A willing offering

Philippians 2:14-17 (AMP) Do everything without murmuring or questioning [the providence of God], so that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish in the midst of a [morally] crooked and [spiritually] perverted generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights [beacons shining out clearly] in the world [of darkness],  holding out and offering to everyone the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to rejoice greatly because I did not run [my race] in vain nor labor without result.  But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith [for preaching the message of salvation], still I rejoice and share my joy with you all.

Colossians 3:17 (AMP) Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him], giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

1 Corinthians 16:14 (AMP) Let everything you do be done in love [motivated and inspired by God’s love for us].

Providence is the protective nature of God, trusting that I have a future. Can we just do everything He tells us in His Word without questioning if He has our best interest in mind? It gets more challenging, we are not promised that it will not be hard. We are anointed for the hard stuff. Paul is telling us to do EVEN IF your life is the offering. The race I run, the labor it brings forth, is not in vain. The sacrifice and service of my faith is for the salvation of others (the real prize)!

When God speaks to you to do something, do not be concerned with why not someone else. I have learned that when He calls you to it, He will equip you for it. When I started speaking, I was not great at it. It was actually very painful to watch. I had to trust that the words He gave me were impactful. My heart motive was not to make a name for myself, but to make Him famous.

I am not waiting on the situation to be right so that I can shine. I have never been into that “it’s my time to shine” when it comes to serving. Why do we need to feel like if we are not elevated then we really are not doing anything. Paul said even if I am being poured out as a drink offering. Pour all of me out Lord. Use everything that you have placed within me.

In the first part of 2 Kings 4, Elisha comes across a widow and her sons. She had a great debt and man she owed the debt to was coming to take her sons and make them bond servants. Elisha asked what she had. She replied only one jar of oil. He instructed her to get all her jars and even borrow from friends and neighbors. As she began to pour out of the single jar into the other, per his instruction, every jar was filled. She poured until the last jar that had been gathered was filled. Then she was instructed to first pay off her debt and then live off of the rest.

What if we applied that same principle to Matthew 6:33? But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. This is exactly what Paul was telling us in pouring out our lives as a drink offering. The anointing you have needs to be poured out. You are not called to this alone. Notice the widow needed the help of her friends and neighbors. Paul even refers to himself as a bond servant to Christ. Does not mean I have a debt to pay off? No, Christ paid that debt. My hearts desire should want to pour my life out because of His great love sacrifice. However, when I think of my needs first am I really trusting in the providence of God?

Colossians 3:14 (AMP) Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others].

I want the best for you. I hope you feel the same way about me. If it takes me pouring myself out to be a drink offering for Him, so be it! Now, do not take me to the extreme. I do believe in rest. If you do not allow Him to pour back into you, then you will be pouring out of self. We cannot grow glory to glory without taking time with the Holy Spirit and the body that He called me to (for equipping). Pouring out has to be healthy. There is a fullness to this Gospel. I pray you dig more into your Word today to find out just how full your life can really be!!

Give me the giants

Joshua 14: 7-12 (AMP) I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to scout the land [of Canaan], and I brought a report back to him as it was in my heart. My brothers (fellow spies) who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the Lord my God completely. So Moses swore [an oath to me] on that day, saying, ‘Be assured that the land on which your foot has walked will be an inheritance to you and to your children always, because you have followed the Lord my God completely.’ And now, look, the Lord has let me live, just as He said, these forty-five years since the Lord spoke this word to Moses, when Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, look at me, I am eighty-five years old today. I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so is my strength now, for war and for going out and coming in. So now, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke that day, for you heard on that day that the [giant-like] Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.”

I love this part of Caleb’s story. I have had my spirit crushed before with expectations of people, specifically them not meeting my excitement of the journey ahead. Caleb was tenacious. He persevered even when they did not match his excitement (see Numbers 13). God rewarded Him for that.

There are times that you will be ready to move forward when those that you love are not ready to move at the same pace. Keep moving forward anyways.

I spent the day traveling three hundred and eighty two miles from home (nearly a six hour drive) to be at the Palm Coast Holy Spirit Conference this week. My husband and I planned this trip months ago. We brought our teenage sons along with us. A couple in our church are also attending. My prayer is that no matter what our ages, that we will have the excitement as Caleb did. “Give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke that day!” If not, then my prayer is lined up with Elisha for the servant with him, when the enemy army was surrounding them in 2 Kings 6:17 (AMP), then Elisha prayed and said, “Lord, please, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servants eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha.

We will have giants come before us that we will have to overcome. I get excited about the giants, because I know that growth comes from fighting giants. I understand that not everyone is excited about a challenge like I am. I might let you discourage me for a moment, but I am going after that giant eventually. Giant slayers are strong! Giant slayers gain momentum. Giants slayers eventually take that mountain!!!

Wherever you are I pray that you do not give up. I pray that you look up to the promise and tell God that you will do what you need to do to conquer that mountain, even slay a giant if you have to!

Have a blessed week!

Bread tastes so good!

I love to bake. Preferably, I cook most of our meals in the oven. During the Covid-19 stay at home order in Alabama I learned how to make many new dishes. One specifically was a banana nut bread. I had a recipe I had used before, but I went on a search for the most moist and delicious one out there. Of course once I found it I had to share with all who were interested in my new recipe. It is called “Moist and Delicious Banana Bread.” I told a friend and she was like, is it really though? I said yes and let her sample a piece. I did mess up one batch, though, by putting baking powder instead of baking soda.

Anyways the way I talk about my new found recipes was the way I think the apostles (Jesus’ disciples) were like when they came to tell them about their latest mission in Mark 6. I am going to start us off with verses 30-31 and use the Passion Translation: The apostles returned from their mission and gathered around Jesus and told him everything they had done and taught. There was such a swirl of activity around Jesus, with so many people coming and going, that they were unable to even eat a meal. So Jesus said to his disciples, “Come, let’s take a break and find a secluded place where we can rest a while.”

Jesus was very hands on with training His disciples. Then, He would send them out to put into practice what He taught them. Jesus would often use every day situations to reveal the heart of His Father.

Mark 6:32-36 They slipped away and left by sailboat for a deserted spot. But many of the people saw them leaving and realized where they were headed, so they took off running along the shore. Then people from the surrounding towns joined them in the chase, and a large crowd got there ahead of them. By the time Jesus came ashore, a massive crowd was waiting. At the sight of them, his heart was filled with compassion, because they seemed like wandering sheep who had no shepherd. So he taught them many things. Late that afternoon, his disciples said, “It’s getting really late and we’re here in this remote place with nothing to eat. You should send the crowds away so they can go into the surrounding villages and buy food for themselves.”

How often do our bellies like to do the speaking for us? There have been days when I worked full-time at my church’s day care (well I was doing more than one job) that I did not break to eat or drink. I had the hunger pangs, but yet there was so much to still do. At the end of the day I would be irritable. It was because I was not taking the time to feed myself. Think about that as we see what Jesus’ response was.

Mark 6:37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” “Are you sure?” they replied. “You really want us to go buy them some supper? It will cost a small fortune to feed all of these thousands of hungry people.”

“You give them something to eat.”

Jesus was testing His disciples here. How much were they getting from His teachings? He told them to feed the people. The first thing they think of is money. Is that not just the way we are too? God tells us to support our church and other ministries and we say “well, I will just give money”, or “all they want is my money.” There are times He tells us to sow financially, but there are times He tells us to do.

Mark 6:38-42 “How many loaves of bread do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” After they had looked around, they came back and said, “Five-plus a couple of fish.” Then he instructed them to organize the crowd and have them sit down in groups on the grass. So they had them sit in groups of hundreds and fifties. Then Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, gazed into heaven, and gave thanks to God. He broke the break and the two fish and distributed them to the disciples to serve the people – and the food was multiplied in front of their eyes! Everyone had plenty to eat and was fully satisfied.

Jesus told them to feed the people. Their first instinct was to look at the lack of money, but Jesus wanted them to look at what they had. This was not the first time we see a miracle of bread to feed. In 2 Kings 4:42-44 we see Elisha knew the heart of God: Then a man came from Baal Shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley bread, and newly ripened grain in his knapsack. And he said, “Give it to the people, that they may eat.” But his servant said, “What? Shall I set this before one hundred men?” He said, “Give it to the people, that they may eat; for thus says the Lord: ‘They shall eat and have some left over.'” So he set it before them; and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord (NKJV).

When we feed on the nourishment that Jesus gives us we have more than enough to feed His people. Jesus said that He is the Bread of Life. Sometimes we lack confidence to do what He tells us to do because we have not been feeding enough. We have to make sure we do not get too fat on it, because we all know how good bread tastes!

John 14:12 says, Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do….” My husband used this scripture right here this past Sunday. God has had me on the word “refuse” for a while. “Refuse” is the opposite of “will do”. When we say to Jesus, “I will do,” this is what He is expecting…“the works that I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” He has given us the ability to get revelation from the Word of who His Father is. He did everything His Father did on earth, so that means we can too. Miracles can happen. We can feed people! Look around with what you have and use it!!