Monday, October 3, 2022

Take Time to Rest

 

By Andrea Merrell


Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.

Mark 6:31 NIV

 

“Are you too busy to rest,” someone asked. “Do you feel guilty when you take time for yourself?”


I used to stay so busy and tightly wound that it was hard for me to relax—ever. Even on vacation I would continually think of all the things I should be doing instead. It took me days to unwind. By the time I was actually operating in chill-mode, it was time to go home and get back to work.


There is power in rest. It’s a spiritual principle. God created the world in six days, then rested. Jesus took time to find a solitary place to rest when He was weary. He even slept in a boat in the middle of a storm. He told His disciples on numerous occasions to “come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”


No one, as the cliché goes, can burn the candle at both ends for very long. We can’t work 24/7 and expect to stay happy and healthy. Rest is essential for our well-being.


If you’re weary, give yourself a break. If you’re addicted to activity and technology, unplug and unwind. Spend quality time with the Lord. Just as He said to the disciples, He is saying to you, “come with me … and get some rest.” Why? The Word for You Today says, “because when you don’t come apart, you fall apart.”


(Photo courtesy of Aleksandar Cvetanovic on Unsplash.)


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If you’re weary, give yourself a break. If you’re addicted to activity and technology, unplug and unwind. Spend quality time with the Lord. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)


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Monday, September 26, 2022

Listen for those Holy Whispers

By Andrea Merrell

 

Your own ears will hear Him. 
Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way 
you should go, whether to the right or to the left.”

Isaiah 30:21 NLT 

 

“If God is speaking, there had better be a Bible in that room!” The words were spoken in an angry, almost defiant tone after I read a few pages of my novel to my writers' group.

 

My eyes went wide as I took in the surprised faces around the table. No one seemed to know what to say. Suddenly, words came tumbling out of my mouth. “I personally believe God speaks to us in many different ways—through His Word, other people, situations, books. Even movies and TV shows. But the Bible also says He speaks to us in that still, small voice.”

 

I heard a couple of enthusiastic amens, then the subject dropped like a hot potato. We moved on.

 

But the woman’s words stayed with me. How sad when we put God in such a small box that He can only speak to us through the written Word … logos. He wants us to also embrace the spoken Word … rhema.

 

John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear my voice” (NKJV, emphasis mine). God spoke the world into existence, and He didn’t sit back on His throne and stop talking. He desires deep, personal, intimate communion with His children.

 

How many times have you heard His holy whispers? Go this way, not that way. Call your daughter. Pray for your friend. Make that appointment. Don’t be afraid; I’m with you. Wait, not a wise decision. Some people might say “something told me.” They need to realize that something is a someone. A loving Father taking care of His own.

 

Thank God He does not leave us to fend for ourselves. He is always with us. And He has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3 NKJV). That includes the ability—and the privilege—to hear His voice. He sends His Holy Spirit to live inside us to comfort, teach, correct, and guide.

 

Learn to be still and quiet your mind so you can hear those holy whispers. Your Father is longing to talk to you.

 

(Photo courtesy of Jackson Simmer on Unsplash.)

 

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Learn to be still and quiet your mind so you can hear God’s holy whispers. Your heavenly Father is longing to talk to you. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)


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Monday, September 19, 2022

The Importance of Self-Talk

 

By Andrea Merrell

You have been trapped by what you said,
    ensnared by the words of your mouth.

Proverbs 6:2 NIV

 

“When you look in the mirror, what do you say to yourself?” the speaker asked, suggesting we speak only positive words.

That’s when I realized most of the time when I look in the mirror, I just groan, especially now that I’m getting older.


The Bible has a lot to say about the tongue and what comes out of our mouth.

 

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. (Proverbs 18:21 NLT) 


But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:8 NKJV) 


Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. (Proverbs 16:24 NLT) 


May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14 NLT)


When we speak death over ourselves, it’s like ingesting poison. We become ensnared by those false, hurtful words instead of allowing the truth of God’s Word to shape our thoughts and beliefs.


Negative, hopeless, doubt-filled words may seem harmless, but they are like flaming arrows that go deep into our soul and affect everything we think, say, do, and believe—especially about ourselves.


The next time you look in the mirror, smile. Rejoice that you are God’s child, created in His image. Fearfully and wonderfully made. The righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.



(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Aleksa D.)


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The next time you look in the mirror, smile. Rejoice that you are God’s child, created in His image. Fearfully and wonderfully made. The righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)


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Monday, September 12, 2022

No-Matter-What Faith

 

By Andrea Merrell


But without faith it is impossible to please Him, 

for he who comes to God must believe that He is,

and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:1 NLT

 

I prayed and prayed for the results I wanted, but the answer didn’t come in the way I expected.


There’s a song that says sometimes God will calm the storm—the winds and waves that keep our focus away from Him. But at other times, He will calm His child—giving us the peace, strength, and endurance to ride out the storm.


It’s a matter of faith—believing God will do what He says He will do. That might mean changing our circumstances or it might mean changing our perspective. The important thing is to remember He loves us, is always with us, and has our best interests at heart.


God asks us to believe. To believe He is. That He exists and rewards those who diligently seek Him. Without that kind of faith, it is impossible to please Him.


Are you in a tough spot today, surrounded by a storm that threatens to take you under? If so, give it to the Lord. Then let go and trust Him to work it out His way and in His perfect timing.


That’s the no-matter-what-kind-of faith.


Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash


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If you’re in a tough spot today, surrounded by a storm that threatens to take you under, give it to the Lord. Then let go and trust Him to work it out His way and in His perfect timing. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)


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Monday, September 5, 2022

Is There Fruit on Your Tree?

 

By Andrea Merrell

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:

love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,

faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23 NLT


Let’s face it, Christianity has been given a bad rap. By whom? Unfortunately, mostly by Christians.

Author Sheldon Vaneuken writes:

The best argument for Christianity is Christians—their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians—when they are somber … joyless … self-righteous … smug … narrow … and repressive.

A follower of Christ should be easily recognizable. The Bible says we’ll be know by our fruit. The Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are all manifestations of the Spirit of God who lives inside us. Many of us would do well just to put a smile on our face.

This is what the Passion translation says in Matthew 7:16:

You can spot them by their actions, for the fruits of their character will be obvious. You won’t find sweet grapes hanging on a thorn bush, and you’ll never pick good fruit from a tumbleweed.

Good fruit? Bad Fruit? It’s our choice what we produce. This world is in desperate need of Christians who will step up to the proverbial plate, stop complaining, and allow the Holy Spirit of God to fill them with God’s very own peace, love, and joy. That’s what the world needs to see in us.

What kind of fruit is being produced on your tree?


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and digitalart.)


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This world is in desperate need of Christians who are producing the Fruit of the Spirit. via @AndreaMerrell(Click to tweet.)


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