You are My own, My child. I didn’t just die for you; I died as you. I replaced you on that bloody cross; I bought you with a high price. Silver or gold could not pay the debt you owed, but My blood paid your way out of the clutch of sin into the arms of a Loving Father.
Because you belong to Me, there is now no condemnation for you. My life-giving Spirit has forever freed you from the power of sin and death. You are no longer a slave to the weak and sinful human nature; you now have My nature, the God-nature, because you are My child.
You belong to Me, what can stop you now? What can hinder you? What can hold back My purposes and plans for your life? No fear or anxiety, closed doors or disappointment, rejection or neglect, can separate you from My love for you. You are Mine.
You belong to Me, let that sink in deep. Let it saturate the very framework of your mind, let it recalibrate your thinking pattern, so your default thought response to any situation thrown at you is – I am His.
It is I who gave birth to you. You are My child. You are born of My Spirit, and not of the will of the human flesh. You are a new creation in Christ Jesus. Before anyone else or anything else, I Am your family first and foremost. Come to Me with anything and everything. Before you go to them, ask Me first. Before you make plans with them, ask Me of My plans for your life. I Am your Father, and you are My child.
Your life is Mine; you are no longer your own, I own you. You are My treasured possession. Hmmm. I see you cringing at the phrase – I own you. The only reason you have a problem with that phrase is that a part of you still longs to be the ruler and king over your own life. Yes, you have surrendered your heart to Me as your Savior, but you have not fully surrendered to Me as your Lord.
Also, since your life is no longer your own, then know that the burden you are carrying is no longer yours, it is Mine. That battle or struggle (whatever it is you are battlng or struggling with) is no longer yours, leave it to Me. Every negative thing you held onto when you ruled your own life is no longer yours to hold. Let go; you are Mine now.
Yield your life entirely to Me, I Am Good. My plans for you are not of evil but of good to give you a future and a hope. I don’t play games; I won’t dangle a carrot in your face to yank it away. Teasing is not in my nature; I Am for you!
Yours in Love,
“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 7:6
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
Do you know that the very rhythm of your breath moves Me, that the steady rise and fall of your lungs reminds Me of how unique I made you, that the regular beating of your heart makes Me smile? Child, you move Me.
My words may seem too good to be true. And you are probably thinking, “how can I, who is still imperfect, weak in many areas, unqualified, sometimes doubtful than faithful move the heart of God?”
You do not yet see you how I see you. You are still looking to yourself for perfection and strength, somehow you think you can muster up enough faith in and of yourself to please Me. Let Me help you.
Ask Me for eyes to see, and I will reveal My heart to you. And as you see My heart more clearly, you’ll see yourself more clearly. Even though you seem imperfect, I made you in Me perfectly and without blemish. Recognize that My strength finds its best expression in your weakness. Ask Me for eyes to see.
Ask Me for ears to hear, and I will lead you by My voice. I will allure you and speak tenderly to you. My voice will become louder in the ears of your heart, and all the lies of the enemy will be laid to rest. My words will shape you and mold you into all I have called you to be. Child, ask Me for ears to hear.
Ask me for a heart to believe. I want you to know that you cannot possibly summon up enough faith in your ability to please Me. Trust is not something you strive for, its a reality you surrender to by My Spirit; remember I call Him the Spirit of faith. So look up and surrender, lay all your burdens at My feet, and leave every striving behind.
Everything about all I have made you to be moves Me: your dependency moves me. When things are going great for you, and when they are going not so great, your unvarying trust in Me moves My heart. Yes, you move Me.
And anytime you find yourself seeing you more than you see Me, paying attention to the situations surrounding you more than You listen to My voice, trusting your fears more than My face, I want you to remember – child, you move Me.
Yours in Love,
You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married. Isaiah 62:3-4
“Therefore, I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.” Hosea 2:14 NIV
Yes, you have a lot going on, and now, normal is overrated. You are wondering what the next season would look like, and you are not sure it would line up with anything you have imagined.
Sometimes in all of your processing and thinking, a friendly knock from your insecurities unsettles your heart. I know you have tried to deal with them, but now they are rising more to the surface with all this time you have to yourself in quarantine, and there’s nowhere to hide; not in your serving, working, lunches or hangouts.
Sometimes it’s an unwanted guest called anxiety that visits the crevices of your heart, and maybe that’s because it’s been a minute since you last heard My voice. And now, anxiety’s chatter sounds a bit louder in your heart than you would care to admit.
That said, I see all that is going on in your heart as a prime opportunity for Me to step in and evict every unfriendly friend and unwanted guests (i.e., worry, anxiety, fears, insecurities, and so on).
If you are curious to know what My voice sounds like in the loud times you live in, here’s the answer — pay close attention to the Whispers in your heart that line up perfectly with the Bible in your hands.
Know that I Am intentional with every Word I speak to your heart, either through your Bible, or a friend’s text, an Instagram post, or your worship music playlist.
Hear Me when I say that the goal of My voice is to mark you when no one else is looking. And as you give My voice its proper place at the center of your being and doing, it will brand your heart with a resounding assurance of My nature. And mark your every waking moment with the sincerity of My intentions for your life.
The whispers of My voice will lead you to memorable encounters of My face. My Whispers will mark you if you would only look up and listen. Let all the chatters go quiet, and let My voice sound louder than any fear or insecurity that may want to lay claim to your heart.
As you go about your day in quarantine, here’s My whisper to you, right now, right where you are — I have raised My Name as a banner over you, to display the truth of My promises concerning your life. And when any unwanted guest or unfriendly friend comes knocking, remember to hide,hide I say, under My banner over you.
Yours in Love,
“You have raised a banner to gather those who fear you. Now they can stand up against the enemy. Selah” Psalms 60:4 NCV
Quote of the week
“Who told you it’s too late for you? When God calls you, His ability takes precedence, not your age bracket.”
The Olive Grove is the place of a surrendered will. It is no place for games, indecision, and lukewarmness. It’s a place where your will dies, and My will for you comes fully alive.
I walked with My disciples to the Olive Grove called Gethsemane 2000+ years ago, and there I surrendered My will to the Father, that His will be done in Me.
Yes, I was distressed and became anguished. My soul was crushed with grief to the point of death. But I came out of that brief moment of grief full of Joy, for you were the joy set before Me.
As a result of that one crushing moment at My Olive Grove, the entire human race can now find eternal salvation in My Name. My yielded will to the Father has led and is still leading many souls to cross over from death to life, darkness to light, and hell into heaven (both figuratively and literally).
Remember, you have a High Priest that knows how crushing it feels when you surrender your will, trusting wholly that your life is no longer your own. However, that crushing feeling is only a momentary thing. There’s a joy unspeakable full of glory set before your heart, and that joy is a lasting reality, not a fleeting emotion.
Why am I talking to you about an Olive Grove? It’s because a will that is unyielded will always try to stand in the way of My Perfect will.
My will for your life is GOOD, so much so no eyes has seen it (including yours), no ear has heard it, and no mind has imagined what I have prepared for you because you love Me.
So, let Me lead you to your Olive Grove daily. Let me guide you to a place where your will is not opposing Mine; instead, it’s one with My will for you.
Just like the Father did not force me into Gethsemane, I won’t force you. Come to Me, and you’ll realize that in surrendering your will, you will fully find Mine.
You may be curious to know how you can surrender your will, and like many, you may have concluded that this is easier said than done.
Let Me put your mind at ease; bow your head and look up to Me with the eyes of your heart, then say these words with Me, “Lord, your will be done in my life on earth as it is in heaven.”
Yours in Love,
Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:36-39
In the beginning, when I made Mankind in My image, I put in them a primary place of trust and confidence that is solely anchored in Me. However, Eve together with the rest of humanity, fell short of My glorious grace when she placed her faith in a fruit in hopes of becoming something I already created her to be in Me.
Have you placed more confidence in the things I have given you than Me, the Giver? Have you placed more faith in your social media feed than My ever-present voice speaking to your heart? Have you placed more trust in the news of the day than My living word handwritten to you? Or have you misplaced your confidence in Me because you believed a lying voice that told you I Am running late on fulling the promises I have spoken concerning you?
Perhaps like Eve, you have misplaced your confidence, and have started to rely on what you can see and touch in hopes of becoming that which I already created you to be in Me.
I am not mad at you; I only want to prevent an impending train of disappointment from crashing at the doorstep of your heart when whatever you have placed your confidence in eventually fails you. Because it will, it’s only a matter of time.
Whatever your ‘why’ maybe for misplacing your confidence, from peer pressure to life’s frustration, I want you to know that I am right here waiting for you to look up. It’s not too late.
In case you have forgotten, let me remind you; there is no failure on My resume, no disappointment in My track record, and no delay on My calendar. I Am always on time, never failing, and forever faithful.
So before you close your eyes today, remember to look up, remember to place your complete confidence in the God who calls you by name.
Yours in Love,
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. Psalms 20:7
“We carry this confidence in our hearts because of our union with Christ before God. Yet we don’t see ourselves as capable enough to do anything in our own strength, for our true competence flows from God’s empowering presence.” 2 Corinthians 3:4-5
Jack said to Finn, “bro, can you sense that, can you hear all the footsteps marching towards us?”
Finn responded, “dude, I’m with you; I think a crowd is marching in our direction.”
At this point, you must know that Jack and Finn are two blind men. Trust me, this tiny bit of information will become relevant soon.
Also, please note that the short story you are about to dive into is based on Matthew 20:29–33.
Alright! You are ready! And so the story begins.
Jack and Finn typically sat by the road most traveled, right on the outskirts of Jericho. This sunny Friday afternoon was no different. These two blind men who also happened to be best friends took their usual beggars’ spot outside Jericho’s gate.
“I may be blind, but my ears are not playing tricks on me,” Jack exclaimed! “I’m telling you, Finn, something unusual is happening, someone important is leaving the city and that certain someone knows how to draw a crowd,” said Jack.
Finn responded, “bro, you are right, the thundering sound of numerous human feet hitting the ground is no everyday event on this side of town. Considering we’ve both been here at this roadside for some years now.
A crowd followed behind Jesus and His disciples as He was leaving Jericho. However, in front of Him were town folks heralding His coming, chitchatting among themselves as they left the town.
A town man with a deep Jerichonian accent said to his fellow town people as he was walking towards the blind beggars’ section (aka Jack and Finn’s spot), he said, “have you heard?” And someone from the group responded, almost with a curious yet unbelieving tone, “heard what?”
The town man exclaimed, “Jesus, the Son of David, is coming through this side of Jericho!” Another person from the group said, “oh, that explains the crowd we saw gathering earlier at the town center.”
As the conversation went on, a lady from the group said, “is it not the same Jesus we’ve heard about, how He opens blind eyes, unstops deaf ears, casts out a legion of demons, oh by the way I heard he raises the dead too!”
After hearing the townsfolk talking about Jesus, Jack and Finn were full of Faith; they believed it was their moment for a miracle.
Jack’s ears were tingling; Faith was rising in his heart. He said in a loud voice to Finn, “Did you hear what I just heard about this Jesus Son of David person?” Finn’s response was — “yes, I did. I can sense your expectations, and I’m as expectant as you are. We cannot let this opportunity pass us by.”
Jack said to Finn, “I’m aware we can’t see this Jesus or sense His presence. And we don’t know the exact minute He’ll pass by. So here’s our game plan — from this second, we will cry out His Name regardless. What do we have to lose, eh?” Finn answered — “nothing.”
And so they began screaming at the top of their lungs, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” They kept yelling not knowing that Jesus was drawing closer and their moment of breakthrough was almost upon them.
Albeit, as Jack and Finn were crying out, some town people walking behind Jesus decided they wouldn’t let these two blind beggars be great. They felt like the blind men were creating a nuisance, and so they yelled at them, saying, “YOU THERE, BE QUIET!”
Jesus heard the crowd trying to shut them up as they cried out for Him. He waited to see if Jack and Finn would give in to the pressure of those surrounding them. He was waiting to see if they would stop crying out to Him because the crowd said: “be quiet.”
Jack and Finn were steadfast in their resolve to receive their miracle. They would not back down or buckle under pressure. Their cry was not to get men’s attention; they cried out in Faith to get God’s attention.
They didn’t bother responding to the crowd; neither did they stop to debate with them; they simply cried out louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
And then Jesus stopped and asked Jack and Finn, what do you want me to do for you? “Lord, we want to see, they said.”
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Instantly they could SEE! Then they followed Him.
We live in a culture that bombards us with so much content while we are trying our best to follow Jesus. Sometimes the things that come at us through our screens, relationships, and peer groups can feel like a lot of pressure.
We try the best we can to fix our hearts on Jesus and live our lives for Him. However, the world surrounding us today has not changed a lot since Jack and Finn’s time.
You may not have a crowd yelling “be quiet” at you, however the pressure of wanting to fit in, the pressure of seeming cool or trendy, of wanting to be liked and accepted, and the fear of missing out yell louder in our ears than the crowd in the story above.
What do we do with these voices?
What do we do when everything coming at us threatens to bring fear, anxiety, or depression into our hearts the moment we give them our attention?
Well! Here’s what we’ll do!
Just like Jack and Finn, we will become resolute in our hearts. We will not bother responding or reacting to the pressure of our day.
Instead, we will let Faith rise within us. We will become tenacious in our pursuit of Jesus. We will set our faces as flint upon His face.
We will not stop to debate with any fear of any kind or meditate on things we cannot control. We will not be moved by what we see or hear; instead, we will focus on God’s word and look to Him for direction.
When the voices around us keep yelling, “it’s impossible, you can’t do that, you can’t believe that; it doesn’t take all that, tone this Jesus thing down a bit, you can’t be joyful all the time, you can’t always have peace, and on and on.
Be encouraged! The louder these voices get, the more relentless our Faith is in Jesus Christ. We won’t back down; we won’t buckle under any pressure the enemy throws at us. We will stand in Faith! We would dare to believe this Jesus, the Son of David.
Finally, it’s important we remember that God doesn’t treat us based on what people think of us. Amidst a loud crowd yelling: be quiet, Jesus stopped for Jack and Finn. It doesn’t matter how loud things get around us, we can be sure that God is for us and nothing can be against us.
“For the eyes of the Lord roam throughout the earth to show himself strong for those who are wholeheartedly devoted to him. You have been foolish in this matter. Therefore, you will have wars from now on.” — 2 Chronicles 16:9
I don’t know I how I landed on this particular verse this sunny Saturday morning, all I can say is I’m so grateful God led me here. God’s eyes still roam throughout the earth today at it I did back then in 2 Chronicles 16:9. He is still looking to show Himself mighty on behalf of those who are WHOLEHEARTEDLY devoted to Him.
God’s eyes still roam through the earth today. Woooh! That sentence sends a chill down my spine. Meaning He is looking at me. He is looking to see if I’ll be like the rest, if I’m only devoted to Him when I need something from Him or when I need Him to be something for me (provider, defender, protected, way maker…)
There’s been this deep conviction that I can’t seem to shake off. I have been feeling this urgency in my heart for a while now regarding my devotion to Jesus. I can’t be on the fence anymore regarding devoting my whole life to Him. I can’t be hot today and cold tomorrow. I can’t be ‘in’ today with surrendering my all to Him and out doing my own thing the next day.
Something cries deep within me; Roselyne you can’t go on like this. You can’t sing songs of unwavering trust in Jesus, yet lead a life that conveys the very opposite of what those songs mean. You can’t sing I love you Lord, yet disobey His voice. Something has got to give.
What do I do? Lord help me! I can’t go on like this. I fling myself before Your Merciful Face. Save me from me. Jesus be EVERYTHING, leave no room for ‘fency’ attitudes in me. Jesus be EVERYTHING, leave no room for lukewarmness in me. Jesus be EVERYTHING, inundate my whole being with the reality of Your Presence.
I pray this monologue brings you to place of repentance where your heart can also cry out to God for help. He cannot wait to show Himself mighty on your behalf. That’s why His eyes are still roaming the earth today. Because deep within the heart of God is the bloody cross of His Son calling you to a life wholly devoted to Him.
One day Grace awoke excited and asked with great anticipation, “Is today the day I get a bunny rabbit?”
Her parents had never heard her request or had in any way suggested they would gift her with a rabbit, so they were quite surprised. Later that afternoon, she excitedly bounced into the house after school, “Is my bunny here? Did it come today?”
The next day was a repeat! She couldn’t contain her enthusiasm, “Is today the day? Is my bunny coming today?” After school, she was anxious to play with her new pet, “Is my bunny here? Was today the day my bunny came?”
Day after day, week after week, month after month, her excitement andjoyous anticipation never wavered! Every morning she was sure “today” would be the day her beautiful pet would arrive! Every afternoon, she had unwavering Hope that today was “the day.”
Finally, months later, her joy was complete; a little rabbit awaited her when she arrived home from school. (A true story by MaryAnn Ward).
The one thing little children do better than anyone else is that they trust easily. They are quick to trust and stay trusting.
Jesus, in Matthew 18:2–4, says the way into the Kingdom of Heaven is to trust like a child. Meaning to give your heart completely to Him — withholding nothing; the way little children do.
The deep trust little children have in their parents reflect in the bold faith they demonstrate in their requests.
A two-year-old boy doesn’t ask his parents for food and still worry about how the food is going to come. He simply waits until his request is answered. Not once will a two-year-old think to himself, “what if my parents don’t come through, what if they leave without answering me? Oh my, what if the food they provide is not actually what I want? What if their will is not my will?”
You get the point — little children don’t think that way. They do not concern themselves with what they do not have, they keep their trust in who they have because to trust is actually easier than to doubt.
You trust with the heart and doubt with the mind. The former requires believing and the latter requires thinking.
Little children believe more than they think. I’m sure you are considering the same thing as I am — of course, little children don’t think that’s why they are “little children.” Albeit that’s the life, Jesus invites us to if we are to partake of His heavenly kingdom.
Jesus is modeling for us through the lives of these little ones what unwavering trust looks like. Look at a two-year-old, and you’ll see that this faith-in-Jesus-thing is not complicated, God has made it so simple — such that faith in Him is most exemplified through the hearts and lives of little children.
You are probably wondering, ‘what does this have to do with anything, how is this helping me on my journey?’
Child-like trust in Jesus is everything. It’s what makes your journey beautiful and your life an endless stream of wonder. It’s what makes you stand out from the people that surround you.
When others are thinking and trying to figure it all out, you are believing and seeing God work all things out for your good!
When others are overwhelmed with worry and plagued by a constant sense of doubt, you are full of faith — trusting that any and everything is possible.
When others have little Hope left because they have convinced themselves out of Faith in God, you are ever so full of Hope because you are thoroughly convinced of Him whom you believe — Jesus.
When others think the supernatural is not for today, that miracles don’t happen, you actually believe that miracles do happen, that Jesus still saves, still heals, still delivers, still raises the dead and still calls possibilities out of impossibilities.
Try this child-like-trust thing out, give Jesus your all withholding nothing, and you’ll find that He is so much better than you think.
No one likes to be rejected, not even if it was intended as a joke. I use the word ‘rejection’ in this story as a parent name for verbal rejection and not being accepted or liked.
I want to share with you the story of a great man I know and His experience with rejection. I hope that you and I can learn a few things from His life. Now grab a glass of water, get comfortable and pay close attention.
Emmanuel was born in Bethlehem, Judea. His parents immigrated to Egypt for a couple of years to keep Him safe from the reach of a tyrant king seeking to kill him as a baby. But God!
Long story short, the tyrant king died and Emmanuel lived, and still is alive today!
His parents moved back to Judea after the king died. But Joseph Emmanuel’s dad decided their new home would be in Nazareth, the region of Galilee.
Emmanuel grew up into a wise and courageous young man. He was baptized at River Jordan in His early thirties by John the Baptist (a man sent by God to His generation, and by every standard John was countercultural). Not too long after His baptism, Emmanuel was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness for 40 days to fast and pray (I know! Pretty wild stuff huh!)
What you may not know at this point is that Emmanuel was born to be the savior of the world. (Again I know! Really wild stuff!) He did a lot of traveling from city to city preaching the good news of God’s kingdom. Healing every sick person that came to Him, casting out demons, bringing hope to every heart that heard about Him, and eradicating darkness in His wake.
Now, you can tell Emmanuel is not your every day, status-quo-leave-me-in-my-comfort-zone believer. He is a man on the move. Bringing God’s kingdom everywhere He goes.
However, something happened! Something threatened to stop Him in His tracks!
Emmanuel arrived in the region of the Gadarenes and two demon-possessed men met Him. These guys came out of actual tombs and were so violent that no one in that region would dare go through that particular area Emmanuel arrived in. The two men began screaming at Him, “Why are you interfering with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before God’s appointed time?” …
Long story short He told the demons in these men to leave. They were delivered(t) (Ha!). Those who were once bound by darkness were now free to experience the saving grace of God.
Some onlooking town folks saw the miracle that took place and they fled to a nearby town, telling everyone what happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the entire town came out to meet Emmanuel. One would think they all came out to thank Him. Sadly, that was not the case. The people of the town begged him to go away and leave them alone.”
(What!!! The savior of the world! Rejected not by one person but by an entire town! What did Emmanuel do?)
He got into a boat, and traveled back to His own town. And the moment He got into town, He was back to His mission. Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, He said to the paralyzed man, “Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven. Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
To be continued…
Lessons from Emmanuel’s story
Why was He not moved by the rejection of men? Why did He go on pursuing His purpose, doing what God had called Him to do like being rejected by an entire town does not sting?
Some might say it’s because He is God. I say He is fully God and fully man. I say He lived as a man on a mission. Doing His Father’s will with His every waking breath.
He set His face like flint on His Father, doing only what He saw the Father doing. He was not seeking men’s validation so He could not be bothered by their rejection.
He was not seeking to be liked or accepted. He was only seeking to please the One who sent Him. He didn’t allow bitterness or anger to deter Him from His calling. Instead, He kept going, and more miracles kept happening.
Yes, rejection hurts. Not being accepted or liked is not fun. And it’ll probably happen more than once, especially if you remain true to who God has called you to be amidst a me-first-self-gratifying-post-everything culture.
Here’s the good news. You don’t have to stay hurt, you don’t have to allow bitterness to stop you from fulfilling your purpose.
Your calling is not to be liked or accepted by everyone around you. Your calling is to be a son, a daughter of God wherever He sends you.
Bring the light of God’s kingdom with every step you take, hold your head high and stand tall knowing that the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives on the inside of you.
Your assignment is not to please everyone. And if you do not seek men’s acceptance you cannot be crushed by men’s rejection.
Stay true to your purpose, stay true to your calling. Run your race. Set your face like flint on Jesus. Live for the audience of One. Live to please The One who made you and placed you on this earth to change it for the better.
Story References: Matthew 4:1–11. Matthew 8:28 — 29, 31, 33 — 34. Matthew 9:1–2. Hebrews 10:7 NLT