Monday, December 9, 2019

What's the Point?


By Andrea Merrell

 
I always thought when I got to a certain age my life would slow down. Seems that thought was a fantasy. My husband asked me recently if I had any concept whatsoever of the word retirement. Obviously not. In this season of my life, things should be different. Yet the busyness never stops, and I keep trying to tackle each day as I always have.

When life gets crazy, we can find ourselves running in circles and not accomplishing much at all—like a dog chasing his tail or a hamster in a wheel. So many demands. Do this. Do that. Go here. Go there. Hurry up. Don’t be late.

So many tasks scream at us for attention. It’s the tyranny of the urgent. The squeaky wheel that threatens to stop working if we don’t take care of it immediately.

Life is busy. That’s a fact. And it’s demanding—no matter your age or season of life. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself, What’s the point? We go about our days as if the world will stop or tilt on its axis if we don’t finish this-or-that task. Be on time for appointments. Make that phone call. Pay that bill. Clean the house. Do the laundry. Cook that meal. Meet that deadline …

We get so caught up pursuing production that we forget to pursue presence—the presence of God in our day. A moment-by-moment awareness that He is with us, loves us passionately, and wants to help us with every single thing we face, no matter how small it may seem.

Spending our days just chasing dreams for a better life and meeting demands will leave us feeling empty and incomplete, especially at this busy holiday season.

So, what’s the answer? Jesus. Pursue Him. Pursue His presence. Presence trumps production every time. Make your days about Him instead of your to-do list.

That’s the point.


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and winnond.)


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Monday, December 2, 2019

God’s Heavenly Lay-a-Way Plan


By Andrea Merrell



For all of God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding "Yes!" And through Christ, our "Amen (which means "Yes") ascends to God for His glory. 2 Corinthians 1:20 NLT

Years ago, as a young mother of two with a very tight budget, the best option for purchasing gifts, especially at Christmas, was to use the lay-a-way plan. With a small down payment, my items were tagged with my name and placed in a secure area. As long as I made the required installments each week, the items would be there until I redeemed them.

It’s the same with God’s promises. Every one of them were placed in a heavenly lay-a-way plan. He has identified us as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything He has promised us (2 Corinthians 1:21-22 NLT).

The AMPC puts it this way: [He has also appropriated and acknowledged us as His by] putting His seal upon us and giving us His [Holy] Spirit in our hearts as the security deposit and guarantee [of the fulfillment of His promise].

The down payment (or security deposit) was the Holy Spirit. This was our guarantee that everything He promised could be ours.


When I made the final payment on my lay-a-way items, I could take them home. They belonged to me.

When Jesus made the final installment by sacrificing His life, the price was paid in full. Redeemed. The promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding yes and amen! They now belong to us.

Dig into God’s Word to find all the treasures that are waiting for you. All you have to do is believe and receive.

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net & Supertrooper.)


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All of God’s promises are yes and amen. Dig into His Word to find all the treasures waiting for you. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)



 

 



Monday, November 25, 2019

Identity Crisis


By Andrea Merrell

For God made the only one who did not know sin
to become sin for us, so that we who did not know 
righteousness might become the righteousness of God 
through our union with him.
2 Corinthians 5:21 TPT

“I just don’t know who I am anymore,” my friend said. “I’ve somehow managed to lose myself in the busyness of life and all the demands on my time. I’m not even sure God sees or hears me anymore.”

At some point in our life, we’ve all felt that way to some degree. We wonder, who am I?

The truth is—no matter how we feel—we are who God says we are.

  • We are loved.
  • We are forgiven.
  • We are redeemed.
  • We are righteous.
  • We are His child.
  • We are unique.
  • We are blessed.

Knowing and understanding our true identity comes only when we know who we are in Christ.

If you’re going through an identity crisis, turn to God’s Word and see for yourself what He says about you. His opinion is the only one that matters.

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


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Monday, November 18, 2019

Win the Battle with Praise



By Andrea Merrell

 
This is what the Lord says to you:
“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.
For the battle is not yours, but God’s.
2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV

“We have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us, nor do we know what to do.”

These were the words of King Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:12) when he faced three different armies that had combined to wipe out his land. He confessed his predicament and cried out to the Lord. Then he said, “Our eyes are on you.”

The Lord answered, “Do not be afraid.” He assured Jehoshaphat that the battle belonged to Him, not an earthly king. Then he gave some rather unorthodox instructions. He told the king to put the choir in front of the army. Can you imagine? God wanted them to praise their way into victory. And so they did.

Have you ever been in a situation where it seems all the powers of hell have combined to wipe you out? I know I have. In those times, the last thing our flesh wants to do is to start praising the Lord. We want to kick and scream, grumble and complain. But God doesn’t respond to tantrums. He responds to our faith and our heartfelt praise.

The next time you’re in a tough situation, remember that the battle belongs to God. Put your worship on. As Bob Gass says, “Begin to praise God, and the forces of heaven will come to your aid.”


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Chaiwat.)




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Monday, November 11, 2019

Do You See Me?


By Andrea Merrell


“Watch me, Grandma, watch me!”

My granddaughter bounced up and down, waving her little hand to make sure I was watching her attempt at gymnastics. After each flip, she would pause to make sure I was still paying attention.” Did you see me, Grandma? Did I do good?”

As children grow, they need constant approval and affirmation as they try new things. They want to be seen. But what about adults? Does that need ever go away completely?

We all need to be seen, and we all need to be loved. But trying to fulfill those needs apart from the Lord can leave us empty and cause us to feel invisible.

The truth is with God we are:

Fully Seen 
We are not invisible. God sees us completely, inside and out, every moment of every day. He sees our tears, our pain, and our needs. He views us through the shed blood of Jesus, clothed in His robe of righteousness.

Fully Known 
God knew us before we were ever conceived. In fact, we were His idea. He knows our thoughts and the desires of our heart. He knows the number of hairs on our head. And He’s even engraved our name on the palm of His hand.

Fully Loved 
God loves us so much He gave the best He had to give. He sent His only Son to suffer and die for us so we can spend eternity with Him. His love is unconditional and unending. He loves us in spite of our weaknesses and imperfections. He doesn’t play favorites, and you never have to perform to win His approval. There is nothing in heaven or on earth that can separate us from that amazing love.

When you feel invisible in this crazy world, know that God sees you when it feels as if no one else does. You are fully seen, fully known, and fully loved.


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and aechan.)



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