Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Day: Jesus is our Savior

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Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, The Lord.  
Luke 2:11

Today is it.  We celebrate Jesus, the greatest gift every given to us.  Despite all the chaos and stress, Christmas comes and goes.  Sometimes it feels like just another day but it shouldn’t.  It's a time to stop and reflect.  The way I make the most of it is where I put my focus.  It could be on hosting dinner, finding the perfect gift, attending a record number of church services or it could be on Jesus.  I will never give or receive any better and greater gift than that baby born to a virgin in a cave stable 2000+ years ago.  He is the True Reason for our celebration.  God has out-gifted us all.  

Jesus coming down to us is the good news but we can’t understand or appreciate the good news without the bad news. The bad news is that we are all sinners, born into Adam’s family of sin (Romans 6:23, Romans 5). We want and try to be our own saviors because we think we have it all right. The truth is we are farrrr from getting it right and getting into heaven. God can’t be around unholiness meaning He can’t be around people who don’t have Jesus in their lives to wrap them in His righteousness. Without Jesus, we face death and separation from God. With Jesus, we might face trials and sufferings for our beliefs but we have a hope that last forever, the hope of heaven and God waiting for us, preparing a room for us to live with Him forever ( 1Peter 1:3-4, John 14:2-3).

Jesus was born to die for us.  He is the Perfect Lamb of God to pay the price—death, for all of our sins.  He is the Messiah, the long awaited one.  He fulfilled many scripture prophecies that night He was born.  All of Heaven was waiting and rejoicing.  Angels were crowding in to see their Creator born on Earth.  What a sight that would've been to be a shepherd when the heavenly hosts were praising God.  We will see that one day :)

So today as you look at the Baby in the manager, also look at the cross because that is what He was looking forward to for you. Is Jesus the One you have been waiting for in your life?  Is He your personal Savior?  Run to Him because He is waiting with open arms in love to receive you.  How will you praise Him for saving each one of us?  What words of worship will you offer Him on this Christmas Day?

Merry Christmas and Enjoy the Day with your family celebrating our Lord!!! 

In His Love,

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Forth Sunday in Advent: Jesus is God with us!

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and will call Him Immanuel. 
Isaiah 7:14

Today is THE day before THE BIG DAY.  Tomorrow we celebrate Jesus' birth, but today is the last day to prepare our hearts and we really should be celebrating each and every day.  The second to last name for Jesus we will study is Emmanuel or Immanuel (Greek vs. Hebrew spelling).  This name is so wonderful because it means "God with us".  

Jesus came down from Heaven to dwell among, literally the Greek word for dwelling is ἐσκήνωσεν and means tabernacled among us!  The original reason that God had the Israelites build the Tabernacle (or temple) was so He could dwell among the people in that one place.  Then Jesus comes down to dwell among the people and teach them free to move around and travel. 

However, Jesus didn't leave us alone when He ascended to Heaven after His resurrection.  He left His Spirit (well after Pentecost, see Acts) so He is always with us.  We are never alone in any circumstances.  Sometimes I feel as if I am alone when no other humans are around or can understand my situation.  Jesus is there for me and has gone through the same feelings and temptations that we face every day.  

Jesus fulfilled the original intent of the Tabernacle.  He came and dwelled with us in human flesh and then returned to Heaven.  The Holy Spirit was sent down so that we can have God in us not just with us.  Therefore, the Holy Spirit dwells within us, closer than any relationship with God prior to Jesus.  

Our relationship with God is even more intimate than Moses and God because Jesus has fully cleansed us.  With this cleansing we can now come so close to God that He can live inside of us!!  Does this change your view on the celebration tomorrow?  Will you take some time tomorrow to give thanks and just rest in the awe of God's amazing love?

With His Love,

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Eve Eve: Jesus is the Prince of Peace

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6
I have always struggled with anxiety and only when I rely on Jesus, do I have peace in my soul.  Jesus is my Prince of Peace.  He brought a Peace into my life that is unlike anything of this world.  The Peace that Jesus offers is amazing.  You can be free of so many things if you let Jesus take over your life.  When you are rooted and have Jesus as your Foundation, then Peace will enter your life.

I think the greatest Peace is that our life is already in the hands of God.  He knows everything that will happen.  We just need to be still and listen to Him.  That's how I have experienced Peace in my life.  Giving control to God (who ultimately has it in the first place!). When I give to Him what is rightfully His, then Peace follows.  

There is more to the peace that Jesus brings, more than our freedom from reliance and more than harmony but a peace with God.  Before Jesus, we were enemies of God. Now that Jesus interceedes and advoates for us, we are united back with God. The war is over between us and God because our rebellion is gone when we believe in Jesus. We are now at peace with God. He even calls us His children!  We have gone from enemies to children!!!!!

Peace is something we all desperately need at all times of the year but especially now.  We are rushing around not savoring the meaning of this season: the celebration of God's gift to us.  We have received the most important gift of all: Salvation!!  Jesus came down to save us, why do we overlook this fact every year?  What is robing you of your peace?  Jesus is the Prince of Peace.  His peace can be never taken away from us.  When we feel robbed of peace, that is the false imitation of worldly peace that we feel gone.  

This is one attribute that I continuously praise Jesus for this season, but I don't feel very at peace. Daily I need to exchange my version of peace for Jesus' True Peace.  How are you incorporating more peace into your life?  Is Jesus your Prince of Peace?

In His Love,

Friday, December 22, 2017

Jesus is the Kinsman Redeemer on the 20th Day of Advent

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us."
Galatians 3:13a

Why do we need a Redeemer?  It all begins with Adam and Eve in the Garden.  When they brought sin into the world the also brought death.  "For the wages of sin is death." Romans 6:23 We all deserve death because we can't live up to the perfect standards that God requires.  He is holy and cannot be near sin.  That is why He instructed Moses with the careful precautions and specifics when the Israelite built the tabernacle.  God couldn't be near the sinful people unless a sacrifice, death, was made to cover the sins.

Therefore, Christ made that sacrifice to redeem us back to God the Father.  Because Jesus died for us, He took that curse of death from us and now we can live freely in Him.  Jesus paid that price and brought us back to being able to have a relationship with God like Adam and Eve experienced before they ate the apple.  Not only did He redeem us back to have a relationship with God but we can be part of God's family!!

In the book of Ruth, we see Naomi has lost her husband and her sons.  She goes back to her homeland with her daughter-in-law Ruth.  A widowed woman with no sons would need to find another relative to take care of her.  Back in her homeland we see a guardian-redeemer or kinsman redeemer in Boaz.  If he marries Ruth than he can redeem the family, taking them in and caring for them.  He does marry Ruth and becomes part of Jesus' ancestry line!! Boaz is just a foreshadow of Jesus redeeming us and buying us back to God's family.  I just love how God has knitted together the Bible stories. 

How has being redeemed and set right with God changed your life?  In what way do you thank Jesus for redeeming you: Pledging your whole heart and life to him? Praising Him daily? Think of the magnitude of this gift and respond!! In your prayer time today, what words of worship can you offer to show your gratitude for redemption?

With His Love,

Thursday, December 21, 2017

On the 19th Day of Advent, Jesus is Advocate

"My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One."
1 John 2:1

John is using some legal terms here.  An advocate is someone who speaks on behalf of someone else.  We usually think of lawyers and quite frankly Jesus is the best lawyer.  He goes to the Father on our behalf.  He just doesn't defend us because He knows our intentions were good when we sinned--which they weren't, He defends us because He died for us.  He tells His Father, remember when I died on the Cross, well that was for her.  God the Father sees us through the lens of Jesus and His Perfect Life.  

Paul tells us in Romans 6 that we are united with Him.  We are united with His Perfect Life and Death so that we can be clothed with His righteousness.  God sees us pure and sinless when we accept Jesus' as our Savior.  Jesus literally is always standing between us and God so that we can go to God with any prayers or concerns that we need!

Jesus is the best legal defense we could possibly need!  How can we praise Jesus today for standing in our place and defending us?

In His Love,

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Jehovah Jireh on the 18th Day of Advent

"For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ."
Romans 5:17

Jehovah Jireh is one of my favorite names for the Lord because it means the Lord provides.  In so many ways these past few years, He has provided for me what I needed most just when I needed it.  If you don't know my mom had a brain aneurysm in 2013.  You can read more about it here and here.  We needed just about everything and God always provided.  He has given us amazing supportive family members and friends.

God the Father always provides based off His great plan for our lives.  Jesus provides because He gave us a way to deal with our sins and for us to be able to go to heaven.  Remember Jesus is eternal, meaning He was with God the Father when He provided everything in the Old Testament too.  Jesus didn't just appear in the Trinity when He became human and was sent to Earth.  He has always been around!  The Holy Spirit provides us with knowledge, insight, and conviction as we read scripture as well as peace and assurance.  Our Triune God perfectly provides in every way!!

He not only provides us with everything but it's everything that we need!  He knows exactly what we need at every moment of the day.  If you don't know what you may need, then ask Him!  Ask Him to reveal to you what you may need at that very moment.  Then remember He will provide in His Time and in His Way.  However, He will always be with us!

If I'm honest, I struggle most days with not trusting God in His provision.  I say and know that He provides but often I doubt.  I doubt because He doesn't meet my expectations of what I want for my life.  Although I know His plan is good and need to remind myself of this.  We see in Romans 5:17 that God provides abundantly!!!  His provision may not be material but spiritual truths.  The past few years, He has provided me abudntantly with understanding and desire to read the scriptures.  What is He providing you with?  Is it material?  If not, how does this change your praise and worship of Him?

I would love to hear your provision stories :)

In His Love,

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Jesus is Son of God on the 17th Day of Advent

"He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all--how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" 
Romans 8:32 NIV

This image from #SheReadsTruth is perfect for today!  C.S. Lewis summed up Jesus' purpose on Earth.  Since the Son of God came, we know can also be come sons (and daughters) of God!! 

Why is it important that Jesus is the Son of God?  If you have gone to church throughout your life, you may have learned about the Trinity of God or the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  How can there be three separate persons but One God?  The only answer I have for that is because God is amazing and our brains cannot comprehend His Glory. 

No human can atone for all the sins of the people forever.  The high priests could atone for the sins of the people for a short while but needed to daily offer sin sacrifices.  Since Jesus was God, He is infinite.  Since Jesus was infinite, His sacrifice could cover an infinite amount of sins.  Also since Jesus was Pure and Sinless, His Blood could offer a purer sacrifice than any animal blood. 

God literally gave us everything He is and had.  Jesus is not only the Son of God but He is also Himself God.  Jesus gave up being part of the perfect Trinity relationship, to come to Earth.  He was separated from His Father when He died on that cross to take ALL of the sins of EVERYONE who ever lived.  If that is not truly amazing and shakes you to your core, then pray that God would open your eyes and your heart to know the Truth of His Word.  

I want to shout from the rooftops my praise for Jesus the Son of God.  We are now fully reconciled (restored) to God and can be a child with the ability to spend eternity with our Triune God :)  We need to praise God DAILY for this privilege and gift.  But how will you praise Him?  By song?  Prayer?  Completing tasks He has given you?  Telling someone else?  Jesus is worthy of our praise each and every second of the day.  He is the only one that should consume our thoughts.  What do you need to change to make this a reality?

In His Love,

Monday, December 18, 2017

On the 16th Day of Advent: Jesus is Son of Man

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"No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man" John 3:14

"For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost."  
Mark 19:10
Jesus was fully Man yet He was also fully God (I'll write about that tomorrow!)....again the duality of Jesus.  It's crazy to wrap our minds around but there is an importance for both aspects of His duel identity.  Jesus was born of Mary, therefore He was human (despite His Father is God). He came into the world just like every one of us.  He was in the line of David, meaning He has real, human, tangible ancestors.  He had a job and career.  He was human. 

Why is it important that Jesus was Man?  Well He needed to fulfill all the Old Testament Prophecies but also our sins required a human death for the penalty of sins.  God had temporarily accepted animal sacrifices to cleanse from sin but that wasn't sufficient enough to cover the mass amount of sin that we commit as humans (some days I feel like the majority are mine).  His Perfect Life offered as a sacrifice satiated God's wrath for all time!!! He lived the perfect life that we cannot which brings me to my third point.

Jesus is our example.  Hebrews 4:14 tells us that we don't have a high priest who can't empathize but He was tempted just like us (paraphrase mine).  We can look to Scripture and study Jesus' response to varies issues and use it for our own lives.  It is often hard work to response and act like Jesus but guess what?! helps us to relinquish the hold sin has on our lives.  That is a wonderful reason.  

Do you believe that Jesus was fully human?  How can you praise Him for giving us an example to live by?  Where in your life do you need to act a little more like Jesus?  (don't worry my list is long!!!).  He is seeking you and waiting with arms wide open if you need to run to Him!!

With His Love,

Sunday, December 17, 2017

On the 3rd Sunday of Advent: Jesus is Judge

"And He has given Him authority to judge because He is the Son of Man.  Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out--those how have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.  By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgement is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me." 
John 5:27-30

We have seen the duality of Jesus.  He is the Lion and the Lamb.  He is the High Priest and the Sacrifice.  Here, He is proclaiming Himself with the authority and power to judge others.  We normally think of Jesus as Love but He is also Judge.  God gave Him this responsibility. He is also referring to the final Judgement. In the Book of Revelation, John gives a glimpse into the throne room of God, as he sees it revealed to Him by Jesus. But lastly and most importantly, He states that His judgment is just.  Why? Because He is seeking to please His Father and not Himself.  He will reward the good and punish the bad according to their deeds. (Revelation 4-5). 

In John 8, the Pharisees bring an adulterous woman to Jesus to try and trap Him in His answer to how to deal with her. He shocks them all by responding that whoever is sinless can throw the first stone at her. Everyone walks away, starting with the older Pharisees. They all knew they were not without sin and can't condemn this woman just because she was caught in the act and it was public. It's the same with us. Who are you throwing stones at when you deserve the stones to be thrown at you?

Why do we think that we can do a better job at judging than Jesus?  Why do we judge a person's character based on their appearance?  I can't answer those questions.  I do know that when I find myself judging others, gossiping about their actions in a condescending tone, or thinking harsh thoughts about them, I can turn to God.  I can pray for help to stop those actions.  I can pray for the self-control to hold my tongue and cleanse my thoughts.  I need to hand the role of Judge back over to Jesus. 

In His Love,

Saturday, December 16, 2017

14th Day of Advent: Jesus is the High Priest

"For this reason He had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in service to God, and that He might might make atonement for the sins of the people."
Hebrews 2:17

The image that I found last year is still just as amazing/powerful as it was when I first found it.  Here is an artist rendition of Jesus in the Priest's clothes standing before the Ark of God offering a sacrifice.  That thought should provoke mighty worship this evening!!  Only the holy priest could atone for the sins of the people on that special Day of Atonement, once a year.  Since Jesus' sacrifice was more powerful than any other sacrifice, there only needs to be One.  His sacrifice is Eternal meaning it will last forever and infinite that it could cover everyone.  So. Much. Power.  I love studying these roles of Jesus because it sheds such depth and understanding to Who He really is!

Also the holy priests had to cleanse themselves from their sins.  However, Jesus was sinless so He did not have to offer any sacrifice for Himself.  Therefore, His death on the cross, is all for us.  Let me repeat that....His Death is ALL FOR US.  Jesus came to Earth to die for us.  Jesus set aside His Heavenly Kingdom to come to our sinful, broken world to deliver us.  He is our Holy Priest to offer the Sacrifice of Himself as an Atonement for all of our past, present and future sins.  That is why He was born so many years ago.  That is the reason we celebrate this time of year.  Let that sink in.

Not only is Jesus the Sacrifice but also the only One who can present the Sacrifice (Himself) to God (who is also Himself) #astonished.  Jesus didn't enter the earthy temple to present the sin sacrifice of Himself, but the Heavenly tabernacle (Hebrews 8:5) which paid the penalty (death) for all sins for every person who have every lived and will live #astonishedagain (Hebrews 7:25). 

Jesus is our High Priest for every and every.  The One who is able to go to God on our behalf.  How awesome is that?!  Since our sinful selves could not approach a Holy God, He fixed that by giving up His Glory in Heaven to become human and save us!! How can you praise Him tonight for that?  Join me in lifting up your voice in prayer and adoration tonight that Jesus as the High Priest and Atonement Sacrifice that has washed us new from our sins!!

In His Love,

Friday, December 15, 2017

Jesus as the Bridegroom on the 13th Day of Advent


"The bride belongs to the bridegroom.  The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice.  That joy is mine, and it is now complete."
John 3:29

This year, this attribute of Jesus might be the most meaningful to me.  As I continue to watch the woman around me wear those beautiful white dresses and I'm still just standing next to them on their wedding day, it's hard.  Lately though, the Holy Spirit just keeps reminding me: Jesus is better.  Not that marriage isn't important or biblical but I can't put my worth, happiness, or satisfaction in being a bride.  I want to be Jesus' bride before I can be any man's bride.  I want to see Him as the True Love of my life before anyone else.  I will worship Him only and not my spouse or the desire to be married or loved.  I'm not going to lie, I struggle hard with this.

I cannot wait for the day here on Earth where I will get to wear a white dress and walk down the aisle  toward a man who is ready to profess his love to me and we will be together forever.  However, that is just a shadow of the day where I will wear white robes signifying my righteousness and purity, walking towards the One who has loved me my whole life and I will spend eternity with Him.  Even if the first day never comes for me, I have the hope that the second one will come no matter what!

Each one of us is the bride of Jesus, but also collectively as a Church.  He has a personal relationship yet a communal one with believers at the same time.  Have you ever seen Jesus as the Bridegroom of your life?  Who do you worship or devote all your time to?  How can you allow the Holy Spirit guide you in worshiping the One who longs for your heart?  He is the ultimate Bridegroom, so let us wait for Him to come back and take us home with Him!! 

In His Love,


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Jesus is the Alpha and Omega on the 12th Day of Advent

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." 
Revelation 1:8

Alpha and Omega.  They are the first and last letters of the Greek Alphabet, so translated to English Jesus is A and Z.  He is the Beginning and the End.  The One who was at the beginning of your life will also be at the end.  He is waiting for us there, yet simultaneously right with us today.  That's the amazing infinite and eternal nature of Jesus!!  He was in the beginning as Creator and will be at the end of times as Judge.  He is part of and in everything.  

This is one of the many attributes that allowed Him to die for the sins of everyone in the world.  Since He is eternal and infinite, He is not bound by time.  He could pay the price of our sins, the price being death, 2000 years before we were even born.  It is awesome how God reveals His plan and how intricate it really was.  

What words of praise can you offer Him for revealing such completeness about Himself?  In this scripture, He also reveals His eternal nature, which intertwines with His infinite nature of beginning and end.  Does it comfort you that He is the beginning and the end?  How has your praise for Him increased this Advent season?

In His Love,

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

11th Day of Advent: Jesus is the Creator

Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness....."
 Genesis 1:26a
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word with with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.  
John 1:1-3

So 26 verses into the Bible we see that God isn't singular.  There is a Triune God, three Persons but One God.  There is God the Father, Jesus is the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit.  Jesus was present at Creation! Jesus didn't just come into being that night in Bethlehem.  Jesus is Eternal so He has always been (just not in human form) and will always be!!  Therefore, Jesus created us.  John 1:1-3 solidifies this idea.  He is the Word and so He was right there with God when He created the world and everything we know!  How awesome is that!! 

It puts into perspective another aspect of Jesus' life.  He is the Creator and He came down to Earth to live with the created.  That's wonderful news for us.  We have a God who knows us by name and wants to be with us.  Not only does He know our name but He knows all our wrongdoings, all our dark thoughts, all of our mess and HE STILL CHOOSES US!! We can't choose our earthly family but we have a Heavenly Father who has chosen and adopted us.

He knows you inside and out because He knit us together in our mother's womb (Psalm 139) so why not get to know Him the same way?  How amazing would that be to state that you know Jesus that intimately?? Well guess what...WE CAN KNOW HIM!!  Because of His Work on the Cross, we can have an intimate and personal relationship with our God.  Not only does He desire that but also delights in it too. 

Will you praise Him today for something He created?  Whether it is you, someone else or even the mountains, sky and stars.  It was ALL made by Him.    What words of worship can you offer Him for this amazing Truth?  The Holy Spirit reminds me that since I am made in the image of God, I can also create--maybe not mountains, but we create works every day.  What are you going to create today--can you say that it will be for Jesus glory?  If not, maybe reconsider...

With His Love,

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

On the 10th Day of Advent: Jesus is the King of Kings

"They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings--and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers."
Revelation 17:14

There is no other King like Jesus.  He rules over all other kings, humans, animals: all of creation.  He isn't a ruthless King, but loving, gentle and just.  He is the best King we could ever ask for.  One who laid down His life to pay the price His subjects couldn't.

Jesus is the King of all the kings who have ever ruled.  He is the Ultimate King because His Throne is in Heaven.  Just because He is a King doesn't mean that He is not approachable.  He can be King of your heart if you let Him in! 

Have you let Jesus rule over your heart?  It's okay if you are not perfect because He still loves you and will help you along the way towards perfection.  We have the gift of the Bible to be able to read through so many others' stories who have come before us and made mistakes or got things right.  We can use them and most importantly Jesus' life as an example to lead ours.  Just another reason to read your Bible!  We also have the Holy Spirit living inside of us to prompt us, guide us, and give us His desires.  He helps us to submit to our King. 

So this year when you look at that manger scene, will you see the babe as a King?  The One who holds the power to open the scroll of God.  The One who had all the glory in Heaven, yet left it so that He could save you.  How will you worship Him as the days are dwindling until Christmas Day?  What words of praise will you savor these next couple of days as you reflect on His majesty and grace?

In His Love,

Monday, December 11, 2017

9th Day of Advent: Jesus is the Bread of Life

"For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heave and gives life to the world...I am the Bread of Life.  Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."
John 6:33, 35

Yesterday we explored Jesus as the Living Water-the One who can quench our thirst.  Today we will see Jesus gives us sustenance or nourishment as the Bread of Life.

Jesus sustains our life because we have eternal life because of Him!! The Word of God is alive and feeds us when we read the Bible.  How is your soul being feed by Jesus?  Do you rely on Him to fill you instead of food?  I've been trying really hard lately to break my idolatry of food and remind myself that "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).   

Just like drinking up Jesus as the Living Water, if we nourish ourselves with Jesus as the Bread of Life our souls will never go hungry or long for worldly things that don't satisfy.  Our bodies can survive a few days without food but eventually we would starve and die.  The same is for our souls.  However, our souls are starved much longer than a few days.  If we deprive our souls of Jesus for our lifetime then we do die spiritually and physically.  That's a terrifying thought!  I want to feed my soul with the Living Water and Bread of Life, daily just like I feed my body with the nutrients it needs to function. 

Are you feeding on Jesus and drinking in the Words of God?  If not, will you ask for the desire to fill yourself with Him--He delights to answer those prayers!!

In His Love,

Sunday, December 10, 2017

2nd Sunday of Advent: Jesus is the Living Water

Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.....but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life" 
 John 4:10, 14

In this passage, Jesus is talking to a women at a well.  She is Samaritan and the Jews don't really talk to them.  Therefore, that was the first unusual aspect of this interaction.  She was also a woman which was uncharacteristic of men to talk to woman who aren't their family members.  He then asks her for a drink of water.  When she questions Him talking to her, He says the above verse.  She confused because Jesus doesn't have a pail to draw water and what does it mean to be living water??

He switches it around on her.  He says you should be asking me for a drink, a taste of His Glory.  Wouldn't that have been amazing to be sitting on the edge of a well chatting with Jesus?  Oh how I can't wait for those days when we will be able to do that :) Anyways, she is curious and wants some of this water! 

As humans we need water to survive.  Our body is made up of about 60% water.  Therefore, we can barely go one day without becoming dehydrated and sick.  So how does that translate to Jesus being the Living Water?  Well if we "drink" Him up, or take in The Word and invest in our relationship, we will never be thirsty again.  We could be thirsty for: wealth, attention, significance, power, love: it is personal for everyone but basically most things of this world.  However, when we fill ourselves with Jesus, then those spaces are filled and we no longer long for those.  We will never be thirsty for things that aren't good for us!! How amazing is that.  

There is another great truth in this name.  Jesus is the Living Water.  Yes Jesus died on the cross but He didn't stay in the grave.  Death had no power over Him.  He rose from death and is LIVING again.  We truly have a God that is not dead but fully living in Heaven (Luke 22:69).  This means that Jesus is alive and active in our lives.  That just brings me to my knees and humbles me.  The love that Jesus has for us, we will never be able to give out or understand but we can experience it if we allow Him into our lives.

But WAIT there's more.  Again in John 7:37-38, Jesus invites all who are thirst to come to Him for a drink.  He made this invitation during the Feast of the Tabernacles when the Israelites where celebrating the Exodus out of Egypt.  When the Israelites needed water, Moses struck the rock, water came out.  Well it was no coincidence that Jesus made this statement during this commemoration.  Jesus is the Rock and the Living Water flows out of Him.  Ahhhh!!! Mind Blown!! That's my new favorite revelation about Jesus!!

Have you thought about Jesus as the Living Water?  What worldly things are you thirsty for?  How can you ask the Holy Spirit to help you replace them with time with Jesus and drink up His presence?  Have you tried this in your life?  How has it changed your perspective?  I would love to know :D

With His Love,

Saturday, December 9, 2017

7th Day of Advent: Jesus is the Word of God

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.....The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us."
John 1:1, 14a

"And God said"
Genesis 1:3a
God spoke and there was light, earth, the whole universe as we know it (Genesis 1)! Wow His Words were powerful and still are powerful today! He also always keeps His covenants or promises, therefore His Words are always true and trustworthy.  Now if we think about Jesus, He was powerful and the words He spoke were always true.  He resisted the Devil's temptations with scripture---God's Word (Matthew 4).  Jesus was born so that He could live a human life and die a human death to pay for human sins, that is what John means in the "Word became Flesh". 

Jesus' life here on Earth is an example for us to live and strive for.  He was living out God's Word by the actions of His life.  Jesus was the Word because He was the Message from God--the message of Salvation, Redemption and Righteousness.  His Words on the Cross--"It is Finished" John 19:30, hold the same power as in creation.  The fight between Good and Evil is over--Jesus has won the Victory!!

What does Jesus say personally to you?  What is God, through the Holy Spirit or Scripture trying to tell you?

This Christmas season as your stress levels rise, I challenge you (and myself!!) to be careful of the words that come out of your mouth or stick in your brain.  Human words are powerful, but God's Words can heal.  So when you are angry, open your bible and read the Love Letter God has written to you and remember Jesus is the Word.  He came down to rescue you!! <3

With His Love,

P.S. This reminder is really for me :D I need to hold back my tongue and only let His Words of Life flow from my mouth

Friday, December 8, 2017

Day 6 of Advent: Jesus is the Lion from the Tribe of Judah

Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.  He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."
Revelation 5:5

Jesus is not only a Lamb but also a mighty Lion.  That's the duality of His nature has God: gentle yet powerful, slain but alive, sacrifice and priest.  In Revelation, we learn Jesus is the One who comes and is able to open the scroll of God the Father's Plan of future events.  Only Jesus has the authority to reveal what is going to happen.  The fact that He is called the Lion of Judah refers back to Israel's (Judah's father) blessing in Genesis 49:9 which alluded to the Messiah being from the Tribe of Judah.  Jesus has real human, earthly, tangible, traceable ancestors (Matthew 1).  Jesus is fully man, yet also fully God. 

He is also called the Lion because they are fierce animals.  Jesus has fierce love for us.  He is powerful and mighty, yet He cares for and protects His own, like a lion would a pride.  How does this make you appreciate His love for you? 

Since Jesus has triumphed, that means if we believe in Him and put our whole trust in Him, then we have already won!  How does Jesus fierce love break through your barriers that you put in place to protect yourself?  What difference does or could His love make in your life?

In His Love,

p.s. I needed to revisit the truth today that Jesus has fierce love for me :)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Day Five of Advent: Jesus is the Shepherd

"I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep....I know my sheep and my sheep know me."
John 10:11, 14b

Shepherds take care of their sheep.  They watch over them and lead them.  Why do sheep need so much guidance and protection?  They are not instinctive animals.  That is a nice way to say they are pretty dumb.  If a predator comes, the sheep will basically stand there.  They don't flee from danger. Don't these descriptions seems kind of familiar?  I know I can be described as not instinctive and dumb at times!

Today let's worship Jesus and reflect on His role as the Good Shepherd in our lives.  The Shepherd leads His sheep to better pastures and protects them from harm.  He will even go out of His way to find that lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7), He found me!! He even will lay down His life for the protection and goodwill of His Flock (that's us!).  How amazing is that?!

Jesus even goes on to say that He knows His sheep!  That means He knows each one of us.  Jesus already knew you before you were even born! (Psalm 139)  What comfort and great news is that!  Jesus will lead us and protect us if we let Him.  Did you catch that last part...if we let Him?  He will be our Good Shepherd joyfully, just ask Him!!

Not only is Jesus the Lamb of God but He also is the Shepherd.  His role as the Lamb is for sacrificial purposes, but His role as the Shepherd is for leadership.  How is Jesus the Shepherd of your life?  Do you recognize Him as the One leading your life?  Where in your life do you need to give up that control and allow Him to watch over, guide, and protect you like a shepherd would for their flock?  What praise can you give Jesus for being the Shepherd who watches over all His sheep?  

Go and end the day knowing that Jesus is in control and that He is watching over you, not letting you stray away from the flock of God's children.  This is the Truth that I need today!! 

In His Love,

Day 4: Jesus is the Lamb

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!"
John 1:29
Here's some background to this verse.  The Israelites (God's People) were slaves in Egypt.  God sent Moses to ask Pharaoh to allow ALL the people to be freed (there were more than a million Israelites enslaved).  Pharaoh repeatedly said no.  Therefore, God sent plagues to Egypt to punish Pharaoh and the Egyptians for their disobedience.  On the night that the Israelite Nation left Egypt, God had commanded Moses to instruct the Israelites to slaughter a blemish free lamb, eat it and  spread the blood on the doorposts of their house.  When The Angel of Death passed through the land of Egypt for the 10th and final plague of killing all first born sons, he would pass over the houses with lamb blood on the door frames.  God didn't punish or inflict judgement on His people.  Instead He passed over them! (Exodus 12)

Jesus is the Ultimate Lamb because He was Perfect and Blameless.  He was slaughtered and His blood was spilled out for us. His Blood on our doorposts of life is way more valuable than any animal lamb.  Isn't this a beautiful picture?  The simplicity of the foreshadowing of Jesus a mere 62 chapters into the Bible.  We are now able to be passed over for God’s judgment because Jesus' Blood covers us!

I think this is a reason to celebrate in the coming days.  Normally we talk about Jesus as the Lamb of God during Easter when He was crucified, but at His birth, He was just as much of God's Lamb as on Calvary 33 years later.  Jesus was born knowing all this would happen and yet He still continued to live a life that we will never be able to.  He was filled with the Joy of the Lord no matter His circumstances.  This is a wonderful example for our lives, although it can be difficult to implement at times.

Have you applied the Blood of Jesus to the doorposts of your life?  What would happen if you did?

With His Love,


PS Isn't beautiful that some of the first people to see Jesus the Lamb of God in this world were Shepherds?!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

3rd Day of Advent: Jesus is the Vine

"I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing"
John 15:5

Jesus is the Vine, the main life source.  We cannot bear Fruit of the Spirit unless we get our life source from The Vine.  I have been so desperate in producing the Fruit of the Spirit lately, but I need to remember that I cannot bear fruit of my own. It’s the Fruit of the Spirit, not Amanda. I am not the one producing the fruit but He is producing the fruit through me. I need to remain in the Vine, connected to Him, to bear fruit.  I have recently learned more about the Fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Paul says fruit, not fruits meaning that they all come in together, like a bunch of grapes.  Also it takes time and it is inevitable.  

The opposite of the fruit of the Spirit is fruit for death if we remain in our sin.  Destruction, jealousy, envy, immorality, and manyyyy more are those fruit. There is no joy, peace, or love.  Which type of fruit do you want to produce?  What do you need to change in your life so that you are going to the Vine daily for support and life supply? 

Remember it might take time for the Fruit of the Spirit to shine through but have hope, IF the Holy Spirit dwells in you, He is working and the Fruit will be seen at some point!! 

With His Love,

Monday, December 4, 2017

Day 2: Jesus is The Way-the ONLY WAY to Salvation

Jesus answered them, "I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me." 
John 14:6

Here's the background of this verse: Jesus is spending His last free moments with is trusted friends and disciples here on Earth.  He is trying to explain to them what is going to happen in only a few short hours.  However, they can't ever imagine the plan that has been set into motion.  I also believe that they weren't ready to understand the plan yet.  God would reveal the full completion of His plan to each disciple individually over the next 40 days.  Therefore, for each disciple in their own way learned and understood the Plan well enough to tell others and us through the Bible!! 

There are three powerful words that Jesus uses in this statement.  Jesus is saying He is the Way to His Father.  No one can have a relationship with God unless they go through Jesus first.  Maybe this is a statement you have heard and learned before.  Do you know why?  God is holy which means He cannot be near sin.  We are sinners (Romans 3:23), so basically God can't be near us.  That is why there were animal sacrifices in the Old Testament to make payment (death) to cover their sins.

"In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" Hebrews 9:22. God set up His law, that everything needed to be cleansed in blood because someone or something needed to die as a result of sin.  Blood symbolizes the life that paid for the sin (Lev 17:11).  When Jesus died on the cross, He shed His blood for us and now we are clean and holy if we trust in that Payment.  So the Way to the Father is accepting that Jesus has cleansed you and offered you forgiveness. 

The other two words are also sooo wonderful to explore.  Jesus is also Truth because He is the Logos or Word! He is the human form of God's Word and teachings.  Since God cannot be near sin, He doesn't lie.  Since Jesus is God and divine, He also can't be near sin.  Which means He will never lie.  Jesus' words and teachings are just as true Today as they were the day He spoke them to His disciples.  Isn't that amazing!  The same words He used to explain everything to His friends, you can read in your bible!!

Lastly, to wrap up the other two,  Jesus is The Life, without Him we are destined to go to H-E-double hockey sticks (HELL).  He gave His life as a sacrifice because our sin deserves death (Romans 6:23), He paid that death so that we are not bound by these human, mortal lives but we could have eternal life with Him forever and ever!! 

Is Jesus the Truth on which you stand?  A famous hymn states all other ground is sinking sand... Have you found eternal life in Him?  These are questions that are invoked by these attributes or names of Jesus.  How can you praise Him today because He provided a Way when we couldn't?  Paul tells us over and over again in Romans that it was NOTHING we could do to make ourselves right with God, even if we kept the law perfectly, we can't be right with God because we inherited Adam's sin nature, ONLY Jesus can rescue us and adopt us into His family, an eternal family of believers. Does it take a burden off your shoulders to stop trying so hard and rest in His power?  Can you feel the peace that only He provides?   

With His Love,

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Advent 2017 Kick-off!! Day 1: Jesus is the Light of the World

When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, "I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
John 8:12

Every Advent season since 2014, it has been my tradition to fire up my writing skills and blog about a different name of Jesus each day.  You can check back to previous years here: 2014, 2015, and 2016
The first name I chose this year is Jesus is the Light of the World.  Ever recently the darkness of the world has been overwhelming me.  I need to remember that Jesus brings light and He is always with me to snuff out the darkness in my life.  He shines even when the darkness of this broken world tries to consume, even when our dark sins try to consume, even when no one else is a light in our lives, He will remain bright.  Jesus is using I AM ,His divine, eternal name, showing the Jewish people that He is God.  They would've known that God uses I AM in the Old Testament and here Jesus is using it, making the connection that He is also God.  How amazing is that!!! 

Not only is He the Light, but He offers us an amazing promise.  If we follow Him, then we won't be in darkness anymore.  We will also have the same Light of Life!  I am no longer (for the most part) afraid of the darkness because I know Someone who spoke and Light entered the world (Genesis 1).   His Word is so powerful that it brings Light.  Light brings life because it shows you that you are dead in your sins (Romans 6:23) and alive only in Jesus (Romans 6:11).  Jesus can shine His Light into the dark parts of your life and change you.  Once those parts are in Jesus' Light, then you can truly change and become who He has created you to be.

This promise can only hold IF you follow Jesus.  So we need to make the commitment and actually follow Him.  The promise is so amazing that I don't even want to turn back from Jesus.  I know what it is like to be afraid of the dark (not just physical darkness but that spiritual dark pit I fell into before Him) and I don't need to be afraid anymore because Jesus is always with me.  What parts of your life do you need to bring into the Light? 

After we are all in the new Heaven/Earth, there will be no need for the sun or moon or stars because Jesus and His Glory will shine bright enough to illuminate everything! (Rev 21:23)  How does this truth impact your relationship with Him?  Who in your life may need a little bit of Jesus' light?  The Holy Spirit shines through us, so let Him :)

Join me for this Season of Advent growing deeper in the understanding of Who Jesus is and Why we need Him in our lives!!

With His Love,

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Whispers of Rest: Book Review!

Hello again everyone! I know it's been awhile a new blog post has appeared from me (since Christmas Day to be exact) but I'm back.  I've found my writing voice again.  I'm kicking off this new season with a book review from the lovely Bonnie Gray.  I read her book Finding Spiritual Whitespace and reviewed it a few years ago.  As always with her style, she is showing/instructing readers how to find that space for God to speak into your life.  This new book, Whispers of Rest is unique because it is a 40-day journey.  Each day there is a Scripture reading, prayer prompt, and journal prompt.  I find journaling a great release of my feelings.  I'm not very vocally articulate of my feelings because most of the times my natural reactions are instant anger.  Only after a while of thinking and reflecting am I able to process the true feelings underneath.  The journal prompts allow you do this!! 

Bonnie has left such great nuggets of Truth in each "Day" (chapter) of the book.  I'm going to share one of my favorites from the very first day:

"Jesus wants you to say YES to surrendering your heart, rather than putting your safety into executing a plan"

If you know me at all (or even followed me for awhile) you know that I loveeee plans.  I mean I am a teacher after all so I do make plans every day.  Actually through teaching and through God I have learned that my plans may not always be the best ones, in fact rarely in my life are they the best because I can't see the whole picture.  I'm not sovereign like God.  In teaching, sometimes you have to adapt to add in extra review days or standardized testing.  

When it comes to my spiritual life, slowly and surely I am learning and trusting that surrendering my heart to Jesus is the best action I can take.  I mean my heart is in the safest place on Earth.  It's in the hands that hold the whole world and it's in the hands that were nailed to the cross to take my punishment.  Why wouldn't I surrender it?! 

Since I started reading Whispers of Rest, I am truly starting to feel my soul become revitalized waking up, ready to share what I have learned the past few years that I've been silent.  Join me in the rest that we all crave!! Order the book here:  There are lots of free bonuses for ordering.  In addition there will be a Summer Book Club starting up!! Let me know if you are in!! 

Hope you enjoy!!

In His Love,