Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Purpose, Commit, & Walk Worthy

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself” -Daniel 1:8 
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons.” -Daniel 2:20-21

Christians are called to live a life that looks like Jesus- to copy Jesus; straight up its in the name. Jesus was righteous and pure in all things and He committed His soul to His Father, as it says in Luke 23:46. Therefore, my life calling is simply to strive for the same things. It’s to purpose in my heart that I would not become defiled, to commit my soul to the Father’s work, and then to walk worthy of this call He has placed on my life. Daniel was a man who understood all of this very well; he was a well off young man who could have easily lived an extremely corrupted life but he chose instead to be steadfast and unwavering in the ways of the Lord. Daniel’s whole life was full of ups and downs- one day he is serving in the kings court, the next day he is in the lion’s den, the day after that he is at the kings gate, and the next day he is in a fiery furnace. His life was always changing yet His faith never did and the Lord’s protection and call on Daniel’s life never did either. He is an incredible example of Acts 20:24- “yet none of these things shall move me; nor do i count my life dear to myself, so that i may finish my race with joy and the ministry which i have received from the Lord Jesus to testify the gospel of grace.” Daniel was unmoved no matter what that season of life looked like or just what that day looked like for him. Because of his faith in the Lord, he had learned to abound in times of plenty and abound in times of emptiness knowing that either way God would still be faithful and his hearts purpose, to not defile himself, had not changed. It was always the Lord who brought Daniel to and through these things in his life and Daniel was able to walk through it all and not be shaken. I want to strive to be more like Daniel and be able to say that nothing in this world was able to move me. And I want to purpose in my heart to look more like Jesus and commit to Him my soul. No matter the season, God is still God and we have to continue in the ministry He has set before us so that we may finish this race with joy. May we be able to say: “yet none of these things moved me.” 

Application: read through the book of Daniel and study his immense character and faith. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Surrendered Hands

“The Lord your God is in your midst, the Mighty One will save, He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love and will rejoice over you with singing.” - Zephaniah 3:17 

As of tomorrow, I will have spent one full week in Costa Rica- my new home for the next 6 months. The Lord has called me here and now its my job to abide here and do what He has called me to do. All of this on paper looks kind of overwhelming but as the first line of this verse says: The Lord your God is in your midst. I am so thankful that the God I strive to serve and be like is alive and is HERE. He cares and desires to lead me. I must follow- with a surrendered heart and the goal of pleasing Him. 
In Hebrew, the literal meaning of my name, Abigail, is “The Father’s Joy.” Literally my life purpose is to bring my Father in Heaven JOY- it’s what He created me for. Naturally, I'm a pretty happy person and however I think many times I can easily get caught up in trying to make others happy. That isn't a bad thing (obviously) but my first priority must be to be the Father’s joy, and if my heart is focused on that, then the joy of others will follow. The only way any of this can happen is if I am surrendered. My Father is pleased when I lay myself down and let the Mighty One SAVE and do the work. He is alive and here and ready to work- all I need do is let go and believe that my God is who He says He is. His hands are at work in my life when my hands are off and are lifted high in praise. And its only then when my hands are surrendered to Him and are exalting His name that He finds joy in me and will rejoice over me with singing. What a beautiful picture that is- What a Mighty God. 

Application: I am going to pray that the Lord would help me to surrender more and more of my heart to Him and thank Him that it is He who does the work. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Knowledge vs. Wisdom

“But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.” –Mark 4:10-11

The mystery that is the gospel. There is so much we don’t know. The Lord is so much larger than my small finite brain, however nonetheless it is we who have been called to know these things. I think for me ignorance and oblivion are problems I find far too easy to slip into. I am not the most observant person and because of this I know that I have to work hard to make sure I don’t fall into an unaware state of mind. When it comes to the gospel, even more so. We have been chosen to draw near and know and learn the mystery that is the gospel- I don’t want to take that for granted. I want to be able to see and taste. And to listen and hear the Lord’s voice and then GO and DO what it is He commands me.

Knowledge is a good thing but what is knowledge worth if it never leads you to a point of change? That right there is the difference between knowledge and wisdom- knowledge just knows however wisdom uses discernment and actually uses all that it knows. I want to be a student and a servant who is able to use my wisdom. When I hear, I want to really hear and when I see I want to really understand and then have those things which I have now heard and seen lead me to a place where I DO. What is life if I never transfer the parables into LIVING?