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Devotions

What It’s Really Like

Have you ever put someone else’s needs/wants before your own? I have! Mostly in parenthood. Playing Blippi on YouTube instead of your favorite songs while driving so your child will be happy on the way to the grocery store (or keep them calm before having an emotional break down because they can’t eat a Tim Bit every time they see Tim Horton’s). Maybe you go above and beyond at work or invest more than buying lunch from time to time in friendships, you invest prayer and the unconditional love of Jesus. If you have, congratulations! You have represented the very nature of Jesus and His mission– loving God and loving people.

Easter 2018 was celebrated at Grace Church with family and at my in-law’s with food. I made fresh green beans with bacon, so good. If holiday dinners were at my house every year, I’d order pre-cooked dinner packages online from Kroger Click List, being they provided that. No shame in my store-bought game.

Empty Reese’s wrappers and Bible crafts filled my house this Easter. Grace Team taught children about the most horrifying yet glorifying story in the Bible, provided easter eggs filled with candy for kids to collect in the gymnasium (indoor egg hunts in April because Michigan), all in honor of how Jesus served humanity by His death and resurrection.

Here are a few photo’s of my priceless fam on Easter ❤

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When I read the story of Jesus from Luke 22-24 to remind myself the truth about Easter and what it took for Jesus to lay His life down so I could freely live, the Garden of Gethsemane found in chapter 22 resonated within me. Read with me as I elaborate:

“Jesus left the upper room with his disciples and, as was his habit,
went to the Mount of Olives, his place of secret prayer. There he told
the apostles, ‘Keep praying for strength to be spared from the severe
test of your faith that is about to come.’ Then he withdrew from them a
short distance to be alone. Kneeling down, he prayed, ‘Father, if you
are willing, take this cup of agony away from me. But no matter what,
your will must be mine.” Luke 22:39-42 TPT

Jesus actually asked the Father for an alternate route? Like, He literally came to the realization after living on earth as fully human for 33 years how painful and agonizing His death was going to be. Talk about humbling!

But He submitted to God anyway.

He trusted God to fulfill His Word. He chose truth over feelings. He knew the pain but He believed in the promise. He surrendered and He saved. The same will happen in our lives if we would 1) Trust in God 2) Choose truth over feelings 3) Believe in His sovereignty 4) Surrender to His Will.  That’s when darkness is overcome and when people around us are set free. Jesus didn’t have to be beaten and die, He chose to out of His deep love for the Father and for us.

Imagine what miracles and fruit our lives would produce if we would just follow those 4 steps; trust, choose, believe, surrender. I know it’s not easy to, as the cliché goes, “let go and let God.” Life seems hopeless at times, especially when our feelings and emotions appear more real than the truth. But they’re not. Truth is truth, no matter the feeling. Stop feeding your feelings with polluted thoughts and start renewing your mind with the truth of God’s Word.

Your heart will be healed. Your soul will be made whole. Your mind will be renewed. Your strength will have new stamina. Your marriage will thrive. Your family will be saved. Your purpose will come alive. The more truth you believe the less lies you belong to. That’s what living is really like, not for feelings, but for Him. Simple surrender.

 

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Devotions

You’re Thirsty

When I first met with Jesus in a real way at 17 years old, I only knew what people and TV taught about Him. I spent little to no time investing into prayer, Bible reading or going to church before then. He was no one and church was never an interest. Some of my family believed but never really invested the truth of God through teaching the Bible in my life. Where I am at in life today is completely a miracle.

Like most teenagers with little or irresponsible guidance, I experimented with drugs, alcohol and lust. Looking back now, I am amazed by how much a young person can endure and be exposed to yet end up where I am today. But that doesn’t happen to everyone. I have such compassion and love for young men and women who struggle with drugs, alcohol and lust. Who’s families are broken and need someone to simply just be there for them.

As I’ve grown in the grace and knowledge of Jesus through spending time with Him by reading my Bible, praying and choosing Godly friends over wild and fun friends, I have learned much about life. Truth is truth no matter opinions. Here’s what I find relatable to meeting Jesus in my life in John chapter 5 verses 5-14.


“Jesus arrived at the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son, Joseph, long ago. Wearied by his long journey, he sat on the edge of Jacob’s well. He sent his disciples into the village to buy food, for it was already afternoon. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink of water.” Surprised, she said, “Why would a Jewish man ask a Samaritan woman for a drink of water?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew who I am and the gift that God wants to give you–you’d ask me for a drink, and I would give to you living water.” The woman said, “But sir, you don’t even have a bucket and this well is very deep. So where do you find this ‘living water’? Do you really think that you are greater than our ancestor Jacob who dug this well and drank from it himself, along with his children and livestock?” Jesus answered, “If you drink from Jacob’s well you’ll be thirsty again and again, but if anyone drinks the living water I give them, they will never be thirsty again and will be forever satisfied! For when you drink the water I give you it becomes a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, springing up and flooding you with endless life!”


The woman at the well reminds me of myself. I wasn’t doing anything out of my ordinary life just like she wasn’t. I’m assuming drawing water at the well was an every day walk for her. She wasn’t planning on meeting with the Son of God that day and neither was I. Her doubt in His ability to provide what she needed sounds like me all too well. The way Jesus walks into our path of life regardless of convenience or being socially accepted is exemplary.

The story goes on to tell how Jesus knew everything she ever did, yet He showed her love and grace anyway. She was so amazed by His intimate insight she dropped her water jug and ran back to her village to tell everyone who she just met. For a Jewish man to be speaking to a Samaritan woman in the first place was considered unlawful or ‘dirty’ in their culture. But He isn’t concerned with everyone’s opinion, He’s concerned with you.

We are all the “woman at the well”, drawing from empty wells. Thirsty for more “likes” and “followers”. Acceptance and approval, lust, drugs and alcohol. Or maybe your well is different from mine. Whatever it is that you draw your next temporary relief from will remain temporary until you draw from Jesus. He is the Well of Life that won’t run dry. He is the gushing water that will quench the thirst your soul is dying for. Life’s not easy walking alone and thirsty. Meet with Jesus and taste what He offers. He promises you’ll be forever satisfied!