Pray The Psalms With Me, Psalm 3

This Psalm is addressing hopelessness. Hopelessness is a state of mind. We have to choose to have hope. Psalm 3 helps remind us what we should be doing to have hope and remain in hope when we are in trouble or are feeling fearful. We must remember our salvation. God saved us! If we meditate on how God saved us we are hopeful that He will save us from whatever trouble we are in now. How awesome it is that we have a God who saves us! Fear is the opposite of love. When we are in fear we are out of love. We aren’t remembering God’s love for us. Remember God loves you, so have faith and trust in Him. God hears our prayers and He answers in His way and in His timing. He will not leave us or forsake us. We can rest in peace knowing God is with us and protects us. People can’t scare us because we know who we belong to. We declare victory over our enemies and Satan. He has no power over us unless we give it to him. Being hopeless is a way he can get in. Close the door on hopelessness and open the door to Jesus, the one who never leaves us, He is our hope! Choose to focus on Jesus!

Prayer

Thank you for the promise that You will never leave us alone! Thank you for hearing our prayers and answering us when we call on Your name. You are a great loving Father to us, Your children. One day we will be with You in heaven and we will know You fully. I can’t wait for that day! Until then thank you for Your Holy Spirit leading us and guiding us and for the hope we have in Jesus! Amen.

Sin Leads To Fear And Anger

My reading in the Mosaic Bible is about sin and how the world is so immune to it. He explains how sin is “missing the mark”. What mark you may ask? The mark is the moral standard for all humanity that comes from the holy character of God. We all fall short. Romans 3:23-24,  since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God,24 and are being justified [declared free of the guilt of sin, made acceptable to God, and granted eternal life] as a gift by His [precious, undeserved] [a]grace, through the redemption [the payment for our sin] which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,

God’s glory, His holiness is a standard we can not live up to. But God has made a way through Jesus Christ for us to have peace with God. Jesus lived a sinless life, He didn’t miss the mark. He is our only avenue to get to God. We have to be sinless to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This is impossible without Jesus. His righteousness is substituted for our sinfulness. He paid the price for us. All we have to do is receive this free gift. Ephesians 2:8-9, For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation]. Bible references from Bible Gateway.

Lent to Repent

The scripture is Matthew 5:21-26 and it’s talking about never to be angry with anyone because the judgement on anger is the same as the judgement on murder. Jesus says to make peace with everyone.

Ann says: Today I will fast from wrath and anger because anger is often just the costume of fear.

This line “anger is often the costume of fear” stands out to me. I know in myself that I would get angry a lot when my kids were little because I feared whatever was happening. I didn’t want them to feel pain or sadness. I’ve always tried to prevent it. I would get angry when they got hurt, that may sound crazy and for a long time I tried to understand why that was happening. After I got saved I realized it wasn’t the kids that made me angry, it was the sin. This is the same for God toward us. I wrote about this here. With my kids I see where I was in fear of them getting hurt when they were rough housing or playing outside. The fear drove me to anger when the inevitable happened. I was angry that they had to experience pain or sadness. But I learned that in order to appreciate the good and happy times we have to experience painful times. Even though seeing them hurt makes my heart hurt, it’s helping them. Ann said in her book The Greatest Gift, that God doesn’t allow a trial without a gift. God uses hard things to grow us up spiritually. He takes everything in our life and turns it into glory, His glory. Nothing is wasted in God’s Kingdom. God has a plan where the world will one day be without pain, suffering and sadness. I have yearned for this new world in my soul already and didn’t even know it until I had children of my own. So as long as I live I will strive to bring peace and goodness to the world and not anger and violence. Peace is kingdom living right here, right now.

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Polar Express Journey Of The Heart

Before I was saved I had watched Polar Express with my kids and like everyone else I thought this movie was about Santa but after you have eyes to see, after you have been born again, you realize the kids in the movie represent the different types of people there are and the believing is about believing in God.

When I saw this movie again the ticket really stood out to me because of my father in law. He passed away in 2009. He was suffering from cancer and was bed ridden for a year. During one of the visits my husband had with his dad, he spoke of his ticket. His dad was looking all over the bed for something and my husband asked him what he was looking for. He said he was looking for his ticket. He went on to say that it had been punched and Jesus told him all that he had to do was wave his ticket and he would be let in. He said God was around the corner and he was just waiting to be let in. He found the ticket and sat there holding it peacefully, but to my husband, he saw nothing.

I know the movie has a surface meaning about Santa but I see a deeper meaning and wanted to write about it. I see the Polar Express as a journey of the heart. The boy who the movie is about is a doubter. Although he does want to believe, he needs proof.  He looks to his books for answers and finds that the North Pole is stark, barren, devoid of life. A lot like people’s hearts today.  This boy takes a journey into his heart and finds life, wonder, belief.  On his journey he meets three people. One is a believer, a girl, who has faith, doesn’t try to figure things out, just believes. She sees the wonder in it all and makes people want what she has. There is a boy who is a”know it all”. He has knowledge spilling from the brim! But all the knowledge in the world will not compare to experience. He fills his mind with all the facts but doesn’t give room in his heart for faith. He really doesn’t know anything at all because he can’t see with his heart, like the girl. Then another boy he meets is negative. He is portrayed as poor because that’s how he views himself. He actually blocks his blessings because of his negative attitude. Life doesn’t happen for him because he has no faith. He denies himself the experience but there is hope for him because he changes his mind. This is what repenting is about, changing our mind about it.

At first the boy is afraid to board the train. Aren’t we all? Afraid to take that leap of faith. Afraid we might find out it’s true and it will change us forever. We are afraid to search our hearts because our natural mind doesn’t understand it. It’s another realm, another world. The unknown. He does it though! He jumps aboard and goes on this journey.  After he meets the kids he meets a ghost who helps him along. This represents Jesus to me. The ghost is always there to save him or help him. The conductor reveals that he had a helper once and the boy knew who he was talking about. The conductor goes on to say sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.  The spiritual realm for instance is invisible to us because we are in the physical realm but we can access it through our heart. The girl and the poor boy sing a song describing two different perspectives. She describes what she has experienced and he describes what only he has heard about. Her Christmas experience is full of wonder and awe and his is not filled with anything. When you block your heart from something you are missing out.

When they get to the North Pole the girl describes how beautiful the bells sound but the doubting boy doesn’t hear anything. Even with Santa right in front of him he can’t hear the bells. Just like when Jesus was right in front of the Pharisees, they didn’t recognize Him. The boy has to change his heart to receive the sound of the bell. When he holds it up to his ear and shakes it there is a voice saying, doubt, doubt, doubt. This is what Satan does to us. He is always whispering to us to get us off track. The boy decides to confess that he believes and then everything changes. When we confess our belief, like it says in the Bible to do then everything changes. Romans 10:9, If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. God hears us when we confess we believe. The boy could then hear the ringing of the bell. When Santa goes to speak to them he tells each one a word of wisdom. The “know it all” boy needed humility and patience. The poor boy needed friends. The girl was told she was full of confidence and spirit, keep up the good work. The doubting boy got to go to the sleigh. He was an overcomer. Since he overcame his doubt he got the first present. His present was the bell. Santa said the bell was just a symbol. He said the true spirit of Christmas lives in your heart. God’s Holy Spirit lives in our heart.

Make room for His Holy Spirit to live in your heart so you can experience all God has to give. Don’t be a doubter, a person who knows all the facts but doesn’t have experience, a negative person who blocks God’s blessings. Believe and receive the Holy Spirit to lead you, teach you and be your friend. When we believe a whole new world opens up to us. We will begin to see and hear the invisible.

Anger Is Disguised As Fear

The scripture is Matthew 5:21-26 and it’s talking about never to be angry with anyone because the judgement on anger is the same as the judgement on murder. Jesus says to make peace with everyone.

Ann Voskamp says: Today I will fast from wrath and anger because anger is often just the costume of fear.

 

This line “anger is often the costume of fear” stands out to me. I know in myself that I would get angry a lot when my kids were little because I feared whatever was happening. I didn’t want them to feel pain or sadness. I’ve always tried to prevent it. I would get angry when they got hurt, that may sound crazy and for a long time I tried to understand why that was happening. After I got saved I realized it wasn’t the kids that made me angry, it was the sin. This is the same for God toward us.  With my kids I see where I was in fear of them getting hurt when they were rough housing or playing outside. The fear drove me to anger when the inevitable happened. I was angry that they had to experience pain or sadness. But I learned that in order to appreciate the good and happy times we have to experience painful times. Even though seeing them hurt makes my heart hurt, it’s helping them. Ann said in her book The Greatest Gift, that God doesn’t allow a trial without a gift. God uses hard things to grow us up spiritually. He takes everything in our life and turns it into glory, His glory. Nothing is wasted in God’s Kingdom. God has a plan where the world will one day be without pain, suffering and sadness. I have yearned for this new world in my soul already and didn’t even know it until I had children of my own. So as long as I live I will strive to bring peace and goodness to the world and not anger and violence. Peace is kingdom living right here, right now.

Hold On To Peace, Let Go Of Fear

When we really believe Jesus is the Son of God and believe Him when He said, ” I am with you always”, we have nothing to fear. Matthew 28:20, Isaiah 41:10 and John 16:33. When we let pride get in the way and forget we are “children” of God, fear sets in and our peace is gone. We have to continuously remind ourselves who we are in Christ. Satan can try to scare us, but when we know we belong to God, Satan can’t touch us. Mostly when I say this I mean in our minds. His negative thought darts can’t penetrate our thinking anymore. As we know everything that comes into being comes from thoughts first. When I start to feel fear about life or doubt I start saying out loud, “I trust You, Jesus”, as many times as it takes to get back into peace. I will also listen to my favorite worship songs and sing it to God. I feel His presence and fear has to flee. Romans 8:31, What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us,who can be against us? Just like in the song You Make Me Brave, it says: No fear can hinder now the love that made a way. That love is the person Jesus. He made the way for us to enter heaven.

How To Face Life UNAFRAID

faf88bd5603c73426a22204050581a27My readings for today are about hope in this moment and hope to come when we will be face to face with Jesus one day. Jesus gives us hope for now in this life by walking with us day by day and we have hope to be with Him in the New Earth because the Bible tells us so. With our hope being in Jesus we can not fail and we have nothing to fear. This reminds me of the Christmas song Winter Wonderland when it says: ” to face UNAFRAID the plans that we made, walking in a winter wonderland.” We are unafraid when we know we are walking in the plans God has made for our lives. We are walking in His wonderland with Him by our side and there is nothing to be afraid of.