Pleasing God.. Am I doing it right?

How do we know if we are pleasing God? His word tells us simply:

You say, “What can I bring with me when I come before the Lord, when I bow before God on high? Should I come before him with burnt offerings, with year-old calves? Will the Lord be pleased with a thousand male sheep? Will he be pleased with ten thousand rivers of oil? Should I give my first child for the evil I have done? Should I give my very own child for my sin?”
8 The Lord has told you, human, what is good; he has told you what he wants from you: to do what is right to other people, love being kind to others, and live humbly, obeying your God. – Micah 6: 6-8

God is love. And love is an action. We see here that God wants to see us act from our hearts (do right, love being kind, live humbly, obey. Those are things that come from a pure heart; with pure motives). He wants the fruits of our hearts to be pure – as He is pure.

Let us not get caught up in doing good acts for justification, but let us do good acts because of His unfailing love. (He deserves it, don’t you think?) He already did what needed to be done. We don’t need to prove anything. Our price is already paid. Jesus made us clean and righteous in the sight of God through His death and His rising. Now is the time for us to show the same love and affection back to Him.

To me, His gentle love, His friendship, His passion for me..I can’t ever see myself giving back to him by giving him a thousand male sheep, ten thousand rivers of oils.. because I don’t think Daddy God worries about the quantity of how much I give..but the meaning and quality behind my offerings.

He cares about my effort, my love being poured out to Him. He wants to know that He has all of me, ever piece. And that I am in tune with His heart. That I am in tune with the Holy Spirit. That I am readily available for Him anytime due to my hunger and thirst for more of who He is.

Let your actions show what is on the inside of your heart — the pure love that you have for pleasing the Father.

- Sarah

 

Fasting and Love Devotional

I found a great new app which I would love to share the contents with you. I always wanted this blog to help people become closer to God through devotions or specific words, so I would like to share what I’m learning from this app and from my other devotions.

40 days of prayer and fasting starts at my church today, so I really need to dig deeper into the Word, and draw closer to the Lord. That is really my only objective of this fast; to go deeper, because I know that through that, God will make even bigger things happen.

Winter months are the hardest for me because this is the time where I start getting down, which is why it’s so important to prevent those feelings! If that happens with you too, I encourage you to get into a routine of having time with God, because it makes a huge difference.

- Sarah

Today’s Devotional

1 Corinthians 13: 7 – Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

love; suffers long, and is kind. does not envy; is not boastful. not puffed up, is not rude or selfish, is not easily provoked, thinks of no evil. does not rejoice in evil, but rejoices in truth. bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. never fails. 

Something that we should all strive for in this life is to live out the love that God has put in His Word. I find myself saying that I love someone, but do my actions show? Am I showing that love the way God wants me too? Love is something huge..something that we should always keep in mind. Let us focus on improving our love for others, as God has defined in His word.

Isaiah 40

Isaiah 40: 27-31 Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.

Isn’t it great to know that God lasts; that He doesn’t tire out. God is waiting for us to ask for a refreshing. He wants us to stop relying on our own strength and energy and rely on what He can provide for us. As we drift into a new year, let us remember to stay refreshed in the newness of God. Let us come expecting for His outpouring. Let His promises reign out in the new year, and let His kingdom reality expand in our lives and in the lives of others.

Let Freedom Begin: Romans 8

Ah, I’m in total awe of The Message translation. I seriously think that it gives a deeper revelation to what God is saying. I see that as I read the Spirit is all over me because these words are expressed in a way that I fully understand; and in an intimate way of Father to Daughter, rather than teacher to student. Today’s bible verse was from Romans 8, but I decided to read the whole chapter instead. Some of these words just jump out to me..and wow. That’s all I can say, because God’s word is so intimate and awesome.

Let us remember to live in the freedom that God has sent before us – through Jesus. Let us remember that it is not about the law — it’s about the love. Let us stop beating ourselves up because we mess up when God affectionately looks upon us and calls us His own. He saw our condition and made a way so we could be with him; Let us embrace it. He saw everything we did and are going to do, but He took care of those things already, because He just wants our hearts. He just wants to be with us. He wants us to push away the guilt of all the things we have done and fully embrace Him, in His perfect love.

Where human words fail, God’s word speaks, so let us be aware of the Spirit today in this reading:: 

 

1-2 With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

3-4 God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.

The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.

5-8 Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.

9-11 But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!

12-14 So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

15-17 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!

18-21 That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

22-25 All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

29-30 God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.

31-39 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Instructions for Life 101: 1 Peter 5: 6-11

So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; He is most careful with you. Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are! —will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does. (1 Peter 5: 6-11 The Message)

 

I don’t think Peter could have made it anymore straight forward. I think everyone can benefit from these reminders every day! :)This is what I get out of this verse:  Be content with you. Be humble – don’t make yourself out to be better than you are. Don’t worry. God cares more about you than anything in this world. Stay calm. Control your temper. Don’t lose sight of your mission. Be aware of all things. Guard yourself. You’re not alone. Stay faithful to God, because He is faithful to you. Troubles are temporary; God’s gifts are eternal.

Still in Vacation Mode :)

I know I haven’t written in a while, but I had the most amazing time on vacation (Disney!!). :) God is continually blessing my life, and I am just completely thankful. I’m thankful for my family, and my *new* fiance! And I’m also thankful for Jesus. How from the start He knew what His fate was, yet He continually followed His Father’s will; and in the process, saved me. So even in my failures, He looks upon me in love, and even when I turn away, He still pursues me. That’s all I really have to say for now. Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones, and remember the reason for the season.

xx Sarah

Psalms 119

I know this is a long Psalm, but there are just certain parts about it that I find myself saying exactly the same thing that the psalmist is saying; I’ve had the same feelings as they did and it just made me smile. There’s other things that just have me saying wow, that’s right on. Perhaps as you read through you will also have that same occurrence. Maybe it will stir in your heart to be even more hungry for God, I know it did for me. Knowing that God has set up the perfect plan for me is the most comforting thing I could hold onto. Knowing that we can turn His word into a dance as we walk down the road to our destiny is even more amazing.

- Sarah

1-8 You’re blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You’re blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find him.
That’s right—you don’t go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road he set.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
keeping to the course you set;
Then I’d never have any regrets
in comparing my life with your counsel.
I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;
I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
I’m going to do what you tell me to do;
don’t ever walk off and leave me.

9-16 How can a young person live a clean life?
By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I’m single-minded in pursuit of you;
don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart
so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed, God;
train me in your ways of wise living.
I’ll transfer to my lips
all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
I attentively watch how you’ve done it.
I relish everything you’ve told me of life,
I won’t forget a word of it.

17-24 Be generous with me and I’ll live a full life;
not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road.
Open my eyes so I can see
what you show me of your miracle-wonders.
I’m a stranger in these parts;
give me clear directions.
My soul is starved and hungry, ravenous!—
insatiable for your nourishing commands.
And those who think they know so much,
ignoring everything you tell them—let them have it!
Don’t let them mock and humiliate me;
I’ve been careful to do just what you said.
While bad neighbors maliciously gossip about me,
I’m absorbed in pondering your wise counsel.
Yes, your sayings on life are what give me delight;
I listen to them as to good neighbors!

25-32 I’m feeling terrible—I couldn’t feel worse!
Get me on my feet again. You promised, remember?
When I told my story, you responded;
train me well in your deep wisdom.
Help me understand these things inside and out
so I can ponder your miracle-wonders.
My sad life’s dilapidated, a falling-down barn;
build me up again by your Word.
Barricade the road that goes Nowhere;
grace me with your clear revelation.
I choose the true road to Somewhere,
I post your road signs at every curve and corner.
I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me;
God, don’t let me down!
I’ll run the course you lay out for me
if you’ll just show me how.

33-40 God, teach me lessons for living
so I can stay the course.
Give me insight so I can do what you tell me—
my whole life one long, obedient response.
Guide me down the road of your commandments;
I love traveling this freeway!
Give me a bent for your words of wisdom,
and not for piling up loot.
Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets,
invigorate me on the pilgrim way.
Affirm your promises to me—
promises made to all who fear you.
Deflect the harsh words of my critics—
but what you say is always so good.
See how hungry I am for your counsel;
preserve my life through your righteous ways!

41-48 Let your love, God, shape my life
with salvation, exactly as you promised;
Then I’ll be able to stand up to mockery
because I trusted your Word.
Don’t ever deprive me of truth, not ever—
your commandments are what I depend on.
Oh, I’ll guard with my life what you’ve revealed to me,
guard it now, guard it ever;
And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces
as I look for your truth and your wisdom;
Then I’ll tell the world what I find,
speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed.
I cherish your commandments—oh, how I love them!—
relishing every fragment of your counsel.

49-56 Remember what you said to me, your servant—
I hang on to these words for dear life!
These words hold me up in bad times;
yes, your promises rejuvenate me.
The insolent ridicule me without mercy,
but I don’t budge from your revelation.
I watch for your ancient landmark words,
and know I’m on the right track.
But when I see the wicked ignore your directions,
I’m beside myself with anger.
I set your instructions to music
and sing them as I walk this pilgrim way.
I meditate on your name all night, God,
treasuring your revelation, O God.
Still, I walk through a rain of derision
because I live by your Word and counsel.

57-64 Because you have satisfied me, God, I promise
to do everything you say.
I beg you from the bottom of my heart: smile,
be gracious to me just as you promised.
When I took a long, careful look at your ways,
I got my feet back on the trail you blazed.
I was up at once, didn’t drag my feet,
was quick to follow your orders.
The wicked hemmed me in—there was no way out—
but not for a minute did I forget your plan for me.
I get up in the middle of the night to thank you;
your decisions are so right, so true—I can’t wait till morning!
I’m a friend and companion of all who fear you,
of those committed to living by your rules.
Your love, God, fills the earth!
Train me to live by your counsel.

65-72 Be good to your servant, God;
be as good as your Word.
Train me in good common sense;
I’m thoroughly committed to living your way.
Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place,
but now I’m in step with your Word.
You are good, and the source of good;
train me in your goodness.
The godless spread lies about me,
but I focus my attention on what you are saying;
They’re bland as a bucket of lard,
while I dance to the tune of your revelation.
My troubles turned out all for the best—
they forced me to learn from your textbook.
Truth from your mouth means more to me
than striking it rich in a gold mine.

73-80 With your very own hands you formed me;
now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you.
When they see me waiting, expecting your Word,
those who fear you will take heart and be glad.
I can see now, God, that your decisions are right;
your testing has taught me what’s true and right.
Oh, love me—and right now!—hold me tight!
just the way you promised.
Now comfort me so I can live, really live;
your revelation is the tune I dance to.
Let the fast-talking tricksters be exposed as frauds;
they tried to sell me a bill of goods,
but I kept my mind fixed on your counsel.
Let those who fear you turn to me
for evidence of your wise guidance.
And let me live whole and holy, soul and body,
so I can always walk with my head held high.

81-88 I’m homesick—longing for your salvation;
I’m waiting for your word of hope.
My eyes grow heavy watching for some sign of your promise;
how long must I wait for your comfort?
There’s smoke in my eyes—they burn and water,
but I keep a steady gaze on the instructions you post.
How long do I have to put up with all this?
How long till you haul my tormentors into court?
The arrogant godless try to throw me off track,
ignorant as they are of God and his ways.
Everything you command is a sure thing,
but they harass me with lies. Help!
They’ve pushed and pushed—they never let up—
but I haven’t relaxed my grip on your counsel.
In your great love revive me
so I can alertly obey your every word.

89-96 What you say goes, God,
and stays, as permanent as the heavens.
Your truth never goes out of fashion;
it’s as up-to-date as the earth when the sun comes up.
Your Word and truth are dependable as ever;
that’s what you ordered—you set the earth going.
If your revelation hadn’t delighted me so,
I would have given up when the hard times came.
But I’ll never forget the advice you gave me;
you saved my life with those wise words.
Save me! I’m all yours.
I look high and low for your words of wisdom.
The wicked lie in ambush to destroy me,
but I’m only concerned with your plans for me.
I see the limits to everything human,
but the horizons can’t contain your commands!

97-104 Oh, how I love all you’ve revealed;
I reverently ponder it all the day long.
Your commands give me an edge on my enemies;
they never become obsolete.
I’ve even become smarter than my teachers
since I’ve pondered and absorbed your counsel.
I’ve become wiser than the wise old sages
simply by doing what you tell me.
I watch my step, avoiding the ditches and ruts of evil
so I can spend all my time keeping your Word.
I never make detours from the route you laid out;
you gave me such good directions.
Your words are so choice, so tasty;
I prefer them to the best home cooking.
With your instruction, I understand life;
that’s why I hate false propaganda.

105-112 By your words I can see where I’m going;
they throw a beam of light on my dark path.
I’ve committed myself and I’ll never turn back
from living by your righteous order.
Everything’s falling apart on me, God;
put me together again with your Word.
Festoon me with your finest sayings, God;
teach me your holy rules.
My life is as close as my own hands,
but I don’t forget what you have revealed.
The wicked do their best to throw me off track,
but I don’t swerve an inch from your course.
I inherited your book on living; it’s mine forever—
what a gift! And how happy it makes me!
I concentrate on doing exactly what you say—
I always have and always will.

113-120 I hate the two-faced,
but I love your clear-cut revelation.
You’re my place of quiet retreat;
I wait for your Word to renew me.
Get out of my life, evildoers,
so I can keep my God’s commands.
Take my side as you promised; I’ll live then for sure.
Don’t disappoint all my grand hopes.
Stick with me and I’ll be all right;
I’ll give total allegiance to your definitions of life.
Expose all who drift away from your sayings;
their casual idolatry is lethal.
You reject earth’s wicked as so much rubbish;
therefore I lovingly embrace everything you say.
I shiver in awe before you;
your decisions leave me speechless with reverence.

121-128 I stood up for justice and the right;
don’t leave me to the mercy of my oppressors.
Take the side of your servant, good God;
don’t let the godless take advantage of me.
I can’t keep my eyes open any longer, waiting for you
to keep your promise to set everything right.
Let your love dictate how you deal with me;
teach me from your textbook on life.
I’m your servant—help me understand what that means,
the inner meaning of your instructions.
It’s time to act, God;
they’ve made a shambles of your revelation!
Yea-Saying God, I love what you command,
I love it better than gold and gemstones;
Yea-Saying God, I honor everything you tell me,
I despise every deceitful detour.

129-136 Every word you give me is a miracle word—
how could I help but obey?
Break open your words, let the light shine out,
let ordinary people see the meaning.
Mouth open and panting,
I wanted your commands more than anything.
Turn my way, look kindly on me,
as you always do to those who personally love you.
Steady my steps with your Word of promise
so nothing malign gets the better of me.
Rescue me from the grip of bad men and women
so I can live life your way.
Smile on me, your servant;
teach me the right way to live.
I cry rivers of tears
because nobody’s living by your book!

137-144 You are right and you do right, God;
your decisions are right on target.
You rightly instruct us in how to live
ever faithful to you.
My rivals nearly did me in,
they persistently ignored your commandments.
Your promise has been tested through and through,
and I, your servant, love it dearly.
I’m too young to be important,
but I don’t forget what you tell me.
Your righteousness is eternally right,
your revelation is the only truth.
Even though troubles came down on me hard,
your commands always gave me delight.
The way you tell me to live is always right;
help me understand it so I can live to the fullest.

145-152 I call out at the top of my lungs,
“God! Answer! I’ll do whatever you say.”
I called to you, “Save me
so I can carry out all your instructions.”
I was up before sunrise,
crying for help, hoping for a word from you.
I stayed awake all night,
prayerfully pondering your promise.
In your love, listen to me;
in your justice, God, keep me alive.
As those out to get me come closer and closer,
they go farther and farther from the truth you reveal;
But you’re the closest of all to me, God,
and all your judgments true.
I’ve known all along from the evidence of your words
that you meant them to last forever.

153-160 Take a good look at my trouble, and help me—
I haven’t forgotten your revelation.
Take my side and get me out of this;
give me back my life, just as you promised.
“Salvation” is only gibberish to the wicked
because they’ve never looked it up in your dictionary.
Your mercies, God, run into the billions;
following your guidelines, revive me.
My antagonists are too many to count,
but I don’t swerve from the directions you gave.
I took one look at the quitters and was filled with loathing;
they walked away from your promises so casually!
Take note of how I love what you tell me;
out of your life of love, prolong my life.
Your words all add up to the sum total: Truth.
Your righteous decisions are eternal.

161-168 I’ve been slandered unmercifully by the politicians,
but my awe at your words keeps me stable.
I’m ecstatic over what you say,
like one who strikes it rich.
I hate lies—can’t stand them!—
but I love what you have revealed.
Seven times each day I stop and shout praises
for the way you keep everything running right.
For those who love what you reveal, everything fits—
no stumbling around in the dark for them.
I wait expectantly for your salvation;
God, I do what you tell me.
My soul guards and keeps all your instructions—
oh, how much I love them!
I follow your directions, abide by your counsel;
my life’s an open book before you.

169-176 Let my cry come right into your presence, God;
provide me with the insight that comes only from your Word.
Give my request your personal attention,
rescue me on the terms of your promise.
Let praise cascade off my lips;
after all, you’ve taught me the truth about life!
And let your promises ring from my tongue;
every order you’ve given is right.
Put your hand out and steady me
since I’ve chosen to live by your counsel.
I’m homesick, God, for your salvation;
I love it when you show yourself!
Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well,
use your decrees to put iron in my soul.
And should I wander off like a lost sheep—seek me!
I’ll recognize the sound of your voice.

Rough Times Bring Realization

“Come along to Bethel and sin! And then to Gilgal and sin some more! Bring your sacrifices for morning worship. Every third day bring your tithe. Burn pure sacrifices—thank offerings. Speak up—announce freewill offerings! That’s the sort of religious show you Israelites just love.” – God’s Decree.

“You know, don’t you, that I’m the One who emptied your pantries and cleaned out your cupboards; Who left you hungry and standing in bread lines? But you never got hungry for me. You continued to ignore me.” – God’s Decree.

7-8 “Yes, and I’m the One who stopped the rains three months short of harvest. I’d make it rain on one village, but not on another. I’d make it rain on one field, but not on another—and that one would dry up. People would stagger from village to village crazed for water and never quenching their thirst. But you never got thirsty for me. You ignored me.” – God’s Decree.

“I hit your crops with disease and withered your orchards and gardens. Locusts devoured your olive and fig trees, but you continued to ignore me.” –  God’s Decree. 10 “I revisited you with the old Egyptian plagues, killed your choice young men and prize horses. The stink of rot in your camps was so strong that you held your noses— But you didn’t notice me. You continued to ignore me.” – God’s Decree.

11 “I hit you with earthquake and fire, left you devastated like Sodom and Gomorrah. You were like a burning stick snatched from the flames. But you never looked my way. You continued to ignore me.”- God’s Decree. 12 “All this I have done to you, Israel, and this is why I have done it. Time’s up, O Israel! Prepare to meet your God!”

13 Look who’s here: Mountain-Shaper! Wind-Maker! He laid out the whole plot before Adam. He brings everything out of nothing, like dawn out of darkness. He strides across the alpine ridges. His name is God, God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

- Amos 4: 4-13 (The Message)

My poor Daddy God..That was my first thought after I thought about what He was doing..What He was trying to get across. All He wanted was their attention!!

“but..you never got hungry for me..you never got thirsty for me..

you didn’t notice me..you never looked my way..you just ignored me..” 

How often do we do this to God? I feel His brokenness, His distress in this passage. How often do we question “Where is God?” and He looks us straight in the eye and says “I’m right here..but where are you?” Turn your eyes upon Him. Look for Him. Hunger and Thirst for Him.

In verse 4, God tells us straight out. “Hey, I’m tired of you just giving your money because you think it’s what you’re supposed to do. I’m tired of you giving me worship without giving me yourself. I want all of you. I’m jealous for you! I want you to hunger and thirst until it drives you mad! Because that’s how I feel about you. I’m so crazy in love with you guys. Please let me show you. Because if you’d let me.you’d feel the same.

In vs 5-11, God tries to get the Israelites attention by bringing misfortune. But they were veiled. They wanted to find solutions their own way. They went from village to village looking for help, instead of looking to the Helper Himself. Let us be reminded that trials are God’s way of getting our attention, It’s His way of keeping us in check. His way of making sure we rely only on Him. His way of making sure we have 100% trust in Him, and that He is our Number 1 love of our lives.

- Sarah

Busy Mind: Time to Get Quiet

Confession: Something I always struggle with is I get too busy thinking and dreaming about my future that I forget to praise God in the here and now. I get into funks where I get wrapped up in doing other things other than being quiet before God; which is when I start feeling down and question “Where’d you go God?” I’m sure all of us experience that from time to time, but I really hate when I let it happen. He’s not the one who moves away – we do. He’s waiting for us to come back to Him again.

I want God to be my number one, after all, He sent His number One for me. I want Him to be on my mind when I wake up, when I go to sleep, when I dream. I want His presence to be around me at all times, His love consuming me with everything I do. I don’t want to live a day without His presence. I just want More. More. More.

God is a jealous God for us. We should be a jealous for more of Him; I don’t think He’d deny us that. When life around us gets loud, get quiet before God. When you find yourself getting distracted; let God be your distraction. When you’re feeling down and out – alone ; let God be your company. He’s the healer of the brokenhearted, the repairer, the helper, the deliverer, the comforter. He’s everything you need.

- Sarah

Poor in Spirit: A New Mentality

Today has been a very busy day, however I felt the need to bring some sort of encouragement or teaching forth. I never want my life to become too busy for the word of God! Furthermore, here’s a random verse that has been brought to me today:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3

I did look up the meaning of “poor in spirit” because I wanted to understand it completely so I could pass this onto you. “Poor in spirit” basically means to have a realization of your state. We are a fallen race, however through Christ, we are made clean.

To be poor in spirit is to be made humble. We need to realize how much higher God is from us. God does not expect anything from us. God knows what we have done. Every sin. Yet He loves us anyways. Unconditionally. Notice it always comes back to love?

Jesus is telling us to be aware of where we were heading before He went to the cross. He reminds us to reject pride of ourselves, because really, in our sinful self, what do we have to offer? We are helpless orphans. But praise God, because through Jesus Christ, God calls us sons and daughters.

I think this verse makes us appreciate. It reminds us that we shouldn’t take for granted what God has given us. This verse gives us a new meaning to life. It gives us a new sense of appreciation for each breath we take. That even though we fail daily, God still remains the same. He remains Faithful. He remains Our Father. He remains the Pursuer of Our Heart.

The mentality of knowing how far God has taken you will stir something within your spirit. It will cause a new sense of freedom. A new sense of abandonment from your fears, anxieties, and standards. Being “spiritually poor” keeps us in check of how much we need God; not how much He needs us.

Take hold of that tonight. Ask God to give you a new mentality of all He has done. I know often it’s easy to forget in this world. But just ask Him, and I’m sure He can give you a good reason to be thankful, and a good reason to become spiritually aware of our needy state for Him in our lives.

- Sarah