Sunday, January 16, 2022

No Goody Two Shoes

By Andrea Merrell

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

Acts 10:38 NLT

 

The man was a saint. He lived a life of devotion and consecration to the Lord. He didn’t “cuss, smoke, or chew—or run with gals that do,” as my grandparents used to say. Some called him a religious fanatic. A wimp. A doormat.

But this man was no goody two shoes. He took the word holy seriously … set apart for sacred use. He was a perfect example of someone securely connected to the Vine and producing the Fruit of the Spirit.

Just like Jesus, this man “went around doing good.” The Passion translation says Jesus “did wonderful things for others.” But Jesus was also not a goody two shoes. He spoke when necessary and remained silent at the appropriate time. He confronted when the situation called for it and backed off when it didn’t. He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, and drove the money-changers out of the temple. He was meek and mild yet strong and mighty.

All God, Jesus left His glory in heaven to walk this earth. All man, He was tempted in every way but never succumbed to sin.

He was, is, and always will be our perfect example.

 

 Photo by Radek Skrzypczak on Unsplash


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As both God and man, Jesus was, is, and always will be our perfect example. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)

 

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Monday, January 10, 2022

Bucket Fillers and Spillers

 By Andrea Merrell

Some friendships don’t last for long,
    but there is one loving friend who is joined to your heart
    closer than any other!

Proverbs 18:24 TPT

 

The friendship was unhealthy. Almost toxic. Even though it happened over thirty years ago, I still remember how our time together drained the life out of me.

Having friends is important, but we need to choose those relationships carefully. If not, we might inadvertently invest too much time and energy into relationships that are not good for our wellbeing.

According to Renew magazine, relationships can easily fall into one of two categories: bucket fillers or bucket spillers.

Bucket fillers are connections we have with friends and family that make us feel loved, encouraged, appreciated, and fulfilled. Bucket spillers are connections that can make us feel unloved, depleted, anxious, and undervalued.

As we get older, we need to give ourselves permission to weed out relationships that don’t enrich our lives. And there’s nothing selfish about doing so. It’s a self-protective measure to keep us from becoming emotionally and mentally drained.

But no matter how good our earthly relationships are, the best way to keep our buckets filled is to spend time with the One who knows us best and loves us most. He will never judge us, betray us, or leave us. He’s the loving friend who is joined to your heart, closer than any other.


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Aleks Melnik.)


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Are your relationships bucket fillers or bucket spillers? via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)


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Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Overcoming Fatigue

 By Andrea Merrell

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary

and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28 NLT


Well, we made it. We navigated through the holidays. We survived the shopping, the cooking, the late nights, the parties, the travel, and everything that comes with the Christmas season.

But instead of excitement about entering a brand new year, many are just plain exhausted. Instead of moving forward to meet new challenges, we’d rather retreat and isolate.

General George Patton Jr. once said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

The Word for You Today says:

When fatigue walks in, faith walks out. It distorts our thinking and makes us overlook God’s power and His promises. Mental fatigue coupled with physical exhaustion is a deadly combination that invites hopelessness and creates the illusion that we have no options.

Life can be hard, even in the best of circumstances. There will always be demands on our time and energy. But even when we feel spent, Jesus offers us the solution: “Come to me … and I will give you rest.”

There’s nothing better or more energizing than spending time in the presence of the Lord. If you’re weary today, draw close to Him. Talk to Him. Spend time in His Word. His refreshing is waiting for you.


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and sattva.)


TWEETABLE

There’s nothing better or more energizing than spending time in the presence of the Lord. If you’re weary today, draw close to Him. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)



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Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas from Words That Matter

 Christmas, as they say, is the most wonderful time of the year. We love the food (especially the sugary sweets), the lights, the music, the decorations. Many even love the shopping ... and the wrapping ... and the baking. 

But we can get so caught up in all the trappings that we forget what Christmas is really all about.

Christ-mas. Christ came. For us. For God so loved the world that He gave.

Jesus Christ, born in a lowly stable, now seated at the right hand of the Father. King of kings and Lord of lords.

Enjoy everything this season brings, but don't forget the reason for the season.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Wishing you a blessed, prosperous, and Jesus-filled New Year.


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Enjoy everything this season brings, but don't forget the reason for the season. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)


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Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Excess or Moderation?

By Andrea Merrell

“Can you really have too much of a good thing?” someone asked. The lively discussion that followed ended with a resounding yes!

Think about water. An essential element for life. Without it we can’t bathe, cook, or even make coffee. Our bodies need it to maintain good health. Plants, trees, and grass depend on it to grow. But too much can cause flooding, resulting in much damage.

And what about fire? It gives us light, cooks our food, and keeps us warm, but too much can destroy homes, buildings, property, and even lives.

The Bible says, “use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities” (1 Timothy 5:23 NKJV). But it also says, "don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life” (Ephesians 5:18 NLT).

In all things, it’s a matter of moderation vs. excess. God has richly given us a treasury of resources for sustaining life. And He expects us to use them wisely. We just need to remember that:

  • Too much sun can lead to a sunburn.
  • Too much spending can lead to bankruptcy.
  • Too much food can cause weight and health problems.
  • Too much worry …
  • Too much stress …
  • Too much …

You fill in the blank. Make sure your life is governed by moderation and balance. Whenever you’re excessive, make sure it’s in spending time with the Lord, in His presence and in His Word. That’s the one thing you can never have too much of.


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.)


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Can you really have too much of a good thing? Make sure your life is governed by moderation and balance. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)


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