Friday, August 18, 2017

IBS Week 13

Nick:
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.

Julie:
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.
IBS Week 12:

Nick:
Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

This was a portion of the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples when they asked him to show them how to pray. He never said to pray for things to go the way you want them to go, but he said to pray for gods will to be done here on earth. I want to come to the point of wanting gods will to be done and nothing more. I know there has to be a huge freedom in wanting only what god wants for us. He created us and knows best for us. He knows the plans he has for us, we don’t. I find myself trying to figure out or predict what God might have for our family and he never asks us to do that. Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow. But our spirit is willing but our flesh is week. We want to know what God knows, and we can’t have that. We try and say this is his will and we think we know and we dwell on the ideas that we form. Ultimately, these thoughts will never give us the satisfaction we are looking for. We will never have the peace our hearts long for. I know that there is that peace and freedom once we have that perspective of wanting only Gods will to be done, not mine.

Julie:
1 Corinthians 7:23 – “You were bought with a price; do not become bond servants of men.”

This is one of those verses that you hear a million times, then one day it really sinks in how true and personal it really is.  Where I was spiritually when I read this verse this morning wrecked me.  I know that I am bought with a price, but have I really ever measured the weight of that price?  I’ve tried.  But I never fully grasped it.  As I read this though, God opened my eyes to recognize what exactly was given for my salvation.  The weight of Jesus’ blood was on me.  I felt it.  It was heavy.  I was humbled!  I was in awe.  I was convicted.  I had not been respecting what God sacrificed for me – his Son.  I have a son.  I can only taste the pain of the sacrifice.  And it was for me!  This lack of respect had landed me in giving myself to men (the world), not God.  Man does not own me.  Man did not create me.  Man does not know my future.  God does.  Why do I enslave myself to something that does not even care for me the right way?  Man usually has an ulterior motive or a selfish ambition.  I, as God’s beloved, cannot let myself get entangled in the pleasing of man any more, for man has nothing to offer me because I now have a better understanding of the weight of my price.  I am far more valuable than to fall into the snares of the world and be overcome by it.  I am God’s purchase and I will let Him be my guide.  I will let Him overcome me, and I will submit to my Creator.
IBS Week 11:

Julie:

Acts 17:28 – “For in Him we live and move and have our being…”


I am so happy, to the point of tears, to realize my faith in God is maturing.  I no longer doubt His Presence when I don’t feel Him close and my stressing out of situations is subsiding because my faith in Him has grown.  I am to let my past experiences be the precedents that give me faith.  Thank you, God, for my trails that have strengthened me.  Please continue to live and move in me.  Please continue to grow me.  You are right next to me, watching me, right now.  I want to grow so much more in You, that I acknowledge You every moment of every day, and not let You slip to the background as the day goes on.  I want to be as confident in your Presence then as I am during devos in the morning.  When I take up my cross every morning, I want to know Your Son is carrying His cross with me too, although I do not always feel Him near.  Because You live and move through me, I can have to selfless ambition to run and it not be in vain.  That chain of condemnation has been broken!  God, I do not want to treat You like the wind, but instead acknowledge Your Presence and honor it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

IBS Week 10:

Nick:

2 Timothy 2:21 – “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”

Father, thank you for this morning here with You in Your Word.  Thank you for your grace and mercy and for allowing me to be healthy.  Thank you for Your Word and Your revelations of who You are.  On Saturday the 24th, on the way to the beach, Austin asked me to teach chapel on the 6th of July.  God, You are so incredible.  To bring a guy like me from where I was to where I am now is a miracle.  It’s who You are.  It’s what You do.  You brought to mind on Sunday during church a verse that You gave me very early on during my walk with You – 2 Timothy 2:21.  Lord, You have cleansed me from what is dishonorable, and now I am ready for You to use me for every good work.  Whether it be teaching, media, gardening, or leading my family, they are works that You have prepared for me to bear fruit for You.  God, You are so good and faithful.  Thank you for choosing me to be a part of Your kingdom.

Julie:

Luke 7:36-50 – The woman with the oil


This woman was bold by being such a sinner and walking into a Pharisee’s house.  She honored Jesus (I think) by standing behind him.  She acknowledged who she was by weeping.  She obeyed the Holy Spirit (I think) by giving Jesus her oil.  She sacrificed (I think) by giving her valuable oil.  If I had to guess, I would say it was expensive.  She didn’t do this act to be forgiven (I don’t think).  I honestly think she was compelled by the Holy Spirit to pour out all she had to Jesus, whether it was much or little (like the feeding of 5000).  She probably thought she couldn’t offer anything of enough worth because she was such a sinner, but she had the same child-like faith that the boy had in the feeding of 5000 to humble herself (to not care what others thought) and to give up what she had (sacrifice).  She did not even have water or a towel.  She used her tears and hair.  On her way to Jesus I’m sure she thought, “I am so unprepared to do what I am being compelled to do, but here I go anyway.”  She was faithful when it made no sense to be.  She was so bold and courageous to walk into a Pharisee’s house being such a sinner that everyone knew her.  And little did she know that by giving her oil, tears, and hair (something so little), she gave MORE than anyone else at that house.  She didn’t let the enemy tell her that because she had so little that it wasn’t enough in comparison to the “Pharisees” and “disciples”.  She just walked when God called.  And in being so faithful, Jesus forgave her of her sins and she was able to be at peace.  For a sinner, it is truly a relief to hear that you are forgiven.  I’m sure hearing it from the mouth of God, face to face with Jesus, was beyond words can explain.  This woman didn’t seek to serve Jesus to earn her forgiveness, she simply walked in the Spirit.

Friday, June 16, 2017

IBS Week 9

Nick:
LUKE 7:22-23 - AND HE ANSWERED THEM,"GO AND TELL JOHN WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN AND HEARD: THE BLIND RECEIVE THEIR SIGHT, THE LAME WALK, LEPERS ARE CLEANSED, AND THE DEAF HEAR; THE DEAD ARE RAISED UP, THE POOR HAVE GOOD NEWS PREACHED TO THEM.  AND BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO IS NOT OFFENDED BY ME.


THE DISCIPLES OF JOHN CAME TO JESUS WANTING ANSWERS FOR JOHN ON WHETHER OR NOT HE WAS THE ONE TO COME. IT JUST SO HAPPENED THAT WHEN THEY ARRIVED HE WAS PERFORMING THE MIRACLES THAT HE PROCLAIMED HE WOULD DO EARLIER IN CHAPTER 4, WHICH WAS PROPHESIED IN ISAIAH 61. JESUS DIDN'T HAVE TO SELL HIMSELF OR JUSTIFY HIMSELF OR CONVINCE THE DISCIPLES OF HIS IDENTITY. THEY WITNESSED THE MIRACLES AND JESUS SIMPLY SAID "GO AND TELL JOHN WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN". HE IS THE ONE TO COME AND HE IS DOING THE WILL OF GOD BUT IT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN WHAT JOHN THOUGHT IT WOULD LOOK LIKE. HE MAY HAVE BEEN WONDERING WHEN HE WAS GOING TO SET HIM FREE FROM PRISON, BECAUSE THE PROPHECY STATES THAT HE WOULD SET THE CAPTIVES FREE. HE DID SET THEM FREE AND GOD'S WILL FOR JOHN WAS TO BE WHERE HE WAS. IT ALSO STUCK OUT TO ME THAT WHEN WE ARE BEING SAVED BY JESUS, WE BEGIN TO SEE, WALK, WE ARE CLEANSED, WE HEAR, AND WE ARE RAISED UP BECAUSE WE HEARD THE GOOD NEWS THAT WAS PREACHED TO US BY THE SPIRIT. AND BLESSED ARE WE WHO ARE NOT OFFENDED BY HIM WHO WORKS WITHIN US.

Julie:
1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 – “For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”

When I first read this verse, years ago, I thought Paul was just being poetic.  I completely overlooked important words like “chosen” and “Holy Spirit” and “conviction”.  But as God has grown my understanding for Him and my desire to be closer like Him, I have begun reading the Bible with different eyes.  1 Thessalonians was not on my daily reading today, but I felt compelled to read it.  And as I read this verse, I was amazed at how possible it actually is to be completely transformed by God when we hear His gospel and accept it.  The Holy Spirit really can radically save and give power and conviction.  It doesn’t always have to be a struggle with accepting Him (like Jacob the night he became Israel).  I know this is possible because I have seen my husband’s walk with the Lord.  It took a while for me to humble myself and accept that he is sold out for the Lord.  And it took even longer to accept that I was the one who struggled with God.  But watching Nick’s walk and seeing his loyalty and faithfulness to God, I have been encouraged to let go of the struggle and just accept because IT IS possible.  And v6 says …”with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all believers…”.  Nick really has set an example of true surrender to the Lord. And as I humble myself and see him for who he truly is (a man of God), I step into the role of submission and respect to him as God has designed.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

IBS - Week 8

Nick:
FRIDAY MAY 26, 2017. MARK 13:37 AND WHAT I SAY TO YOU I SAY TO ALL: STAY AWAKE. 


I HAVE TO STAY IN AN EXPECTATION THAT HE IS GOING TO RETURN IN MY LIFETIME. THAT HE IS GOING TO COME IN ALL HIS GLORY RIDING ON THE CLOUDS CALLING US UP TO HIM AND TAKING US HOME. I DONT WANT TO BE SLEEPING IN MY FAITH AND RELATIONSHIP WHEN HE DOES. I WANT TO KEEP MY HANDS TO THE PLOW,, NOT TURNING TO THE LEFT OR TO THE RIGHT. EACH DAY THAT PASSES IS ONE DAY CLOSER TO HIM IN HEAVEN. I FIND IT FASCINATING THAT EVEN JESUS DOESNT KNOW WHEN THE DAY WILL COME FOR HIM TO RETURN WILL BE. I IMAGINE ON THAT DAY, THE FATHER TURNING TO JESUS AND SAYING ITS TIME. JESUS STANDS UP FROM THE RIGHT HAND OF THE THRONE OF GOD AND OUT OF HIS GREAT LOVE FOR US, COMES AND TAKES US HOME. I HOPE TO BE ALIVE ON THAT DAY. IT WILL DWARK EVEN THE MOST AMAZING EXPERIENCE OR REVELATION HES GIVEN TO ME. OUR HEARTS WILL MELT AND WE WILL BE OVERCOME BY THE SIGHT OF HIS GLORY. COME LORD JESUS! BRING US HOME.

Julie:
IBS Week 7 – Luke 1:45 “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

I always love to find verses in the bible that talk about “she” and “her”.  Although some verses are saying “she” as in wisdom or a city.  But this verse is about a woman!  This verse can actually relate to us as women, because it was said by Mary.  God gave Mary a promise and she believed.  She had faith.  She carried the promise that God spoke to her and didn’t doubt.  Not only is her faith and belief something to point out and admire, but also her promise was fulfilled.  God DOES fulfill His promises to us.  He fulfills His promises to me!  He wants to see me living in his blessings, but with faith.  His will will come to pass regardless of my faith, but how much more significant is his fulfilled promise when I can say I held on to faith with endurance during the suffering and waiting.  Mary is truly an example here for me.
IBS - Week 7

Nick:
MAY 24 MARK 11:22-24 AND JESUS ANSWERED THEM, HAVE FAITH IN GOD. TRULY, I SAY TO YOU, WHOEVER SAYS TO THIS MOUNTAIN, BE TAKEN UP AND THROWN INTO THE SEA, AND DOES NOT DOUBT IN HIS HEART, BUT BELIEVES THAT WHAT HE SAYS WILL COME TO PASS, IT WILL BE DONE FOR HIM. THEREFORE, WHATEVER YOU ASK IN PRAYER, BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED IT, AND IT WILL BE YOURS.


I CAN NEVER FORGET GODS PROMISES THAT HE MADE TO ME EARLY ON IN MY WALK WITH HIM. GOD GAVE ME THE FAITH TO BELIEVE GENESIS 12:1 EVEN WHEN THERE SEEMED TO BE IMPASSABLE MOUNTAINS IN THE WAY WHEN HE GAVE IT TO ME. GOD HAS MOVED SO MANY MOUNTAINS BETWEEN NOW AND THEN I COULD’NT EVEN COUNT THEM IF I TRIED. IT SEEMED IMPOSSIBLE AT THE TIME, TO BE FOR ME TO BE WHERE I AM TODAY, A YEAR AND A HALF AGO. PRAISE GOD THAT I CONTINUED TO BELIEVE WHAT HE HAD TOLD ME IN MY HEART AND NEVER THROUGH IT AWAY. THERE WERE MANY TIMES OF DOUBT, BUT GOD ALWAYS SEEMED TO RESTORE MY BELIEF. I CANNOT FORGET THAT, BECAUSE OF JESUS’ STATEMENT IN THESE VERSES, I AM EVEN HERE.

Julie:
 Galatians 6:17 “From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus”

I was beginning to let the enemy get to me.  I was letting him use people to take my eyes off of Jesus.  He dangled a shiny ball in my face and I began to bite.  But very quickly God unhooked me from that and directed me in another path. (And more importantly, He moved me with His Word and His Truth.  Which shows growth in our relationship.)  He reminded me of two things – 1. I bear the marks of Jesus Christ and 2. Because of that, no one should cause me trouble.  Jesus suffered the mocking, the shame, the flogging, the scourging.  Jesus carries the whip marks on His body.  Jesus had the nails pierce His hands.  It was Jesus whose side was pierced, shoulder dislocated, face spit on.  I can only imagine how many actual marks were on his dead body.  And why? For me!  That’s what I deserved.  And if my mindset is on Him and what He did for me then I am humbled.  And where does a humble man sit?  On the floor with their face to the ground.  Therefore, let no one cause me trouble because I can go no further down than I already am.  “There is no counter punch for humility”.  And if I keep my eyes on my Savior and meditate on His Spirit that lives in me (and bears the marks), then I can “mind my own business”.  This keeps me free from letting people and circumstances influence me.  This keeps me out of the enemy’s bondage.  I was truly freed in reading this verse.