he restores my soul Psalm 23: 3a NIV 1984
Merry Christmas (one day late)! However, maybe my timing is just right. Today, the day after Christmas is possibly one of the best days to remember why we celebrated the day before. Presents are unwrapped (if they were given), family is leaving (if they were able to come), and life is returning to pre-holiday normalcy (whatever that means in your world). The world as through TV and social media would tell us presents, time, and family are the meanings behind Christmas. Family, time, and presents, while good, all end and remind us that we live in a temporary state, a state needing restoration. As believers we know the meaning of Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, our Savior. We celebrate our Savior because we need saving. Without Jesus we cannot have restoration for our souls!
We can’t get to God on our own. No good deed. No kind thought.
Nothing can restore us to God but God.
Only God restores our souls.
So God came down, fully man and fully God, as a gift from God to restore our souls. Jesus was born so He could rescue us, restore our relationship with God, and restore our souls in the process. Psalm 23:3a isn’t a Christmas verse, but the reminder that restoration of our needy souls comes from God, through the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, couldn’t come at a better time.
I don’t know what challenges you find in your life this Christmas season. I imagine there are many. Child of God, I encourage you to remember that He, Jesus, restores our souls! Sing with the angels! Merry Christmas.
To God be the glory,
Lord Jesus, thank you for coming to save me. I celebrate your birth. Help me remember that You restore my soul. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
Psalm 23:3a—Break down each word in the first part of Psalm 23:3, Who is He? What does it mean to be restored? When has your soul needed restoration? What does restoration look like?
John 3:16—think upon what it means when it says God the Father GAVE Jesus, His only Son, for us. Now that’s a present!
Natural disasters. Man-made horrors. Illness. Loss. Death. The Christian music that usually has me dancing didn’t lift my spirit. The words of my Bible, inspired by God, felt like just words, not His voice speaking to me. I knew they both contained God’s Truth, but I didn’t feel connected. I felt sad. However, I continued to read. I continued to listen. I continued to pray. And over the period of several days my heart kept coming back to “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).
So I reread a history in the Bible known for Lazarus’ resurrection and the Power of God on display to bring people to faith in Jesus. I watched, through my mind’s eye, the replay of events because it was important to them and it’s relevant to me now (John 11). Before the resurrection of Lazarus there was pain, because there was death, not unlike the world around me. I invite you to join me as we “watch” Jesus meet everyone where they are in their faith and emotional level to bring those who are willing into wholeness through faith in Him.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting calligraphy of chapter 11:1-45 of the Gospel of John (World English Bible) to Be Blessed Prayer. I pray that through it God will speak to your heart, that your faith in the Living God, Jesus Christ, will be strengthened, and you will completely trust Him as Savior.
To God be the glory,
I’m living in Houston after Hurricane Harvey and the stories of love/ compassion/ hurt/ fear/ faith/ ____ are incredible/ overwhelming/ surreal/ ________. I don’t have the words. So what do I do with that? What do you? We serve. We give. We pray! And when we’re overwhelmed? We remember the cross—that Jesus, our God, loved us to death and then beat death with His resurrection. We trust in Him and live out our faith.
I learned to do calligraphy to help my quiet times with God because I can’t do calligraphy well and focus on anything else other than the words… one… by… one. And in that quiet time I meet with my God. Writing in calligraphy helps me still my mind, pray, and listen differently. And today, when I felt overwhelmed over it all I came back to the prayer my Savior taught me to talk to my Father.
So I share Jesus’ prayer with you, though you’ve probably heard it before. I pray that you will pray with me, remember Jesus loves you, and trust that God already knows what you need (see Matthew 6:8 and Matthew 6:25-34).
To God be the glory,
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p.s. I should note that our family came out of the storm with everything in tact. We have been blessed and fall into the "helper" category. But the task in front of us is still overwhelming, helper or receiver. I have a feeling that throughout this process everyone will get a chance to be both. Thankfully in Jesus I know a God who is bigger. So I hope that this reminder to stop and pray is helpful, Helper and Receiver.
The Lord is using Be Blessed Prayer to spread hope, truth, and life in Jesus to the world. I'm excited to share that the Be Blessed Prayer Facebook page has just hit (week of 10/15/2017) over 100 "Likes/ Followers" and there are around 10 people on my email list! To me it is so amazing that people are reading, being encouraged, and "liking" my words. These may not sound like big numbers, to you, but I want you to know I am thankful for you!
I'm excited to see God grow this ministry on His own. I don't have the capacity right now to make Be Blessed Prayer more than a hobby. However, I do have the capacity to love Jesus and the people He's put in my life as my full time privilege. Those receiving the Be Blessed Prayer updates are part of that privilege God's given me.
I'm thankful to be able to share what God is teaching me in my walk with Christ and encourage you to continue in yours or to follow Jesus if you don't yet believe. I wish I'd made this when I had 1 subscriber to my email list and 1 "follow" on Facebook. I really am just writing to you sitting on the other side of the screen. Hopefully, this is better late than never.
We can encourage each other in our faith, always remembering that our most important "audience" is our Audience of One, God Almighty. Know that I'm praying for you, and I trust that the Living God is working in your life. Thanks for taking this journey with me.
To God be the glory,
I Will Rejoice
This is mostly art-- possibly some mini-devotions & small prayers. These posts started in the wake of Hurricane Harvey while living in Houston and seeing overwhelming need. I also see that God is still here, still God, and still Good.