Joy Comes in the Morning


sowing seeds

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

Psalm 126:5

As I sat this morning having my devotion time, I ran across this verse more than once; each time from a different source. The first time I read the verse it caught my attention. By the third time, I decided that I needed to ponder this verse some more considering it kept coming back to me.

What does this verse mean? Why do I keep crossing it?

I believe that God brings things to us as we need them. Sometimes they are for us, and other times they are for us to pass along to those around us.

This verse is small in itself, but it holds a great truth: Life is not always easy.

Have you ever been doing something and it seems as if every turn you make you are running into a brick wall? Have you ever had one of those days where it seems like every thing you do goes wrong? Have you ever been hard at work for the Lord but it feels like your work is in vain?

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

Life is hard.

Things do not always go the way we wish they would.

There is not always an easy solution.

From time to time we are going to find ourselves frustrated, tired, worn out, and discouraged, but God has made promises to them who believe on His name. We can draw comfort from these verses.

Deuteronomy 31:8  tells us:
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Psalm 27:1 reads:
The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

This Scripture is one of my favorites:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

In your life there are going to be times when you feel like you are spinning your wheels. You are going to feel as if you are “sowing in tears.” Be encouraged today that God knows. He cares, He understands, and He is in control. God has promised us in his word that He will never leave us nor forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

When the devil comes to you and begins to whisper his lies of fear and doubt, remember these verses. Cling to them and then use them. God’s word tells us if we will resist the devil he will flee from us. (James 4:7) We do this by using God’s word as our defense.

God has great things in store for those who serve Him. We may not always get to see the results of our work. We may not always get to be there for the harvest, but God tells us in Isaiah 55:11: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

Remember: “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

Are You Giving Your All?


give

“And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

Mark 12:43-44

 I love the picture that is painted for us with the Scripture that we are looking at today.

Jesus and His disciples are at the temple. It is busy with people coming and going here and there.

In verse 41 we find Jesus sitting, watching people toss money into the treasury that was set up in the Temple. As He watches person after person toss their money into the box, one in particular catches His attention.

Was it the best dressed?

Was it the richest?

Was it the nicest looking?

No, we read in verse 42 that it was a poor widow.

Out of all the people who came and went, tossing money into the treasury, this one poor widow caught the eye of Jesus. Why? We read in today’s scripture exactly why.

The other people who came and gave were rich, and apparently well off. I get the picture in my mind of well dressed, wealthy people coming by, taking a little change out of their pocket, and tossing it in the box. In my mind, I see them smiling, feeling proud of themselves for what they have given, yet never really thinking about what they are doing, never really giving from their hearts.

On the other hand, I picture the poor widow coming in, probably in tattered clothes, holding her two mites tight in her hand. Humbly, and quietly she tosses her money in the box and goes on about her business.

So what is the difference here? Jesus immediately sees the difference.

You see, we have to remember that Jesus looks beyond our outward appearance and sees our heart. Jesus, as he watched the people give, noticed that the rich people were giving much. This, however, did not catch his attention near as much as the poor widow who gave just a little. He knew that she had given from her heart, that she gave all that she had.

Jesus wants us to be like this.

Now you might be thinking to yourself, “Are you telling me that I can not be rich and well dressed?”

No, that is not what I am saying.

The point I am making this morning is this: God does not care what your clothes look like. He does not care if you have the finest things, the nicest car, the biggest house, or the most friends. God sees your heart. He sees the things that are hidden from other people.

When we give, whether it be millions, or just a few dollars, God wants us to give from our hearts, He wants us to give all we have to Him, and He wants us to trust Him to take care of our needs.

My dad made a statement in church one day as he preached and it has stuck with me. He said, “God does not want your ability, He wants your availability.” God does not want us to give just what we think we can afford. God wants us to give our all to Him, and then trust Him with what we do not have.

I pray today that we will remember this story of the widow and the two mites, how she gave all she had to God, and how she gave  humbly, and with a thankful, trusting heart.

I want to encourage you today. Give everything you have to God. Give with a humble, thankful heart. When you do this, He can then take what you have given, even if just a small amount, and use it for His honor and His glory.

Remember: “God does not want your ability, He wants your availability.”

Motivational Monday: Making Memories


memories

This weekend our family made memories. Not that we do not make them almost every day, but this weekend was different. Every day was filled with fun and excitement. Every day held something new.

I was thinking about what I wanted to share with you this morning, and the whole weekend kept playing through my mind; that is when I decided that I would encourage you this morning to make memories.

Life is short, as I am sure most of you have already figured out. So many times we hear of people who are here with us one minute and gone the next. We just never know when our time is going to be up and we will be called home. So I want to encourage you to make the memories while you can.

If you have small children, take time with them. Yes, I understand that life gets busy, but they are only little once. I watched my children this weekend as they played together. I am just amazed every day at how fast they are growing. Before we know it they are going to be grown and making memories of their own.

Spouses, spend time together! I know life gets busy for each of you, but you only get one shot. Make those times you do have together memorable. Do things that you both like to do. Laugh together. Hold hands. Cherish those moments.

Here in our community, there have recently been many families who have tragically lost loved ones. My heart goes out to each of them. I am sure that you know of people right where you live who are going through the same thing. Let us remember to hold them up in prayer. Let this also be a reminder to us: We never know how long we have left.

I pray that this has encouraged you today. I pray that we will not take our time for granted. I pray that we will make the most out of every minute we have. Share a smile. Make someone laugh. Make memories.

He is Here Right Now


sonshine

 “The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17

Why is it that we often think of God as some larger than life being, who sits and watches us from afar off?

What  a sad, lonely place the world would be if this were true.

I want to start off today with a word of encouragement for you: HE IS HERE!

Does that give you a little more hope today?

I want us to realize that we were not put on this earth to wander around aimlessly, until our life has ended. No, God has placed us here for a reason and He is here!

Do you remember what Jesus told His disciples when He ascended into Heaven? He told them: “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”( John 16:7) Jesus is talking about sending the Holy Spirit to be with the disciples after He has gone back to Heaven.

That very same Holy Spirit whom Jesus promised was coming then, still dwells here with us today. Is that not encouraging?

When life gets hard, when your day takes a turn for the worse, or when you are facing a trial, do not wonder where God is. Trust that He is here. He is working things out.

Life may not always turn out the way we had hoped or planned, but we can rest assured that God is not surprised. He does not mess up, He does not make a mistake, and nothing surprises Him. Now that is encouraging.

The last part of today’s verse says that the Lord rejoices over us with gladness, He comforts us with His love, and He rejoices over us with singing.

The Lord is not going to leave you. No matter how hard life may seem, no matter how bad your day gets, God is right there rejoicing over you, comforting you, and loving you every step of the way.

I pray today that you will allow God to cover you with His love. I pray that you will remember our verse from today and find comfort in knowing that we have not been left on this earth to just wander and wait. No! We have the Holy Spirit here to guide and comfort us. We have our Lord and Savior rejoicing over us.

I pray that these words have been an encouragement to your heart today.

God bless you.

For Such a Time as This


time

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time,

then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place;

but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed:

and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Esther 4:14

Yesterday I used a program called Bible.is., which is through a ministry called Faith Comes By Hearing. I would encourage you to go and see all they have to offer. The program offers you a way to listen to the Bible. It gives you the option of many different translations. They also offer a dramatized version of the Scripture.

I picked the book of Esther to listen to yesterday. What a story that is.

There were many different parts of the story of Esther that spoke to me, but my favorite part is the Scripture that I have chosen to share today. I want to focus on the last part of verse 14: for such a time as this.

I encourage you, if you have not read the story of Esther, please take the time to do so. I have even included a link so that you may listen to the story being read.

To sum up the story without giving away the ending, Esther is chosen out of a group of girls to be the new queen. As queen, Esther has to make some decisions that could ultimately be the death of her. The scripture I have chosen today is a response given to Esther by the man who raised her, Mordecai. He reminds her that she has not been placed in the palace to hide from what is going on around her, but just maybe, she has been chosen, hand-picked by God for such a time as this. Maybe she has been chosen to do a great work, to make a difference in what seems to be a hopeless situation.

As I read this verse, I began to think about our lives as Christians. I do not know where you are in life. I do not know what you go through on a daily basis, what kind of trials you face, but I do know this: God knows. Whatever you are going through in life, do not be mistaken, God knows you are there, and He can use you if you will allow Him.

There may be times in life when you feel as if you are in a hopeless situation. I encourage you to look back on the story of Esther and remember what she was told. Maybe you have been brought here for such a time as this.

God will use you wherever you are if you will surrender your life to Him and allow Him to lead you.

What Esther feared to be the death of her, God used for His glory.

Let us always remember that what the world says is impossible, with God, is Him-possible.

God bless you.