love the Lord your God and serve Him only.'"  Then the devil left him and behold, angels came and were ministering to Him"  (Matthew 4:10-11).

Wow. Jesus spoke Bible verses and the devil left. Turned away. Scripture repelled him. Hmmm. Amazing. No, it isn't. It is truth! God teaches us this spiritual battle strategy! Again, just a few examples God put in our spiritual arsenal:

  • "Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).
  • "...I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to that mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you" (Matthew 17:20). 
  • "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16).
  • "Put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand"(Ephesians 6:11).
  • "Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God"  (Ephesians 6:17) and proclaim His Word, "it is written....".  And expect to overcome evil with good!
  •  "In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one" (Ephesians 6:16).

There it is. Truth. God has given us a shield of faith to snuff out the enemy's flaming attacks. 

The reason our spiritual armor of God does not have protection for our backs means we are to "fight(not flight) the good fight of faith" with our powerful swords! Let's take our swords out of their sheaths, Sisters, by opening up our Bibles! That's our shield of faith: the Word of God! Let's do this, together!

One more thing, Ladies, are you planning to come Friday for Morning Glory Chasers?  We invite you to rise and shine with us! 


Saturday, October 3, 2015

We Are Lost Without Him

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you 
should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." 
(Psalm 32:8)

On this rainy Saturday morning, I was finding great comfort and peace in my prayer and Bible reading time. I could see the verses were rising off the pages like incense into my heart and mind and they seemed to spill over me like anointed oil. (That's what happens when we have the Holy Spirit inside of us and we read God's Word.)

I sighed and thanked God for His Presence in my life and the sense of Him being with me as I sought His Face. I'm so glad to be learning there is no where else to go to get the help and hope I need to keep going. 

Without the help of the Holy Spirit inside me drawing me to Himself and to His Word, I get lost in the craziness of this life here on earth. Too many distractions for the Christian in this life. We have to stay intimately connected to Jesus to thrive...and we can do that. Thrive. Flourish. Prosper with His Presence in our lives. Yep. It's possible. But we have to daily, fervently seek Him on our own, Baby. Yep. He wants a close intimate relationship with His girls (and his boys). :) And all these thoughts in my heart this morning brought me to writing this post below. I pray, my beloved sisters, it encourages you.

I was a lost, pitiful little girl for decades. Yep. Decades. 

Growing up I was taught to believe God is real and Jesus is real. Mom took us to Sunday School, church, and Vacation Bible School. But I never knew Him as my Lord and Savior.

I say I was pitiful because I kept trying to save myself from the agonizing legacy of my daddy walking out on our family. I was five years old when he abandoned us and he left a wake of broken hearts in all of us: including my precious Mom and my four siblings. 

Yep. I was lost. And as I grew up without Daddy's love and approval my mind became filled with the toxic thinking of a professional people pleaser: abandoned, worthless, alone, insecure, and consumed with the fear of man (Proverbs 29:25).  I figured his leaving was my fault and I spent decades trying to control circumstances around me. In my lost mind I thought I had to protect myself from ever being hurt like that again and to fill that void of Daddy's love with something!

See, I was lost. God had not opened my eyes yet to show me He was everything I needed and craved. But God.

It wasn't until I was a young woman when I heard the news my dad died. I felt like I died, too, and my life was over. It was too much. I was devastated because I dreamed for the day my daddy would tell me he loved me and was proud of me. 

The news of his death was catastrophic for my soul. But that's what God used for the old me to die so He could make me a new creature in Christ! "Behold, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

And I am His because the night I received the news of my dad's passing I fell to my knees and cried out to God to help me. I cried buckets of tears that were filled with shame and guilt. I asked Him to forgive me and to "please become my father and love me and take care of me!" Yep. He did!

Yep. But God. In His will. In His timing. He saved me. "You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last" (John 15:16). He put a new, abundant  life in me,"I have come that you might have life and have it in abundance" (John 10:10). And then, "He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise..." (Psalm 40:3). 

And, oh yeah, I've gotten really good at "making a joyful noise" (Psalm 98:4) when I worship God. In fact I think the more thankful I become my praises just get louder and louder! I just can't hep mah sef, Sistahs!  I am one thankful daughter. I have a Father and He loves me forever! Yep. I know Him. I KNOW Him. I am God's daughter! 

Now I know where to instantly go for help and hope...and to always be sure to thank Him for His unconditional love for me. Over the years, as I have sought His face by praying and reading His Word, I have seen Him become my faithful Instructor, my radiant Pathfinder, my wise Counselor, and my loving Overseer! He really is Who He says He is! Whoa! 

God Almighty IS The Perfect Father, He promises: "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." (Psalm 32:8). 

I'm not lost anymore, Baby. I have a new Abba Daddy. He is Holy and Wise and Very, Very Good. And guess what....

...we talk all the time. :)

For His Glory,
Polly :)

I invite you to check out my author page.  My Totally Devoted series of devotionals are available on Kindle and paperback editions. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

HE Must Increase; I Must Decrease (into a shrinking sistah)!

 "He must become greater; I must become less." 
John 3:30

So how am I doing as a shrinking sistah? I think I look smaller, right? Hey, this decreasing of self is an ongoing process, ya know. Life-long actually. 

Anyone who is a true disciple of the Master Teacher Jesus Christ knows His school of Higher Education never closes. Nope. His creation is our classroom and His Word is the only textbook we need to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). 

Of course, this is a life-long process for those of us who follow Jesus. We never "arrive" in this life but we have a magnificent graduation ceremony in heaven! 

But until then we humbly "study to show ourselves approved to God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed" (2 Timothy 2:15), by faithfully seeking Him in His Word, praying daily with the help of His Holy Spirit, worshiping Him wholeheartedly,  and bringing Him glory with everything we do (1 Corinthians 10:31)!

His teachings are in total opposition of what the world teaches. Jesus speaks in a spiritual sense. He told Peter, "Get behind me Satan! You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns" (Mark 8:33). However, the world is obsessed with only the physical, the material. The world teaches that a self-centered life is what makes a person great, while the Bible speaks to people’s hearts with a Christ-centered focus and says “humility and the  fear of the LORD bring wealth and  honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4).  

This Biblical instruction and lifestyle was simplified  for us when John the Baptist said these words about Jesus, "He must increase I must decrease" (John 3:30). BAM! It's not about us.

If we are humble-spirited and faithful to follow the teachings of Jesus,  we will gladly take ourselves off center stage and joyfully point others to Christ as the main attraction: “...Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts” (Isaiah 26:8).

The world insists that we must achieve our own greatness by being power hungry and to feed ourselves on greed, manipulation and little white lies to get what we want. But Scripture says our Divine Instructor must become so great in our hearts and minds that there will no longer be room for selfish behavior, idolatry, and deceit. Nope. Instead, we're taught, "He must become greater...". 

You know, we were created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Are you truly enjoying Him? You know, spending time with Him and allowing your affections to increase toward Him?

When God sent Samuel to find the next king of Israel He told him, ‘“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart'” (I Samuel 16:7).  

John the Baptist knew of Jesus’ greatness because He knew Jesus and that He came to earth to save sinners as the Son of God! John said,  “After me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry” (Matthew 3:11). 

One of Judah’s kings, Jehoshaphat, also honored the greatness of God. When he was faced with a massive army of his enemies ready to attack he prayed to God, “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12). He was totally dependent on God and their enemies were defeated!

 This is how we live out John 3:30, by acknowledging God's greatness and our total dependence on Him -- because He is so very great! 

Several years ago God put it on my heart to host a county-wide women’s conference.  I knew I needed His help and guidance. I knew the idea was from God because I could see the path He was blazing for me to encourage women in the Lord. He had given me marketing skills, a network of Christians in the marketplace and a passion to encourage women with the word of God. But there still was so much I needed to learn! He began to teach me and guide me. It was amazing. His Holy Spirit prompted me to memorize three verses to carry in my heart so I could faithfully follow His leadership. 

1--“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8).
2--“Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:15). 
3--“He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30).

God was opening my eyes and heart to His unending greatness. I understood He was speaking this message into my heart: “Keep acknowledging to the world that I have given you the idea, the provision, the protection and the blessings and I will help you every step of the way.  Don’t make this about how great you are for doing this; make this conference about My Greatness. Give Me the glory.”  Yep. I really didn't know what I was doing as the conference founder. I just knew I was supposed to lead it. 

Pride is sin. Pride is worldliness. Pride is our enemy. I understood. It had to be all about God: His leadership. His agenda. His purpose. His glory. And yep, and overflow of His favor began! It was gushing from all the prayers and the labors of love from: the local Christian school and staff who provided the location, the ladies' ministry from my church who prepared a gourmet breakfast,  and the support and excitement of the women in the community, all of whom provided help.  The local conference was richly blessed in every way!

I was thrilled to give God all the glory! I learned from my Master Teacher that He is not only very great, but He is “faithful in all He does" (Psalm 33:4).

Jesus is not only LORD and Savior but He is the Ultimate Teacher who blesses His students with His greatness and His love. "I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods." (Psalm 135:5).

I have also learned when I take my eyes off of (my)self ("but whataboutme, whataboutME??") and I earnestly seek Him and exalt Him in my heart and mind, I have so much joy and peace. It's because I'm reminded that in His greatness He rules over all things with His love and His wisdom. 

And I'm reminded, "God's got this." And "God's got that, too!" I am honored and thankful to continue to receive loving, wise instruction from the Greatest Teacher in the universe!

"Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom." (Psalm 145:3).

For HIS glory alone... and for the love of my sistahs!
Polly :)

This post is an updated version of a devotion from my third book, Totally Devoted 3. I'm in the process of preparing my entire trilogy of devotionals into Kindle editions, Lord willing! Prayers always appreciated! 

Polly's Author Page on Amazon 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Flapping Scripture Pages. Wings. Feathers. It's Time to Soar, Sister!

My usual way of starting my personal devotion with Jesus in the early morning is to read one or two of the Psalms aloud.Yep. Whether I'm on my knees or just sitting on the floor I'm there with my Bible, my journal (in case inspiration pops in my head),  and my freshly brewed cup of organic coffee. I regularly read my Bible out loud because I know His Word has unlimited power and the Holy Spirit inside of me is going to respond to the hearing of God's Word. Don't believe me? Please look at Isaiah 55. 

"So as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, 
and do not return to it without watering the earth and 
making it flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower
 and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth; It will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." 
Isaiah 55:10-11.

Reading Psalm 139 aloud brings me into a sense of His presence even before I finish reading the 24 verses,  and I begin to worship Him and be comforted by the Word. Women who follow Jesus have His Holy Spirit living within us and we can't help but be tenderly, eternally touched by the Word. Whew. Yep.

And while I was still reading Psalm 139, thoughts started to flow. I was sensing how the reading of Scripture was stirring up my heart and comforting it. I began to think about the power of Scripture as well as the blessings of God's promises in it to provide, protect, and love us unconditionally!

Then a phrase popped in my head, "...if you make the Lord..." and I knew it was part of an actual verse but I didn't know where it was in Scripture. I quickly researched and found it in Psalm 91:9-11! Which says, 
"If you make the Most High your dwelling--even 
the LORD, who is my refuge--then no harm will 
befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. 
(v.11) For He will command His angels concerning 
you to guard you in all your ways."

And I began to get a fresh perspective as I took a much closer look at Psalm 91. We're living in violent, dark days and people are getting more and more desperate.

And you know what? God keeps telling us, "do not fear" and "I am with you always" and yet we're fearful and anxious.

I see in a new way we are too distracted to listen to God and hear Him tell us He is a refuge and will take care of us! 

But we have to go to Him and see for ourselves like the woman with the "issue of blood" (Mark 5:25) who said, "If I can just touch His cloak I"ll be healed." After she touched Him -- actually drew close to Him -- "she felt in her body she was healed."

But we won't and don't go to Him that dramatically. You know, we rarely will ignore everything and everyone around us and just go to Him. We fret instead. We're afraid of what people might think! 

But Scripture, oh, Scripture, points us to our Savior and shows us there really is only one place to go for safety and security. Psalm 91 paints the picture for us!
This Psalm talks about God being our Shelter (v.1), our refuge, and our fortress (v.2), that He'll cover us with His feathers and under His wings we'll find refuge (v.4)!
He'll command His angels concerning us to guard us in all our ways (v. 11)!
And as I was continuously turning pages of my Bible back and forth in my studying,  I was thinking how much it was like the flapping of wings. You know, like when a large group of people are looking up verses in their Bibles and you hear that fluttering sound of the pages! It's like the flapping of angels' wings! Such a beautiful sound!

And all of this led me to the question of: "Why in these troubled times are we not 'resting in the shadow of the Almighty' instead of freaking out?  Why aren't we letting Him cover us with His (metaphorical) feathers?

This was a new way to see that our wings of refuge are only found in the pages of Scripture! 

Jesus is the Word. 
("In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God, He was in the beginning with God." John 1:1-2.)

The Word teaches us truth. 
("I am the truth." John 14:6)

 The truth sets us free.("Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." John 8:32.)

 The truth of Scripture gives us wings to soar above our circumstances because we have made the "Most High our dwelling" and and we have "rest in the shelter of the Almighty!"

Yep. And not only that...then we can freely worship Him, "Because You are my help I sing in the shadow of Your wings." (Psalm 63:6)


4 HIS glory,

Copyright 2015 totally devoted #4 by Polly Balint

Sunday, August 30, 2015

We said, "Come FLOURISH With Us"....and many of you did!

The seeds to establish 
FLOURISH Women's Conference 
were planted in the heart and soul of Alison Everill.
She fearfully, prayerfully answered God's call. 
She told Him, "Yes."

Alison Everill
Songwriter, Worship Leader, Speaker, Concert Artist
Flourish Women's Conference Founder

“I have had a deep love for women’s ministry for many years,” says Alison. “I have taught ladies’ classes in my churches and have been very dedicated to seeing women grow. The desire to establish a women’s conference didn’t really become strong until about a year ago. I guess because I have such a strong desire to see women grow, the Lord had me branch out from church ladies’ ministry offering a local event where women from all walks of life and different churches could come together to center around God’s word and fellowship. To be honest, it was God’s idea, not mine."

She chose the name, FLOURISH, because it means ‘to thrive.’  “I want Flourish to live up to its name. I feel like so many ladies are just surviving and not thriving. I want Flourish to be known as an event that encourages women to live as God created them to live. Flourish is about leading women into that place of joy for what He has done for them." 

She was daily asking Him, "But how do I do this, LORD?"
HE showed her step by step what to do.
A team was formed. A poster was created.
A Flourish team video broke ground...

Here's the team during a planning/prayer dinner meeting and trying to be serious. Uh-huh. Not when you have the joy of the LORD!
From left: back row: Michelle Young, Marybeth Botts, Carol                                    Stover, Karen Chadwick  
                front row: Alison Everill, Polly Balint
Ticket sales were set up.
For your online ticket sales go to: flourishconference.eventbrite.com 
and additional info for tickets @ everalison@ymail.com
Plans for Flourish sprouted additional teams: decorating, prayer, food service, and a hospitality team...and we began to blossom with more videos!!!!!! 

Meanwhile at the Flourish Conference site....

Compelled to encourage women to join us...just sayin'

Flourish Emcee Marybeth Botts created a sweet message....

...Then a new logo was created...

And just a reminder of the location....

And now we pray...for the team to BRING IT to you, and for all of you who will come and FLOURISH with us...by the grace of God!

The goal of FLOURISH is the glory of God. Alison says, "I want women to walk away, no, float away on Saturday afternoon having had an experience with God that will catapult them into further depths of fellowship with the One who created them and loves them to the uttermost.”

Yep. Ladies, come FLOURISH us. 
--Polly Balint
FLOURISH Women's Conference
August 28 - Registration  -- 6pm --6:45 pm
                      Session 1 --  7 pm - 9 pm
August 29 - Session 2 -- 9:30 am - 2:30 
Tickets $22 --includes snacks, drinks and Saturday lunch
                   --go to flourishconference.eventbrite.com
                   --or email to reserve your seat everalison#ymail.com

Today is August 30 
and the FLOURISH Women's Conference 
was richly blessed by GOD in every way! 

And now we sing Hallelujah!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

If You Don't Already Have Your Big Girl Panties On Just Suit Up & Go Commando! :)

My Sisters, the raging spiritual battle is intensifying in America (and rest of the world) and there's no time to stop to put on our big girl panties. If you're not wearing them now well, then just go commando because we've got to suit up now, in the powerful and very exclusive Designer Wear given to each of us who are women who follow Jesus. It's called the Armor of God, and is beautifully described in Ephesians 6:10-18. 
 "Finally be strong in the LORD and in His mighty power...Therefore put on the full armor of God so 
that when the day of evil comes you may be able
 to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." 
(Ephesians 6:1, 13). 

Yep. The Armor of God is an all-powerful spiritual outfit specifically designed to protect the wearer in daily battles. "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds"  (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God,
 another weapon. 
(Ephesians 6:17)

We've wasted enough time and money as a nation and we've practically lost all righteousness as well our freedoms, because the church has been asleep instead of being "alert and always keep on praying for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:18).

So what do we do? We've got to grow up (that's where the big girl panties come in) and "put away childish things" (1 Corinthians 12:11) such as always looking to be entertained; inside our church buildings and outside our church buildings! 

We've got to make a decision. Will we spend unending hours viewing social media and reality TV shows; unknowingly adopting worldly attitudes and lifestyles because we've become consumed with that stuff?  

Or will we be the nurturing handmaidens of the Lord Jesus Christ and become His passionate servants and mighty prayer warriors? Will we put on that Armor Wear and shine the light of Christ as we regularly gather to worship God, study His Word, encourage each other, and pray together?

We can start right now by humbling ourselves, and praying in accordance with 2 Chronicles 7:14. God promises to "heal our land" if we will pray that way. Daily. Fervently. Corporately. Privately. And pray with faith, "The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective" (James 5:16). 

This spiritual war is heating up but we are the ones with HOPE. Yep. A Christian should always have hope because Jesus Christ rules over and controls all things. Jesus said, "...I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).

Yes! Yes! Yes! And Amen!

He told His disciples, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:18-20).

There we have it! The voice of our Beloved Commanding Officer, Jesus, said, "Go!" 

So let's suit up -- commando or not cuz we ain't got time for dat -- and "go" together, Sisters...let's do this. 

For HIS glory,
Polly :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Babel in Reverse

I'm just going to put it out there. The truth is our flesh craves stuff. Our flesh lusts. Our flesh lies with the promise of a good outcome of our sinful choice. It's a daily battle for Christians to say "no" to sin and "yes" to God.  

And from Genesis to Revelation, we read how people easily pervert the word of God and His promises just to fit their moods and passions. Self. Self-centered. Selfish. This always causes pain. 

It's the same today, of course. We still fight with our fleshly desires which is why we need a Savior, namely Jesus Christ. And still, in weak moments we don't feel like resisting -- even though we have Holy Spirit power to do so --  and we fall. We want to be accepted and follow the crowd. They say they're God's 'crowd' but they really don't have the fruit that proves it. 

Look at the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9.  Babel, the 'monumental effort motivated by pride' (ESV commentary). Babel. It was a tower of idolatry. Babel. As in babbling, you know, talking gibberish or confusing language. Yep. Babel is the root word for babbling (no, I'm not of Greek descent).   :)

Here's the truth. "Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there" (verses 11:1-2). Sounds like unity which could change the world for good, doesn't it? You have a large gathering all "on the same page" and speaking the same language desiring to worship. That's good, right? Sounds like a great church. Yep. 

Nope. Because they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the earth" (Genesis 11:3-4). THIS IS NOT WHAT GOD HAD IN MIND. 

See, we want to be like God, the One who created us. We don't want to be told what to do. We want to live the way we choose and make up our own rules of what is right and what is wrong. We want! We want it now, too! That's not a new concept either. It began in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve and the serpent. The lie came in the form of a tempting, tasty fruit and Eve swallowed it: "...when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God..." (Genesis 3:5). Adam and Eve were cursed. The ground was cursed. Curse! Curse! Curse! Hopelessness!

That's the way it appeared. But God had a plan of salvation already in place. He had the promise of the precious and powerful blood of Jesus Christ poured out to reverse the curse and defeat our enemy the devil. 

(Yep. It's actually road kill. But hey, it's a dead snake! Don't hate.) 

"So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all livestock...I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel" (Genesis 3:14-15).

So when an evil group or evil ruler rises up, God sees. God knows and He will have His way in His perfect timing. 
(A different kind of tower.)

He speaks to the earth,"Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth gather together against the LORD and against His Anointed One...The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the LORD scoffs at them. Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath" (Psalm 2:1-5). The point is, we can't mess with God. He is LORD. He is all-powerful and He will have His way!

When the tower builders proudly announced their sacrilegious rule, "the LORD came down to see the city and the tower the men were building" (Genesis 11:5). God announced that because they were one people speaking the same language and in heinous rebellion, He said, "nothing will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other. So the LORD scattered them from there all over the earth and they stopped building the city" (v.8). And God scattered them all over the earth! Enough. Period. Done.

So today we see that all of the world is filled with different languages, tribes and nations! And guess what? God's wise, sovereign hand has, by His grace, reversed the Babel curse! 

Hallelujah! From Genesis to Revelation the Blood of the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world, has reversed the curse and redeemed His people! Look what He has done: reversed the Babel curse! 

"And they sang a new song: 
'You are worthy to take the scroll 
and to open its seal, 
because you were slain, 
and with your blood you 
purchased men for God 
from every tribe and language and people and nation. 
You have made them to be a kingdom 
and priests to serve our God, 
and they will reign on the earth." 
(Revelation 5:9-10).

Thankful. Praise. Glory to God. Majestic in all His ways. 
I'm undone. 

"Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His Name together!"
Psalm 34:3

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

GLORY. Women Who Follow Jesus.

Dear Precious Sisters co-laboring in the trenches,

What if our first thoughts each day were not about how we see ourselves with our vain imaginations (not good enough, too broken, too broke, too old, too overweight, too wrinkled, too thin, too depressed, too anxious...or, just a wife, just a mom, just a daughter, just a waitress, just a receptionist, just someone's co-worker, just a volunteer, just a corporate career girl, just a home school mom)...?

What if our first thoughts before our feet hit the floor were to thank God we've been saved by His grace and that we are WOMEN WHO FOLLOW JESUS? 

What if we transformed and renewed our minds to think biblically about who we are? Let's do it! We can daily learn to put on that highly-honored robe of righteousness and dignity of being WOMEN WHO FOLLOW JESUS. And with with our new mindset we can step out each day with an attitude of gratitude and filled with His mercy and love!

 And, we would be on a mission to love God, love people, and make disciples.

We would live passionately for God's glory. "Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31). 

In my digging for more Scripture-based information about women who follow Jesus, I found a document online, actually it is part of a woman's Sunday School lesson. Here is just a portion of it:

The Women Who Followed Jesus From Galilee 
by Scarlett Stough

"God gives a special emphasis to the presence of a company of women by the cross of Jesus. Their presence is in stark contrast to the apparent absence of The Twelve except for John who stood with Jesus’ mother, Jesus’ aunt, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the wife of Clopas.* These women had followed and served him from the beginning of his ministry in Galilee to his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection into the beginning of the first century church.

Luke names Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna who, along with other women cured of diseases and demonic oppression, traveled with Jesus and The Twelve. These women supported his ministry out of their own finances. (Luke 8:1-3, Matthew 27:55) Susanna is never mentioned again by name. Joanna, the wife of the manager of Herod's household, is named by Luke as one of the women who carried the message of the empty tomb back to the disciples. (Luke 24:10) 

Mary Magdalene and all these other women followed Jesus because he had healed them. They believed his power to heal came from God. They followed Jesus without expecting to be given positions of power and authority over others. They didn't quibble over who got to be vice-king in the new administration of God's Kingdom under King Jesus. Instead of looking for free meals of bread and fish, they gave to him out of their own resources.

None of them deserted him when he appeared weak and defeated. They made plans to honor him by tending to his dead body. They grieved over his suffering and death; over the loss of a good man, not the loss of a potential king who they hoped would free Israel from Roman occupation. 

Luke gave us the detail that the women disciples of Jesus also waited in Jerusalem for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:14) 

They continued to serve him in the early church and suffered persecution for their faithfulness to Jesus their Messiah, their Lord and Savior.
These women did what needed to be done, not for personal gain or selfish ambition, but out of gratitude and a desire to give help. 
They model perseverance even when the cause seemed lost. 
They model devotion to our Lord and Savior.
They model a willingness to take up their cross in the persecution they suffered. (Acts 8:1-4).
They model community in their traveling and working together in the work of the Lord.
We do not know the names of most of these women; but God knows who they are. 
These women, named and unnamed, did their work without hope of recognition in this life. Their hope in God was confirmed in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ."

BAM! Pretty simple, huh? Pretty straightforward, isn't it? Maybe we need to let go of some stuff, you know, "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles" (Hebrews 12:1). Lord, please help us do that!

Sisters, let's start each day by intentionally FIRST seeing ourselves as WOMEN WHO FOLLOW JESUS...

...and SECONDLY seeing ourselves as wives, moms, daughters, grandmothers, employees, home school moms, artists, writers, teachers, homemakers, and business owners? It would kinda be like, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33). 

Wanna make a difference in this world, Sisters? That's what WOMEN WHO FOLLOW JESUS do!  They deny themselves and prayerfully, joyfully, and  boldly rise up in love and service in their local churches and communities. And as we all do our part, "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea!" (Habakkuk 2:14).

It's contagious! Let's do this! 


Stay tuned for the next GLORY gathering to be announced soon. :)