Elijah’s List posted this recently.
WOW! Heart check!!!
Seriously though, take a minute and ponder that.
When I pondered…I thought of the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. When Screwtape tells Wormwood to focus the patient’s attention on petty things while he was at church. So the patient wouldn’t focus on the Word and how it applies to himself.
Judas did focus on the petty. The negative. And he remained a sceptic despite seeing miracles right before his eyes. He didn’t read about the miracle of the fish and bread feeding 5,000. He actually ate the bread and fish! He didn’t read about blind eyes being opened, he watched it happen.
Truthfully I feel bad for Judas. He didn’t enjoy His life. He clearly didn’t like himself. Seriously. Judas was with Jesus Himself for 3 years, and never actually absorbed anything about who Jesus was. Jesus was, is, and will always be love personified.
Who spends 3 solid years with Jesus, and comes out worse than where he started?
Truthfully…a lot of people.
What? Why? Who? Sacrilege!!
I know. Because I was one.
I confessed Jesus as my Savior at 16. And promptly tried to be perfect (as in without flaw) and do all the right things. I focused on behavior and looking the part.
Nothing reached my heart.
I couldn’t be perfect. And it frustrated me. My life didn’t change. No miracles happened in my life. And I was disappointed.
I ended up flipping around and going absolutely in the opposite direction. I became more critical. More judgmental. I loved less.
And it took a good 7 years before I gave it another shot. At 16, I shoved the Word at people…but at 25 I started applying the Word inward. I began to deal with my heart issues. My broken places began to heal. It was a process that still continues. It’s a day to day walk.
I can tell you that it’s much easier to point fingers and throw rules at people than it is to love them. It’s easier to criticize, scoff & judge.
But…if you take that pointing the finger and judging everyone path. You won’t heal. You won’t grow.
I think that’s what happened to Judas. I think he allowed his natural skeptic to dismiss miracles. He chose not to receive the love and teaching from Jesus. He chose not to heal and grow.
We have a choice too. Perspective and attitude are everything. Being open isn’t alway easy. Neither is change. Not for me. Not for you. Not for the disciples either.
Let’s be real…the 12 disciples are like us. They screwed up. They didn’t always understand. They acted without thinking. They lost their tempers.
But the difference between Judas and the other 11 is that the 11 grew and changed. They applied what Jesus taught them and walked it out.
Were the perfect? Um…definitely not. And neither are we. Neither are your leaders. We are all human. Doing our best. We are all given a choice.
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT
Judas got to choose too. Unfortunately we all know how that worked out. (Spoiler alert…it can’t get much uglier).
Judas was bitter. I don’t want to be bitter, but some days I see myself heading in that direction.
Judas was a cynic. I don’t want to be an eye rolling cynic, but sometimes I am.
Judus had a greedy, selfish & negative outlook. Sometimes I do too.
I don’t want to be a complainer or a gossiper either. But some days I am.
So this is a heart check for me. To go back to Jesus on the rough days. The days I’m more Judas-like than Jesus-like and ask Him to show me what is going on in my heart and head so I can deal with the root of it and have a better attitude and perspective.
Especially with all the chaos in my life right now…I need more Jesus time. More worship. More Word. And less judgmental attitude. Less pessimism.
Point to ponder while you wander…..
“Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise His Holy Name.” Psalm 103:1 NLT
If we’re praising with our whole heart, then we hold nothing back from Him.
Whenever I think of whole heart, I remember Caleb. Caleb was one of two who gave a good report, the other being Joshua. Caleb wasn’t the military leader of the Children of Israel like Joshua. But he loved the Lord wholeheartedly.
“But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.” Numbers 14:24 NIV
Numbers 14:24 shows the result of a whole heart life.
Point to ponder while you wander…
Praise isn’t just singing songs. We can praise with our lives too. Our gifts, talents, and strengths were given to us by God to steward, grow, and use to impact those around us. When we do, it honors the One who gave them to us.
This is a statue honoring George Mason that I discovered whilst wandering in D.C.. Despite being a lover of history, I had no idea who George Mason was, but I have quoted (or misquoted) him on occasion.
You may have also.
So here’s a quick top 10 on the other George..
10. He has a university named after him. George Mason University… obviously.
9. One of the founders of Alexandria, Virginia.
8. He said: “Don’t wait around for your life to happen to you. Find something that makes you happy, and do it. Because everything else is all just background noise.”
7. George and his wife, Ann, had many children. Nine of which survived to adulthood.
6. He grew up as a neighbor of George Washington.
5. Was one of three who helped draft the US Constitution at the US Constitutional Convention in 1787. But was not happy with the amount of power the government had, and thought it needed edits. He said, “I would sooner chop off my right hand than put it to the Constitution as it now stands.” He stood his ground with 2 other dissenters, and never signed it.
4. Drafted the Virginia State Constitution. Other states used his draft to draft their state constitution.
3. Leader in Virginia during the Revolutionary War.
2. George was a driving force behind the Bill Of Rights, and died about a year after it was ratified.
1. He said: “All men are created equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing the obtaining of happiness and safety.“
Point to ponder while you wander…. John 10:10 tells us that Jesus came to give life and life abundant. Sounds a lot like the right to pursue happiness. Doesn’t it?
“My God is changeless in His love for me, and He will come and help me.” Psalm 59:10
He is passionate in His love for you! Every single day! He empowers you & partners with you to do what you could never do solo. #youarenotalone
“I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me. You must continually let my love nourish your hearts.” John 15:9 TPT
Jesus wants to nourish our hearts, continually. Not just once. Not occasionally. Not just when He feels like it. But continually!
But the kicker here is we have a choice whether or not to receive His love and let us nourish us or not.
How do we receive nourishment from His love?
1. To get the love nourishment we need to grow, we need to read and study about His love in the Word.
So what does Jesus’s love looks like? Check out the gospel of John.
What does love mean? I Corinthians 13 for the Biblical definition of love & I John is good too.
2. Then we need to believe He loves us. Not just know it as trivia or a random fact. But to believe it so much, meditate on it and marinate in it so regularly, that it changes how we see ourselves.
Let it give you confidence in who the Father created you to be, and help you grow into the very best version of you.
Point to ponder while you wander… Today ponder what nourish means in the context of John 15:9 TPT
Heyo. It’s Monday night and I’ve started a new study on Ephesians 6:10-18 on the whole armor of God. I’ve been feeling like I needed a study every single word kind of study. Then I watched an encouraging video that said something about the armor of God…and Voila! I was inspired to study said passage.
On my first read through of this section of Ephesians “put on the full armor” jumped out at me.
I instantly thought of Colossians 3:14.
So I looked it up.
Turns out the Greek work enduo is the same word in both verses.
Enduo: (en-doo’-o) Verb. G1746 in the Strong’s. It comes from “en” and “duno” (1416) to sink into a garment. To invest with clothing. To array. To clothe (with). To put on.
Thought 1. Sinking into a garment sounds like putting on something soft & luxurious. Something that fits well and allows you to move easily. Like when I come home and put on leggings and a t-shirt to go for a walk, clean, or even to relax and study the Word after work.
This is the exact opposite of I Samuel 17:38-39 when David tries to wear Saul’s armor and he cannot function in it.
Thought 2. Enduo is a verb. Enduo requires action on our part. To put one leg in and then the other and then pull it up. Not hard or complicated but effort required nonetheless.
Thought 3. Other uses of this word are related to choosing to put on Christ, and not to be concerned with what you will clothe your actual body in. Interesting. Ponder that for a moment.
Thought 4. There are some automatic things that happen when you declare Jesus Lord of your life, like… Forgiveness. Holy Spirit. Access to God through Jesus. And so many wonderful things under grace.
BUT there are other things you have to walk out and actually put effort into as we mature in Christ. Things we grow into. Like choosing to put on Christ. Choosing to put on love. Choosing to put on the full armor of God.
Point to ponder while you wander…I felt like I needed to put the verses here that relate to my thoughts today. Read through them. Ponder them.
Then….I encourage you to read the context of the verse that registers with you the strongest and ask God to reveal something new to you about the passage.
I’ll be praying for a new revelation for you. One that encourages you. One that inspires you to grow in faith.
If you do, and want to share, please comment below or shoot me a private message if you’d rather. 😀
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-14 NLT
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Galatians 3:26-27 NIV
“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11 NLT
“Then Saul gave David his own armor—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before. “I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again.” 1 Samuel 17:38-39 NLT
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.” Luke 12:22-23 NKJV
“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars & assigns each a name. Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; we’ll never comprehend what He knows & does.” Psalm 147:3-5 MSG
I may never know all there is to know about God, but He doesn’t hide from us. He is a revealer of mysteries. He invites us closer to know more about Him and have a real relationship with Him.
The entire Bible is about God introducing Himself and His Son to us. That is ah-may-zing!
Point to ponder while you wander… I know that Abba is infinitely creative. His motive is love. That is beautiful and all I really need to know.
When you FEEL like you have nothing or no one, remind yourself that you DO have the One who created you. The One who loves you more than you can fathom.
“Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh & heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart & my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25-26 NIV
It’s so easy to dismiss ourselves as not qualified. I’m too young. I’m too old. I’m too much this. I’m not enough that.
David spent his entire life in the back 40 watching sheep. But God knew him well. So when looking for a king to replace Saul, he rejected the “obvious” choice, and chose David. Remember that when you’re thinking you’re not enough. Or someone tells you that you’re too much.
Point to ponder while you wander….
“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
“My God is changeless in His love for me, and He will come & help me.” Psalm 59:10
He is passionate in His love for you! No matter the hour, no matter the circumstances! Every single day! Without fail! He empowers you & partners with you to walk through the tough stuff together!
Point to ponder while you wander…. You are not in this alone!