But, God shows his love for us in that
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Have you ever felt like the grace in your life disappeared? Maybe you're in a season where you just have no idea what God is doing in your life. We all go through days where nothing makes sense when we look at the circumstances around us. When things don't make sense it's easy to feel like we're "doing it wrong". Our minds quickly go into a "fix it" mode where we feel the need to work or do something to feel God's grace again. Yet, could it be our view of God's grace is what needs the fixing? The grace of God is not something that disappears. Just because we don't like what we see or how we feel doesn't mean God's grace is gone. Just because we don't understand what's going on doesn't mean God's grace is gone. Just because we aren't seeing our prayers answered the way we want doesn't mean God's grace is gone. Sometimes we view grace as getting what we want when we want it, yet that is not grace at all. Grace is the free unmerited favor of God. Grace is salvation. Grace is the Holy Spirit. Grace is the constant unchanging love of God. Grace is having a relationship with the Father through Jesus. Grace doesn't mean your life will be perfect. Grace doesn't mean your life will look like you expected. But, it does mean that God will work everything together for your good! (Romans 8:28) God's grace is nothing you can earn. Jesus paid the cost for us. So when the days come where grace seems far away remind yourself of what God's grace truly is. God is faithful. His love for you is unrelenting. Rest in knowing that His grace is enough for you today. No matter what is going on around you stand firm in the truth of His grace. This week we pray you're able to recognize God's abundant favor.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by
the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and
approve what God's perfect will is- His good, pleasing, and perfect will.
Have you ever gone through a season where life just feels unpredictable? Have you spent days wondering why God allows certain things to happen, while your prayers go unanswered? Maybe nothing in life is necessarily wrong, but each day simply seems uncertain. Life is full of unpredictable situations. It is easy during these seasons to confuse our feelings of uncertainty with God's truth. When we don't understand the events of each day we can quickly change our view of God's character as one that is unpredictable. Yet, the truth is that God is unchanging. Although we don't always know the outcome of our daily situations we know that God is predictable. He is ever-present, always on time, filled with love, overflowing with mercy and grace, and His faithfulness endures forever. So how do we separate our feelings from the truth of who God is during unpredictable situations? Proverbs 4:23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Our lives are constantly filled with negativity that impacts the way we feel and the way we think. We must be intentional in guarding our hearts so that we are filled with God's truth. During seasons of uncertainty press into Jesus. Spend time in His word. Remind yourself of who He is and who you are in Him. Do not let yourself be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2) There will always be days where doubt seems like the only answer, yet when your heart is guarded and aligned with God's truth your life will abundantly overflow with peace that surpasses every situation. This week we pray that you guard your mind and heart so that abundant life flows from you through every season of life. God is faithful and His love for you endures forever.
And he said to them, "Go into all the world
and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation."
As we wrap up the time of year that we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, life quickly goes back to normal. So often we get wrapped up in the holiday festivities rejoicing on Sunday and back to complaining on Monday. We leave church on Easter Sunday living as if the resurrection of Jesus is the end of the story. Yet, there is so much more to the story! Mark 16 tells us about Jesus rising from the dead and how he appeared to Mary Magdalene and the disciples. But, it is at the end of Mark 16 where the story changes. In Mark 16:14-20, Jesus gave his disciples authority and told them to go to the ends of the earth proclaiming the gospel to all creation. At the moment it was no longer enough for the disciples to simply follow Jesus around. It was now their time to do everything that they saw Jesus do. Verses 17-18 says, "And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover." It was through the death and resurrection of Jesus that the disciples were given the power of the Holy Spirit to live out the great commission. Can you imagine what would have happened if the disciples that walked with Jesus would have chosen to be disobedient to the command to go? The great commission was not just a command for the first disciples. It is a command for all followers of Jesus to fulfill every day. Whether your calling is to the nations, to your city, or simply to those at your work you have been commanded to go and spread the gospel. The resurrection of Jesus was just the beginning. Our prayer for you this week is that you would faithfully go, generously give, and consistently pray. May your obedience to go bear fruit as you spread the gospel, expect miracles, and grow in your relationship with the Father. Let your story bring Him glory this week!
He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John,
do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep." John 21:17
No matter what you do or where you go each of us are constantly interacting with people. Work, church, ministry, family, shopping, driving, and on and on the list goes of places that we deal with people. Let's face it no matter what kind of relationship whether family, friends, or simply acquaintances people can be difficult. We all have different thought patterns, different ways of life, different attitudes, and different testimonies. With our differences come opportunities to extend God's love, grace, and mercy. Yet, many times dealing with difficult people can leave us overwhelmed, exhausted, and discouraged. One of our friends reminded me lately of John 21:15-19 where Jesus is talking with Peter. Three times Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him. While Peter told Jesus over and over that he loved Him Jesus responded saying, "Feed my lambs." (verse 15) "Tend my sheep." (verse 16) "Feed my sheep" (verse 17) Jesus was reminding Peter to love and care for people because of his love for Jesus. What a great reminder that we love and serve people not because they need help, not because they deserve our care, and not because they are easy to love, but simply because we love Jesus. God created us to do life together. This means that through the good and the bad we walk alongside each other. It's not always easy and fun. Sometimes life gets messy. Sometimes the people God puts along our paths are just difficult. Yet, the reason why we love each other and the reason why we take care of each other is because we love Jesus first, above all. As you go throughout your week remind yourself why you choose to love and serve the people around you. Let your love for Jesus overflow throughout your relationships. Use the pleasant and difficult people in your life as opportunities for God's love, mercy, and grace to permeate through you. We pray that your love for Jesus would be the reason why you serve people this week.
Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
The world has taught us that life is about the number game. We need the biggest and best. The more followers you have the better your life is. This mentality can often lead us away from God's will. When we focus on the masses we lose sight of the one right in front of us. There are many situations in life where our eyes shift to the number game, but Satan seems to specifically attack in this area when we're walking in obedience to our calling. Maybe you feel called to lead a Bible study, start a ministry, or plant a church. The world will base your success on the numbers you work with. Yet, the Lord bases your success on your obedience to Him. It's easy to give up or cancel your plans when numbers are low. But, you never know when your ministry to just one will change the world. Luke 15:1-7 is the parable of the lost sheep. Jesus shares with the people about a man who left his ninety-nine sheep just to go and find the one that was lost. Verse seven says, "I tell you in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over the ninety- nine righteous persons who did not need to repents." If your eyes have been fixed on the numbers in life remember that Jesus went after the one. Don't be discouraged or ask what you are doing wrong. When you are obedient to the calling the Lord has placed on your life the fruit will overflow in more than just numbers. Be faithful to reach those the Lord places in front of you. You never know when someone will surrender their life to Jesus. This week we pray you are obedient to walk in your calling no matter what things look like. Be faithful and obedient and watch the Lord work through you. Whether you share Jesus with one or ninety-nine this week give Him the glory! May God's will be done in and through you as you serve Him.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father,
is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction,
and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
PO BOX 330734 Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
We are heading back to Poptun, Guatemala in May to spread the gospel, partner with Bethel Ministries International and the local church, and meet physical needs by being the hands and feet of Jesus!
Our team has begun to raise funds to make this possible! We can't do it without you. Our first financial deadline is quickly approaching. If you feel led to give towards this trip you can do so online by clicking on the Donate tab above or by mailing a check made out to Light of the World Ministries to PO BOX 330734 Atlantic Beach, FL 32233.