Idle mind? Did Eve have an idle mind when the serpent so shrewdly hoodwinked her into believing it was okay to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil? (Genesis 3)
Well, I can’t speak for Eve, but I know for myself when my mind is idle I am leaving room for that sneaky serpent to slither right in and manage my thoughts. I begin over thinking, negative thinking, selfish thinking, and just plain wrong thinking.
Having idle minds, and that is exactly what the evil one wants of us, is an unproductive way to try to be in control. When we recognize our minds drifting off we can turn our thoughts back to Jesus. He is the One in control after all!
Are you starting or are you way past being confused by all the contradictions being reported on the news each day as much as this girl is?
For me she pretty much sums up the confusion I am feeling when I turn on the news just to try to get the weather report to see if I can get out to get some fresh air.
But do we need to allow these people, so-called experts,to start us spinning out of control into a frenzy of confusion, chaos, depression, and even worse hateful agendas against others also facing this pandemic?
The Bible tells us we need to trust in the Lord. Today’s verse reminds us how much better off we are when we “take refuge in Jesus than in man”. (Psalm 118:8)
Let’s take some time today to take shelter in the Word of God. There we will find all the hope, love, peace, healing, and joy we will ever need.
Here are a few verses I find comforting when I am searching for a little peace in the pandemic.
God is enough. He is enough to get us through these uncertain times.
How many times do you tell yourself, “I’m not going to worry about anything today.”? Then within a matter of possibly seconds your mind starts whirling, the “How will I’s”, the “What if’s,” and the ever popular, “How am I ever…”.
I must admit, as hard as I try and as many times as I go to God and tell Him, “Okay Jesus today is the big day I stop worrying and totally trust you”, I too get these bothersome thoughts.
The Greek word, Merimnao means: to be anxious, to be troubled with cares and to look out for one’s own interests.
Hmm? When we worry about finances, our health, our children’s health and what will become of us in the future, are we being selfish? Should we not worry about these things? Aren’t these all serious worldly ideas to be concerned about every day?
Well, the Bible tells us “No”. Matthew 6:25-32 explains:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
Continuing Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” As believers in Jesus Christ we are to put all our faith and trust in Him everyday for everything.
When we worry we are being selfish and also saying that we do not need the Savior we are claiming we believe in and call our Father. Ouch!
Oh how blessed we are that we have a loving, forgiving, and gracious God!
When those selfish, worrying thoughts start to trickle in there is a way out.
Confess our sins. Pray Psalm 139:23: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Tell God exactly what you are worrying about. He already knows, but when we tell Him we feel so much better.
God will forgive us: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
We can be certain that absolutely nothing will ever separate us from our loving Father, who by the way, loved us first! Romans 8:39 reminds us of this Truth: “No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Finally, we can replace our anxious, worrisome thoughts with praises of thanksgiving from our hearts to our Heavenly Father who we have put ALL our Trust that He IS ALL SUFFICIENT!.
As our verse of the day reminds us, “We will have no fear of bad news OUR HEARTS ARE STEADFAST, TRUSTING IN THE LORD!” (my emphasis!)
Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!
If you would like to dive deeper into praying, asking God to “Search Me”. I have been reading a fantastic book by Pastor Craig Groeschel titled, “Dangerous Prayers”. Let me just tell you I get nothing for recommending this book. I am currently in a Bible Study that is reading the book and finding the contents so profound and changing my prayer life in amazing ways I wanted to share it with my friends. You can buy the book at any of your favorite book sellers. Here is the Amazon link for you. You can also go to “My Favorite Websites” and buy the book through Proverbs 31. Again, I receive nothing for recommending this book.
Have you ever thought about the relationship between our level of thankfulness and joy? How about the posture of our attitudes, especially during these times of uncertainty?
I have to admit, most of the time I am a positive, glass half full kind of gal. I keep up with my gratitude journal, thanking God for all of the many, many blessings He has provided me. Lately, though, I have felt a bit lagging in the Joy department.
Now when I talk about Joy, I’m not speaking of being happy, like I am happy the sun is shining today or jumping around all giddy because our local grocery store actually had toilet paper on the shelves today. No, Joy is deeper. As Cardinal Timothy Dolan writes in his book, “Who Do You Say I Am”, “Joy is not a hyperpositive mania about everything and seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. That would tend to be very annoying wouldn’t it?” He continues, “By joy, I’m talking about interior peace. This, Saint Paul teaches, gives rise to exterior happiness. Joy gives us freedom but doesn’t make us reckless. True joy won’t get on your nerves.”
I have read this description of joy several times and just let the words, “interior peace” sink into my soul.
Living joy today means we live with inner peace daily.
How do we then obtain this inner peace each day of our lives?
Jesus died a painful death after living a blameless, sinless life so we could be free of our sins. He invites us everyday to wear the clothing of salvation with overabundant joy.
A sure fire way to level up our joy is to fortify it with gratitude. Start each day with an attitude of thankfulness for all God has and will continue to do for us. This type of attitude allows us to live according to God’s will and not our own. We will be more “God-Conscientious” and as we move throughout our day we will turn to Him for more strength.
He is the fuel for our Joy.
He can and will bring the inner peace, Joy, we so desire and want. It is also His desire for us. As 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
What are you thankful for today? I can’t be more thankful for an amazing God who loves me unconditionally, forgives me of my sins, strengthens me when I am weak, all when I am not deserving.
Oh, and not to forget an amazing mom who talked me off the ledge today during a little break down. Listing your home during the Covid-19 can be a bit overwhelming, as if selling a home during “normal” circumstances isn’t stressful enough! I know God’s got this too if I just remember to:
Look up, Let Go, and Live Joy! And start and end each day with Thanksgiving.
Today is a day to be still for just a few minutes. Breath in the overwhelming blessings we have because of the sufferings Jesus endured for us to conquer death forever.
Help us never to take God’s amazing gift of love on our behalf for granted. Help us daily to be mindful of the cost that was paid. Forgive us, Father, as we easily get distracted and busy in our daily lives and are not fully aware of what Jesus’ death on the cross has freely given to us. Eternal Life.
We praise you Lord, that by the wounds you suffered we are healed. We give thanks to you that sin and death are no more and your Power, Love, and Might are forever.
Today, this Thursday before Easter is Maundy Thursday. It is the day known to Christians as the day Jesus ate His Last Supper with his Disciples, washed their feet, and gave them a New Commandment to “Love one another, just as I have loved you.” John 13:34
What does this new commandment mean for us today?
Jesus loves everyone and He made the greatest sacrifice to give us Salvation, an incredible gift that secures us from the penalty that we deserve. As our verse tells us today, “He died for us while we were still sinners.” Jesus gained nothing from loving us, but we gained everything.
Today on this Maundy Thursday, I am taking time to meditate on the command Jesus’ spoke to his disciples in that upper room. The room he humbled himself to wash their feet. The King of Kings, served those He loved.
How can we be better servants for our Savior? How can we better carry our his command to Love others as he has loved us?
Here are a few ideas that came to mind:
Pray for those who have harmed us and pray blessings over them.
Check on our elderly neighbors during this time of having to shelter in place.
Call or Facetime family, friends, and relatives you haven’t spoken to in some time.
Donate to a food pantry or organization that provides for the needy, veterans, or homeless.
Donate to a charity of your choice.
Whatever it is, let’s just shine Jesus’ light of love to everyone!
Thank you God for being a God who never changes as we live in a world that is constantly changing. We can count on your promises Lord, that you are with us, you are protecting us, and you work for all that is good. Help us to see as you see during these times, Father. Fill us with your Holy Spirit that we may never doubt your unchanging ways. Give us patience when we want to run ahead of your Will and your timing. May we find everlasting Joy in knowing you alone are all we need as you are our Redeemer. In your Son’s precious name, Amen.