Monday, September 11, 2017

IBS Week 19:


Father thank you for this day of rest to think about what all you have done. It really is incredible to look back and rejoice and see what all you have done and brought me through. You have grown me so much father. You have made me do things I don’t want to do but in the end its always for my good. In the past, I would have ran from most situations that you that you have brought me through here. But you have shown me to press on, to persevere and to endure. You have changed me much Lord but there is still much work to do. Im very far from imitating Christ and your likeness. Its has been so easy for me to get caught up in the preparation of the nest season and what it looks like. Ive have been keeping my eyes on myself and what is in it for me that I sometimes lose Gods perspective on it all. Our lives here on this side of heaven is only to prepare us for heaven. To make us more like his son. In the process we get to be vessels of Gods grace and are the lights in this dark world. Even though the death of gunner this week was tragic, I know you will use it for the good. It is truly a blessing Lord to see you working in the life of other people. Thank you for those eyes, your eyes.

John 5:2-17 – “The Healing at the Pool on the Sabbath”

Jesus sees this paralyzed man and wants to heal him.  My ESV version says that he is an “invalid”.  That class consisted of the blind, lame, and paralyzed.  Jesus asked the man, “Do you want to be healed?”  The man gives some kind of excuse, probably out of fear, but Jesus tells him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”  The man was instantly healed, and he took up his mat and walked.  I know I have many things that deem me “invalid”.  I am prideful yet insecure, lacking self-control yet crippled by fear.  This passage was Jesus speaking to me asking “Julie, do you want to be healed?”.  “Yes, Jesus, yes I do!”  My excuse for getting up and walking, again probably out of fear, is that I do not want to fall again.  This fear came from past experiences.  Once Jesus healed me and picked me up, I hit the ground running just to find myself back on the floor begging for God to pick me back up.  I left Him in the dust and ran on my own strength.  After a very hard fall in this last season, Jesus has once again healed me and picked me up, but this time I am deciding to walk in His stride and not my own.  This takes self-control that I do not naturally have and humility that I also do not naturally have.  But this new season of walking with Him very slowly and at His pace has grown me in those areas as well as patience and how to wait upon the Lord.  
IBS Week 18:

IBS Ephesians 4:2-3

Father, thank you for this morning in your Word. Thank you for getting my parents here safely yesterday and for the time we had with them yesterday. Thank you for convicting me of my judgement I had on them. You're the judge not me. You call me to love them not condemn them. With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. Lord you call me to bear with them in humility and gentleness, not be there critic. I want them to feel at home here with us and feel welcome and loved not judged and nervous. Help me to be eager to maintain unity in the spirit, not discord or dissension. Help us to be bonded in peace today Jesus. True biblical love is difficult but achievable with Christ. 

John 15:1-17 “I Am the True Vine”

As we read through this passage in a women’s Bible study, I was given an image by God.  This passage talks about how Jesus is the Vine, God is the Gardener, and we are the branches.  The second verse says that He takes away all branches that do not produce fruit.  I thought of a big beautiful tree (which is me).  And as I stood there, I produced fruits that would grow and drop on the ground.  I started thinking of what fruits I was dropping.  Some of my fruit was fake! Plastic! Non-nutritional!  I was producing fruit in vain.  I was not letting God grow Spiritual fruits in my life.  My next thought was, “Why am I not letting You work in my life, God?”.  He said, “You don’t trust me”.  He was right!  I wasn’t trusting Him.  I was so worried about looking down and seeing some kind of fruit laying on the ground, I didn’t care if it was fake or not.  I didn’t want to waste my time trusting in God if there was a chance that He would not let my produce.  So, yes, I am this tree, and, yes, I have fruit for all to see around my tree --- BUT, what about the day that someone, maybe a Spiritually hungry child, comes to my tree for shade and food?  What is going to happen when they take a bite of my fruit and they find out it is plastic, or worse poisoned?  That thought convicts me to the core.  I am thankful for the image God gave me, because I no longer want to produce fruit for looks or vanity or quantity, but for quality and health and Spirituality.
IBS Week 17

IBS Acts 8

I was reading in Acts 8 this morning of Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. This passage is both encouraging and convicting. When the angel of the lord told him to rise and go toward the south, he rose and went. John Macarthur’s new testament commentary says that the road down from Jerusalem to Gaza was almost a deserted road that was hot and untraveled. Yet Phillip didn’t question the prompting of the spirit. He was not fearful of what to say, he was not to lazy to go a route that seemed foolish to travel. He simply trusted God. God Prepared this divine appointment, Phillip just had to obey. So the Ethiopian was in his chariot reading in book Isaiah. This was a very wealthy man seated high up in his chariot. To most this would have been an intimidating circumstance to be in. Not for Phillip, He knew the Lord Jesus had sent him there. The Lord then commanded him to join the chariot. So Phillip coming behind the caravan ran up to the chariot and heard him reading Isaiah. Commentary says that it was custom to read out loud in those days. Phillip had to have known this was why the Lord sent him down the abandoned road. He must have been full of excitement and joy, but also boldness.

1 Thessalonians 2:12 – “we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.”

When we are exhorted or encouraged, we are usually complimented or promoted in some way or another.  That little boost of confidence is always a good enhance our walk.  But sometimes we must be humbled to walk in a manner worthy of God.  And how loved are we when He does this?  He sees us as sheep (dumb) walking in the wrong direction, usually blinded by some kind of pride, and He redirects us from walking straight off a cliff.  The humility that follows that kind of “ego blow” is that of lowliness.  But it is a good place to be, because then you can refocus yourself back on God and bask in His love that He has for us.  That state of humility is exactly what make us worthy.  It sounds so backwards to the world, but that is the manner God asks us to walk in and stay in.  I want to be thankful when God brings me back to that point of humility, no matter what the cost.  I want to look at it as His love and guidance for my life.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

IBS Week 16

Ephesians 1:14 The spirit is Gods guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.
Father thank you for this morning in your word. Thank you for sending your son Jesus as the propitiation for our sins that we can be restored back to you and that we could be in your presence.
So that we can have peace and rest. Jesus thank for coming down and leaving all of your divine privileges to come down and save us from the power of sin and ourselves. Thank you for being obedient until the point death on the cross so that the promised spirit from long ago would be poured out on us. And spirit thank you for making your home within us and teaching us about the father. Without you spirit, I would be able to grasp and understand the things of God.

Colossians 2:8 – “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ”

I used to ride the fence with what I believed about God.  I used to love learning different theories on who God was or where He came from.  But all that those questions do is drive me away from Him and make me doubt Him.  What I do know to be concrete in my heart is that the answers to the questions I have are too wonderful for my head to fathom.  They are too great for ANY human to comprehend.  Most of the questions we hear and repeat are just questions lacking faith.  They are questions that have been asked for centuries with no answers in sight.  (Ex. If God can make a rock too big to move, how does He move it?)  I do believe in questioning things and learning on our own, but God is something I cannot dissect and analyze.  He is not of this world, and not even the smartest of minds can figure Him out.  I am proud to say that I have given up the battle of my flesh in trying to make God something of this world.  It makes heaven that much more exciting to get to, in my opinion.  I do not want the enemy creeping into my mind and telling me I need to “figure out” God.  I am at peace knowing that He is real and that He loves and protects me.    
IBS Week 15


Acts 3:16 “Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed, and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus name has healed this man before his very name.

Lord Jesus I was saved in the power of your name. I know that what I am is because of you Jesus. But I don’t fully understand the power that comes from my faith in your name. I believe Lord but help me with my unbelief. I want to know more of you Jesus. I want a deeper and stronger faith in you. I read this passage and it is just somewhat mysterious to me. It is such a deep verse. This is where all of what you give us comes from, faith in your name. The only reason any of this Christian walk and experience is possible is because of what you did and are now doing through the power of your spirit.
 Ephesians 6:1-3 – “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
This verse has been a great verse for us to teach Trent.  Trent wants to obey, but he needs help – as we all do.  The bible is a guide to every trouble, no matter the age.  We had always told Trent the command to “obey your father and mother”, and he has had to recite it back to us many of times as well.  But one thing that I never noticed was that this commandment was followed with a promise.  The original verse in Exodus 20 says “…that is may go well with you.”  Trent is still a child and doesn’t understand complete sacrifice, so I thought this was pretty neat that God would know exactly how to speak to a child so they would hear.  If they obey this command, then they get something.  How often is that our parenting technique?  We tell Trent all the time that we are trying to make his life easier in the future (that it may go well with you) and protect him (that you may live long in the land), and that is why he should obey us.  God not only laid out in His Word a motive for Trent to obey, but encouraged Nick and me in our parenting.
IBS Week 14

Acts 2:11-12 both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs. and we all hear these people speaking their own languages about the wonderful things God has done! they stood there amazed and perplexed. “What does this mean?” They asked each other.

None of what we do or say holds any weight unless we are doing through the power of the Holy Spirit. I can just imagine the apostles telling the crowds all about Jesus and Gods wonderful mystery of the kingdom of God. Testifying to all of the miracles Jesus performed during his ministry on earth. Them sharing their testimonies of the saving power of Gods grace and how it can truly transform lives. God chose the ones who the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. God transformed the lives of these fisherman from Galilee. They were now here in Jerusalem, redeemed and transformed by the power of God into trophies of His grace for all the world see. What took place here Pentecost wasn’t just for these apostles once for all time. He wants to use our lives in the same way through the power of his spirit. We to are to consider and proclaim the wonderful things he has done for us. To testify to the things we have seen and heard from him.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 – “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”

When I read this verse, I was being pressed from every side by God.  I was in distress and skating the fine line between discouragement and depression.  If I could put this verse in a “Julie Version”, it would go something like this – “The walls are closing in from every side, but we are not crushed; confused, but not overwhelmed to discouragement; captured and beaten, but not abandoned by God; humbled to lowliness, but able to keep walking; we suffer like Jesus because He is manifested in us.”.  The first point is that we are never defeated – especially by death.  And even if death does take us, we have eternal life, so death still has not won us.  The second point is that we suffer like Jesus because He is in us.  We do not get the reward of having Jesus in us without having all of Jesus in us.  That includes not just the salvation, eternal life, and joy, but it also includes the flogging by family and friends, the pain and suffering needed to grow, and the humility of dying to self.  But once you know a life with Jesus in you, what better way to live?  As it says in Psalm 84:10, “For a day in your courts (or presence) is better than a thousand elsewhere.  I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”.  I have walked the path without Jesus in me, and it is hell in comparison to the hardest day with Him in me.  I pray I keep this perspective and grow more into it.

Friday, August 18, 2017

IBS Week 13

1 Samuel 12:24 Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider the wonderful things he has done for you.

As of recently the Lord had brought to my attention how lazy and irresponsible I have become. I have been making small compromises and neglecting the small things that the Lord has given me. I have been unfaithful in areas in which the Lord has given me to be faithful in. My perspective and my heart have been so far off from what God has intended for me. I know that he has great plans from me, but along the journey I have forgotten that to be given more I must be faithful in the little things. I have, in a sense, grown weary of doing good, of serving him. I’ve allowed myself to be distracted by things and people. Things that ultimately are temptations of the flesh and drag me way as James puts it in 1:14. The Lord by his gentleness has redirected my path and has brought to my attention the cliff I was getting to fall off of. There is a countless list of incredibly wonderful things He has done for me out of his boundless love. Because of this, Lord please restore my heart to you so that I can fear you and serve you faithfully with all my heart.

2 Corinthians 3:3 – “And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tables of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

In the Old Testament, the people followed the law of Moses.  They followed the ten commandments that were written on stone tablets.  They kept their distance from God in the temple.  They sacrificed when they sinned.  But now, we worship a God who does not keep a veil between us.  We follow a God who has already accepted the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, His Son.  And most of all, we do not have to go back to the stone that the ten commandments were written on because they are now written on our heart.  We now live for a God that conquered death and defeated the grave.  The guilt and shame that we once carried around on our hearts is now replaced by hope and faith.  That hope and faith has a character on our hearts.  It is the cross.  At the cross, when Jesus died for our sins, we discovered a relationship with God that does not require the weight of the law to be carried around in our hearts, but a light and peaceful word.  I felt this weight go away when I read this verse this morning.  God reminded me of His hope, truth, light, and faith.  And what comes out of the mouth comes from where? The heart!!! If the things God reminded me of are dwelling in my heart, then they will overflow off my lip and into the heart of others.  My application is to remember the what is truly dwelling in my heart that God placed there, and let THAT flow from my mouth.