January 30th, 2020
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says.
I have been wrestling with this verse over the past several days, after having a specific conversation. I take this verse very seriously, it has been a big part of constant conversation between my husband and I over the past 7 years. I believe that the commands Jesus gave to his disciples are just as relevant of a command directly to me today.
Jesus said: " Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[a] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
"Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!" (Matthew 10:8)
"So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other." (John 13:34)
If I then implement the verse from James, what does that mean exactly?
It was pointed out to me this week that I am a "doer," and not everyone falls into that category. It really got me thinking. Thinking about what the Bible tells us to do. What do we put into practice? What do we dismiss because we might feel unworthy, or uncomfortable, or uninterested? Then once looking at the answer to that question, is it Biblical?
I believe that the disciples were not able to raise their hands and say, "Uh, so, Jesus, I really don't want to go pray for that person over there, they haven't bathed in months, and I really just don't feel comfortable." "I am not really in the mood to deal with demons today, do you think you could let me sit this one out?" "I don't really feel like sitting with them and listening to all they have going on right now, I have been away from my family and friends for along time and no one is asking about my issues." "I will just sit here in the back if that's okay with you, keep my options open."
The thing is, we are supposed to look different. We are supposed to sound different. We are supposed to show up and be DOERS. We are supposed to have kingdom eyesight, kingdom hearing. We should be looking for people to bless with Jesus, not waiting for someone to bless us. We should be focused on the LORD, one eye, fully and solely engaged on the King.
We are called to be DOERS, not just HEARERS. We are called to GO, we are called to live a life that others notice and want. If we talk the talk but find ways around walking the walk, then we are deceiving ourselves. Jesus commanded us, and we should respond. Jesus didn't call the qualified, he qualified the called. Throughout the history of the Bible, people were qualified as their faith grew and their actions followed. Jesus is walking into every room, every circumstance with you, as he lives IN you, so you are fulfilling these commands with his help, and often I have found that without him, I could not have done the tasks set before me.
We need to become DOERS of the Word. We need to become people living out the gospel. Our lives should draw people in, living out of relationship with him.
The question today is: Are you a doer? If not, what is one thing you can do today, one thing you can do tomorrow, ect to become a doer?
Unity Through Love
1 Peter 3:8-12
8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters.[a] Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. 9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. 10 For the Scriptures say,
“If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies.
11 Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
against those who do evil.”[b]
To be completely honest, this one has been difficult for me over the past several days. I work very hard to be a person who forgives, to be a person to continually turn the other cheek. I have seen what prayer does to a relationship that looks tattered beyond repair. Prayer for the person, prayer of blessing, prayer of healing, prayer of life. It changes things, and bringing them into it most regularly changes the atmosphere and brings healing that only God can provide.
There are those few moments that everything seems to cut to the deepest parts of you. That person that you have worked so hard to stand in the gap for, that person that you continue to pray for and check in on. That person who shows no regard personally for you, that person who can only see your flaws and imperfections. That person who does not value you or what you bring to the table. That moment when your defenses are at their lowest and the flaming arrows land so deeply that you realize that you have begun questioning your own self worth and disappointment sets in for allowing your shield to fall and yourself to be injured. You reach out for prayer and the first response is Psalm 35 and the second is a prayer reminding you that you are to become love and it's attributes and you are to give it all to God and forgive. OUCH.
It is easy to get pulled into having the "right" to be hurt, and being justified for having the feelings you are having. The thing is, THAT is not what we are called to do. We are not called to justify anything, we are called to show Christ's love, to be tenderhearted and be humble. We are to bless those who hurt us. We are called to find peace, and to do what is right and we have faith that He will fight for us.
My prayer tonight is for our hearts to be pierced with his love and that it would flow through us into all of the spaces and places that we walk into. That we would humble ourselves and allow God to work in and through us. That as a body of believers, we would be known for our love and not for how we took offense or allowed ourselves to be rooted in our hurts. I pray that we would find a way to bless everyone that comes our way each day, regardless of their thoughts or actions towards us. Lord, help us to walk out your peace and love in our worst moments as well as our best ones.
Isaiah 35 New Living Translation (NLT)Hope for Restoration35
Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days.
The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.
2 Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers
and singing and joy!
The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon,
as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon.
There the Lord will display his glory,
the splendor of our God.
3 With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
and encourage those who have weak knees.
4 Say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, and do not fear,
for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.
He is coming to save you.”
5 And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind
and unplug the ears of the deaf.
6 The lame will leap like a deer,
and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!
Springs will gush forth in the wilderness,
and streams will water the wasteland.
7 The parched ground will become a pool,
and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land.
Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish
where desert jackals once lived.
8 And a great road will go through that once deserted land.
It will be named the Highway of Holiness.
Evil-minded people will never travel on it.
It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways;
fools will never walk there.
9 Lions will not lurk along its course,
nor any other ferocious beasts.
There will be no other dangers.
Only the redeemed will walk on it.
10 Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return.
They will enter Jerusalem[a] singing,
crowned with everlasting joy.
Sorrow and mourning will disappear,
and they will be filled with joy and gladness.
Bold prayers. Bold proclamations. Bold expectations.
The Word tells us that we have not because we ask not. What does it look like for a group of people to really boldly rush the throne of God for a region? We pray for other countries and other people groups, but it is becoming very apparent that our local areas are in dire need for the bold prayers to revive and renew our own land. We have allowed the world to dictate what is acceptable and our expectation to see the move and might of God in our own areas is sadly very small. What does it look like to pray in unity and boldness?
There is a movement beginning in Kansas City asking churches to begin covering each day of the year. It is probably one of the most important things that we can do for our city. We need to involve EVERY church in the city, we need to give opportunity to all of the members of the "C" Church of Kansas City to come together and pray specific prayers, pray scriptures over our city. It is time we come together in a new unity that creates the space and expectation for God to really come and display his glory. There is also a group coming together and allowing God to lead through worship and prayer. PrayKC is uniting the church of Kansas City, and they have another evening coming up on January 17th. Will you join in with us and unify this city?
My prayer today is for the hope of restoration over our city to come in like a lion. That our wastelands will rejoice and singing and joy will abound. I pray that the LORD would display His glory, the very splendor of our God would fall over this city and that we would be changed for eternity. That our eyes would be opened, our sick healed and His Holy Spirit would flood the fountains and waterways. That our Highways would be names Highway of Holiness, that evil-minded people would not be able to travel on them. Danger would be removed because the Spirit of the LORD resides in our city. That the good news would be on the lips of everyone who claims Christ as their savior. That we would no longer worry about the 'weird factor' and not missing the opportunity would be more pressing. In Jesus mighty name I pray.
What is your big, bold prayer for today?
20 20 Vision
As the new year comes into focus, new thoughts and dreams begin to form for the coming days. I have had my eyes set on this year. I have had dreams and visions that have moved me in expectation to see what God has for us in this year. As the world seemed to spin a bit sideways in the first few days of the year, one thing has been certain, we need God more than ever, and we need to fix our eyes on Him to see the gifts that He has for us this year.
Vision is a funny thing. Our eyes change as we grow older and in an instant it is as though we have to relearn how to see, how to read, and we have to rely on other help to get us back to 2020 vision. Reading glasses and multivision lenses are now a part of my vocabulary. Manipulating the brain to learn to look through different parts of lenses to enable you to see, or better yet, changing lenses to isolate eyes to see upclose in one and distance in the other. Our brains somehow make it work, and we continue to move forward in functioning as normal in life. As I grow with my relationship with God, the more my vision changes, I more from Him and without it, it is as though I am functioning in the dark, unable to see without His lens.
My prayer has been for vision, vision to see what God sees, what God is laying out. Kingdom vision verses Earthly vision. Am I able to see past the brokenness to see that in the broken places new life is being established? Am I able to see that the uptick of violence may just be in response to the war being waged beyond our physical eyes? Am I able to see that the enemy is panicking because we are closing in on something substantial? Am I able to see the light growing, and the darkness being overtaken?
There are a lot of moving pieces in Kansas City right now. There are a lot of changes that can come quickly. God is moving in this city. Restoration is coming and through that restoration, revival can bloom and grow. I am praying for restoration of vision for God's people. Let us be a city that can see God moving, let us be a city that can see the good about to take over. Let us be a city that creates vision for other cities. Let us be a city that sees what is happening up close and also let us have the vision for what is coming from a distance.
I am a wife and a mom of two and a prayer warrior. I love Jesus and love wrestling with the Word of God and finding how my life fits into His story.