Motivation for Your Monday! Take It To The Lord In Prayer

the lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. psalm 145_18

It’s Monday and that means its time for some motivation to get us going and to be the best we can be today!

I say we take it to the Lord in prayer and see what His Will is for us.

Jeremiah 42:3 reminds us: “that the LORD your God may tell us the way in which we should walk and the thing that we should do.”

What are you praying for today?  I’d love to pray for you.  Leave a prayer request in the comments.

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy,

Jane Ann

Three Steps to Take Towards God

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Have you ever been in one of those seasons when you so desperately wanted, needed to hear from God? You have prayed persistently and nothing, no word, no feeling of His presence. Heck you have even gone to church every Sunday, took dinner to a sick friend, visited your great-uncle in the nursing home, and fed the homeless’  Of course He should be answering your calls today, right now…Right?

John 8:47 tells us, ” Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

I have to be quite honest, I struggled with this verse for some time.  At the age of 8 when I was in second grade I chose Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I felt like I belonged to Him then, and I did, and so do you when you accept Him has your Lord and Savior.  We do belong.

So why is it then, that we have these seasons of feeling like God is not present or He is not hearing us in our desperate times when we belong to him?  Like I said earlier, we have done all of these good works this month.  Why aren’t we getting our prayers answered?

Let’s dig a little deeper shall we.  Anyone can do a good deed from time to time.  I know quite of few people who do amazing service work in their communities that are not followers of Christ.  Putting good works a side for a minute, because they are important but they aren’t the end all be all, let’s look at what else we are up to in our daily lives.

In John 8:47, Jesus was speaking to the Jews who were not following Gods commandments.  I love how Barnes’ Notes on the Bible explains this,

           “Listens to, or attends to the doctrines or commandments of God, as a child who loves his parent will regard and obey his commandments. This is an evidence of true piety. A willingness to receive all that God teaches us and to obey all his commandments, is an undoubted proof that we are his friends”

There are many verses in scripture that tell us we need to follow God’s commands to belong to Him.  John 14:21 reiterates this by saying,” Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”  and 1 John 2:3: By this we can be sure that we have come to know Him: if we keep His commandments.

The Ten Commandments are in Exodus 20:1-17 (click the link below it will take you to Bible Gateway to read this Scripture.)  Take a minute, click, read, and come back, I’ll wait.

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The Ten Commandments

What else are we doing in our daily lives?  Anything on this list ring a bell?  And I mean Thou has done (you name the commandment). I have to be quite honest that when I have gone through seasons when I haven’t felt the presence or heard from God, I can for sure say I have been able to check of a few off the list I have not followed to the “T”, Like Jane Ann has gossiped at work, or Jane Ann has reacted poorly when she should have paused, and Jane Ann had not granted a friend forgiveness when God has granted it to her over and over and over again.

But the good news is we have such a loving God who wants to grant us forgiveness and grace.  When we recognize that we haven’t been obeying God’s commands, we can come before Him and ask for His mercy and forgiveness.

1 John 1:9 Confirms this: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

We are human and we aren’t going to do anything perfectly like Jesus. However, I do have three steps we can take to help us along our journey to becoming more Christ-like, and help us stay close to Him.  Because my friend, it’s not God who goes anywhere when we don’t hear him, it’s us!

We need to pray for God’s wisdom, strength, and discernment to obey so we can belong.

Pray to obey to belong.

When we mess up, and we will, we need to ask for God’s forgiveness and grace.

Ask to bask in His grace.

Stay in His word daily.  God’s word is living truth we can rely and depend on everyday.

Read to heed His commands.

Join me this month for a series on hearing from God through prayer, His Word, and others.

What topics do you enjoy reading and gaining new insight? I’d love to know, leave a comment.

Motivation for Your Monday is Back! Happy 2019!

MS Lowndes poem

 

Happy New Year’s Eve 2019 Friend!  I pray that this year brings you closer to our Heavenly Father.  In January I will be writing about hearing from God.  I hope you will join me.  I am also super excited to get this year rolling as God has placed a few messages on my heart I feel blessed to share with you.

Praying your first week of 2019 is blessed to the fullest!

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!

Jane Ann

3 Joyful Scriptures For Week Three of Advent

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The second Fruit of the Spirit after Love is Joy.  A virtue way deeper than happiness could imagine being.  True joy comes from living for and in Christ.  God sent us his only Son so we could experience joy every day no matter what we have, or who we have lost in our lives.  Jesus brings us joy!

We light the candle of Joy for the third week of Advent.  “Joy to the World, the Lord has come!” My favorite line in that song is, “Let every heart prepare Him room”.  Let’s all prepare room in our hearts for Jesus this Christmas.  He is the reason for the season!

Fill your spirit with these three joyful pieces of scripture this week.

  1. Isaiah 12:6:  “Shout aloud and sing for Joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”
  2. James 1:2-4:  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
  3. Habakkuk 3:17-18: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord,I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

Heavenly Father, our joy does not come from earthly things, it comes from your son Jesus.  May we be filled with overflowing joy that is surrounded in our Savior, Jesus, this Advent Season.  Amen.

Tells us about a Bible Verse that fills you with Joy!  I’m giving away another gift card this week.  Just by leaving a comment you will be eligible for the give away. 

5 Bible Verses of Peace During The Most Wonderful, Stressful Time of Year

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I don’t know if when Edward Pola and George Wyle were writing the song, “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” or when Andy Williams was singing it if they realized the lyrics could have been, “It’s the Most Wonderful, Stressful Time of the Year”.  I get the “Parties for hosting” and the “caroling out in the snow”, but what’s up with the “marshmallows roasting” and “scary ghost stories”?  Oh, I guess they are referring to “A Christmas Carol”, Scrooge and his three ghostly visitors? Perhaps.

Seriously, Christmas can be very stressful for many, but it doesn’t have to be when we stay focused on the real story of the season, the story of Jesus. A story of Peace.

We light the second candle of Advent for Peace.  As Isaiah 9:6b tells us, “And he will be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

I don’t know about you, but when I slow down to think about Mary and Joseph and precious Jesus in a barn on that Holy night, that silent night.  I feel an overwhelming wave of peace wash over me.

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Take some time this week, friend, get silent with God.  Feel His peace.  Here are five verses of peace to ease your mind.

  1.  Isaiah 26:3:  You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
  2. Luke 2:14:  “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
  3. Numbers 6: 24-26:  “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
  4. John 16:33:  “I have told you these things so that you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
  5. Psalm 4:8:  “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Dear Lord, I pray today for peace for our world and for each person reading this blog today.  I ask that you, Father, show us your peace during this precious time of year that is not about running around like crazy people, but a time that is truly wonderful and peaceful.  Help us to remember the peace we have through your son, Jesus.  Amen.

I will be giving away another gift card this week.  Don’t forget to comment with your favorite Bible verse about Peace, or what you do to find peace in your life during the hustle and bustle of Christmas.  Sharing is Caring, if you enjoy reading Living Joy Today please share it with your friends.

6 Mighty Verses To Meditate On This Thanksgiving Season

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Meditating on scripture is a great way to make us slow ourselves down and be still with God.  When we take the time to meditate on God’s Word, we discover the meaning and how we can apply God’s wisdom and discernment in our daily lives.

“How does one meditate on scripture?”, you might ask. There are no right or wrong ways to meditate on Bible verses, like exercising, you just have to start.

A few ways I enjoy meditating on scripture are:

  1. Reading through the passage 3 times slowly.
  2. Write the verse in a journal.
  3. Rewrite the verse in first person using the pronouns I, me, and my.
  4. Circle or highlight important words or words that stand out in the verse.
  5. Praying the verse back to God.

There are tons and tons of other ways to meditate on scripture.  Verse mapping is another great way, I will be posting a blog in January on this concept.

What a better season than Thanksgiving to start (or if you are already meditating on scripture) trying a few ways to let God’s word soak into our souls.  Here are 5 mighty verses of Thanksgiving for you to focus on this month.

2 Corinthians 4:15:  All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Psalm 9:1:  I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

1 Thessalonians 5:18: Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 28:7:  The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

2 Corinthians 9:11:  You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

What other verses of Thanksgiving do you love?  Share them in the comments.

Happy meditating.  May you be blessed with God’s grace and love as you spend time in His word and live the Joy that He so graciously gives us through is Word and Holy Spirit.