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Yearly Archives: 2019
Honored for Her Kindness
When defining love, patience was listed first, then kindness. Kindness isn’t merely being nice, because nice has fear attached. Fear of what people think, fear of upsetting someone, or fear of not being accepted. And there’s no fear in love.
Kindness is also a fruit of the Spirit. So we believers should be known for our kindness. So what does kind mean?
Dictionary defines it as having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature.
In I Corinthians 13…it’s a verb meaning to show one’s self useful, act benevolently.
In Galatians 5…it’s a noun meaning gentleness, excellence in character or demeanor.
In Matthew 26…it’s shown as good deed, worthy act, honest endeavor.
I personally define kindness as: a conscious decision to act towards another person in a way than reflects your belief that person has value.
Kindness is not weakness. It comes from a position of strength with no expectation of anything in return. Choosing to honor someone’s value.
In Matthew 26, Jesus is at dinner, when a woman arrives with a jar of oil. Beginning with verse 6 (TPT):
“Then Jesus went to Bethany, to the home of Simon, a man Jesus had healed of leprosy. A woman came into the house, holding an alabaster flask filled with fragrant and expensive oil. She walked right up to Jesus, and in a lavish gesture of devotion, she poured out the costly oil, and it cascaded over his head as he was at the table.
When the disciples saw this, they were offended. ‘What a total waste!’ they grumbled.’We could have sold it for a great deal of money and given it to the poor.’
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, ‘Why are you critical of this woman? She has done a beautiful act of kindness for me. You will always have someone poor whom you can help, but you will not always have me. When she poured the fragrant oil over me, she was preparing my body for burial. I promise you that as this wonderful gospel spreads all over the world, the story of her lavish devotion to me will also be mentioned in memory of her.’”
The disciples heaped shame on this woman. They saw her as wasteful. Jesus saw her heart, her kindness. She sacrificed all she had in the world, financially, to honor Him.
Jesus called them out for this bullying.
He respected her boldness and her choice to sacrifice all she had to honor Him, calling it a kindness. To this day, 2000 years later, her act of kindness is still remembered.
Point to ponder while you wander…. Be deliberate in your kindness in the lives of those in your world. Look for ways to be kind.
A sincere compliment or a word of encouragement may change their perspective and direction.
Acknowledging someone’s efforts with a thank you, shows someone they are seen and valued.
Kindness is a choice. It comes from a position of strength with no expectation of anything in return. The effect of your kindness, like this woman’s, may ripple for thousands of years.
How to Wield Power
“For He is the living God and He endures forever; His kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end. He rescues and He saves; He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.” Daniel 6:26-27 NIV
God is the ultimate power, and yet He choses not to dominate, micromanage, nor enslave. Instead He rescues, sets people free, and partners with us. His Son left paradise to give life, to serve, and to love. That is leadership and how power should be weilded.
Point to ponder while you wander…Are you a leader? Do you want to be one?
Grow people. Entrust people. Serve people. Because leadership is not about you, it’s about the people you lead.
This is what my neighborhood looks like right now! Blooms everywhere! I loooove spring!
But if you look closely, you see these beauties are beginning to fade.
These fading tulips inspired me to appreciate the remaining blooms that much more. To take more time walking around my neighborhood enjoying every single flower.
Inspired me to be grateful for my sight.
Inspired me to thank the One who created this buffet for the eyes. The smorgasbord of colors and textures. The sheer variety of spring blooms.
If spring in Virginia can look like a fairyland….what does spring in His Kingdom look like?
Point to ponder while you wander….
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8 ESV
Crocus of Joy
As I was walking in the warm sunshine (woohoo) on my way home from work, I came across these beauties.
And my first thought after….Ahhh! YAY! Crocuses!….was crocus of joy. I always associate crocuses with rejoicing because of the beginning of Isaiah 35…
“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.”
The crocuses reminded me to choose joy today. So I’m spreading their message.
Point to ponder while you wander…
Joy is a choice.
“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” Martha Washington
Mulling vs Resisting
I was reading Matthew this week and God showed me a few things about temptation I never noticed before.
Here’s the text I was reading…
“After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Matthew 4:2-3 NIV
What happens when you’re tired or hungry? Isn’t that when we’re tempted to be rash? Tempted to eat things we shouldn’t? Say things we shouldn’t? Give in?
Now imagine 40 days and nights only drinking water. Zero food.
And the tempter comes and says…”We both know who you really are. We both know you have Holy Spirit’s enabling power. You can turn those rocks into fresh baked bread just by speaking to them. Hot bread with some yummy melted butter.”
Would you take a minute to consider it? Would you picture fresh bread? Melty butter? Mmm.
If you just pictured this bread or took a minute to consider the option, you just missed your way out (I Corinthians 10:13) and your opportunity to resist (James 4:7).
Jesus didn’t even hesitate. He didn’t ponder. He didn’t give a millimeter to the enemy, let alone a whole inch.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
Right after, Jesus resists by speaking the word, the tempter comes right back.
“Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” Matthew 4:5-6 NIV
Again Jesus doesn’t even mull it over or debate the accuracy of the statement the devil made. He doesn’t puff up His chest, and try to prove who He is. He calls out the twisting of the scripture just by speaking the truth of the word.
“Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Matthew 4:7 NIV
A 3rd time the tempter comes back at Jesus-
“Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”” Matthew 4:8-9 NIV
Technically Satan had authority over all the kingdoms of the world at that time. It was his to give, because Adam and Eve abdicated their authority, handing it over to Satan.
Now don’t forget…Jesus is tired. He has not eaten in over a month. Not even kale or cauliflower rice. Nada. Nothing. Zip.
Jesus knows that He’s here to get back the authority the previous Adam gave up. He knows He’s here to sacrifice Himself for us. He was being offered the authority He came to reclaim (what He came here for) all He had to do was bow His knee.
I shudder to think what would have happened if Jesus would have mulled that over…or worse caved and bowed His knee. 😲 But He didn’t.
Jesus did not even entertain the thought for a second…
“Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the devil left Him, and angels came and attended Him.” Matthew 4:10-11 NIV
How many times do we find ourselves mulling over the temptation? Allowing ourselves to be swayed.
Remember Jesus was fully man on earth who was empowered by Holy Spirit, the same as us. If He can resist temptation, so can we. If we follow His lead.
1. Don’t mull it over or consider the temptation. Resist the temptation immediately. Walk away.
2. Speak the Word. Don’t allow the enemy twist scripture, and use it against you. Call out the lie and speak the truth from the word.
3. Yes, you can resist!
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 NIV
Encouragement to ponder while you wander….
1. Jesus understands. He isn’t judging you…He wants to help you resist! “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are —yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16
2. Remember you’re not the only one and you’re not alone. “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:11-13 NIV
3. You can overcome! You are loved! “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39 NIV