Day 84: Big Dreams (Joshua 14-15; Luke 4:33-44)

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. -Philippians 4:13

I’ve always been a big dreamer. As a young girl, I always had big dreams of travelling across all continents, speaking to thousands about the love of Christ and so much more. I wanted to move mountains and make a difference in the world in so many different ways.

I look back at those days and I miss that girl! I miss that fiery spirit that was able to see past the obstacles without fear of the challenges. Today, I was reminded of that girl by the life of Caleb.

There’s a certain unique, quiet strength that Caleb possessed and I so deeply admire. We read recently about how he was able to see past the giants to the greatness of the land God had promised them. Now, we read about how he claimed the land he wanted!

Caleb was one of two of the oldest men in Israel but he did not ask for himself a land already conquered, but the place which the spies thought impossible to conquer. But this didn’t stop Caleb: “…if so be, the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out” (Joshua 14:12). In his own strength, of course, there was no hope but in God’s strength the battle was already won.

So, today, I am laying aside all my worries and fears and I am taking back the spirit of that little girl. I am going to dream big because I serve a God who delights in moving mountains.

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. -Isaiah 43:19

What is stopping you from dreaming big?

What are your hopes, dreams and goals for the future?

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Day 55: Faith (Numbers 11-13; Mark 5:21-43)

Day 55

There are two types of people in this World: Those who see the glass half full and those who see the glass half empty. When reading the Word, I see this trend right from the beginning, there are those who have faith and those who do not.

Read through Numbers 11-13 … the Israelites were at it again! The complaints came in about pretty much everything. No wonder Moses was tired! As I read chapter 13, the power of faith became apparent to me. Twelve men were sent to go and spy out the land God promised them. Knowing that God had just saved them from a land in which they had been slaves for hundreds of years, I was disappointed at the report they came back with.

Reading their reviews, even I wouldn’t want to step into the land they described. Lack of faith influences others and sometimes even changes life experiences. These men were the eyes of the Israelites and only two came back with a positive report. Ten against two; all had the same experience and saw the same things, but what made the difference was that two of them saw everything through the eyes of faith.

Fast forward thousands of years later to Mark 5:21-43: Jesus is in a crowd so large that everyone is bumping into each other. A lady realizes there is no way she will get close to Him. So her goal becomes just to touch the hem of His garment instead. As soon as she touches Him, she is healed. The Disciples mentioned that there were many people touching Jesus; that it was no big deal. But the woman touched Him with a touch of faith, and that made all the difference.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” -Hebrews 11:6

God is with me every step of the way, yet I still lose faith because I fear the uncertainty of my future. Faith casts out fear, yet fear can also cast out faith. So, I choose faith! God alone knows what the future holds, and when doubts invade on me, I vow to hold on to His grace so I can see a brighter day.

How has someone’s faith or lack of faith affected your walk with God?

What are some practical things we can do daily to strengthen our faith in God?

Day 54: His Peace (Numbers 8-10; Mark 5:1-20)

Can you imagine being so lost that no one can help you? Even worse, being so lost that instead of belonging with your family and friends, you are cast out to live in the tombs?

This man in Mark 5:1-20 could not help himself. His community tried everything, including tying him down with chains. None of their methods worked and he had to live in the tombs surrounded by nothing but death. I can’t even begin to imagine what life was like for this man who wasn’t even named.

“And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.”

Have you been there before? In a place so dark that all you can do is cry by yourself because there is nothing you or anyone else can do to fix it?

I am so glad that Jesus showed up and changed this man’s story. At the sight of Jesus there was immediate hope that caused him to drop the stones, run and worship. His life changed from one of gloom and doom to one filled with the eternal peace that can only come from God. This just shows that we serve an amazing God who cares for us even when the world has given up on us and cast us out. Jesus whispers:

Day 54

So, the next time you feel like your world is falling apart, look around for the glimpses of God, run to Him and worship. Then watch Him transform your life in a way that only He can.

What are some examples of “glimpses of God” in your life?

How can we live a peace-filled life when it seems like everything around us is falling apart?

Day 38: Sacrifice (Leviticus 1-3; Matthew 24:23-51)

 

Day 38.jpg

Going through today’s reading, I couldn’t help but feel inadequate.  I felt myself choking up and my eyes flooded with tears. Why? Well, reading about the different sacrifices the Israelites had to go through each day and realizing that every single one of them required a blemish-free offering. The term ‘without blemish’ in Hebrew is ‘tâmı̂ym’ and it simply means complete, perfect, undefiled. Blemish refers to a small mark or flaw, which spoils the appearance of something. Well, I thought, that definitely counts me out! I know very well I don’t measure up!

But then the Spirit led me to the cross, and reminded me that Jesus already became my blemish free sacrifice on the cross! I may be imperfect but when covered by God’s perfect grace, I become acceptable in His sight.

Hallelujah!

Isn’t that a freeing thought?

All I have to do now is to give God my best and let Him do the rest. Presenting my body a living sacrifice means that through my day-to-day life I become evidence of God’s mercy to those around me. Just like the Israelites gave up their best for God, I too give up my life that I may live to show His mercy where it is needed.

One of my favourite songs by Adie simply says this:

Take my heart, I lay it down,

At the feet of you who is crowned,

Take my life, I’m letting go

I lift it up to you who’s throned

I will worship You Lord,

Only You Lord,

And I will bow down before You

Only You Lord.

Our very lifestyles should be an act of worship to our Creator and Redeemer. So, today as you go about your day, let your body and life, be a sermon to those around you. Present yourself to God and allow Him to use you to bless others.

What are some things that stand in the way of us offering ourselves to God?

Do you remember a time when you felt the Lord using you to bless others?

Day 37: Hearing God’s Voice (Exodus 39-40; Matthew 24:1-22)

For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys. -Exodus 40:38

“I just don’t know how to hear Him!” I’ve heard it from my friends and I’ve said it often myself. Recently, I listened to yet another testimony of how God spoke to someone and guided her in a major decision. By this point, I felt rejected, forgotten and ready to give up. “Why won’t He speak to me? Is there something wrong with me?”

What I wanted to hear was words of comfort, something along the lines of, “Don’t worry” or “We’ll get through this, let’s pray about it” or (insert another common phrase here), but what I got instead was a wake up call.

“You have no excuse for not hearing His voice, you already know how to hear Him!”

Then my friend proceeded to quote the Word:

His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue. – 2 Peter 1:3

She asked: “If God has given you everything you need, then why are you not experiencing Him? He has done His part and the rest is up to you!”

As painful as it was to hear, this truth pointed me to where I was going wrong. How can I expect to hear God’s voice, when I haven’t been faithful in the small day-to-day commands that seem to mean nothing? I essentially hadn’t prepared a “dwelling place” for Him in my life.

We’ve been talking a lot lately about how God gave the Israelites exact instructions of how they were to build his dwelling place. The instructions were so precise, down to the last nail!

The result of this obedience to God’s commands is seen in Exodus 40: 34-38. The glory of the Lord filled the temple, the cloud guided them by day and the fire by night. It was by these two symbols that Israelites were able to tell whether they were to move or stay put. The cloud also provided shade from the desert sun during the day, and the fire gave light and kept them warm during the night.

The Bible states very clearly in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. If our body is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, then we need to make it suitable for Him to live in. If we prepare a place for Him, expect for Him to come into our lives. Expectancy is the perfect atmosphere for miracles!

What stops you from hearing God’s voice?

How can you live a life of expectancy?