Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. Psalm 63:3 NASB
Thy loving kindness
Is better than life
Thy loving kindness
Is better than life
My lips shall praise thee
Thus will I bless thee
I will lift up my hands
Unto thy name.
Today was one of those days where I didn’t have the strength to lovingly redirect my mom. I had watched her struggle for over 30 minutes to complete a job that would have taken me 5 minutes. I honestly thought that I was being patient and kind as I suggested that maybe she take a break. But, the whole time I kept thinking, “When she walks away I’ll just finish it and she will never know!” Here was the problem, she didn’t walk away so I started plotting how I was going to take over. I am embarrassed to tell you that when my head felt as though it was going to explode, I simply reached in and finished it in front of her.
Not surprisingly, a few minutes later she blurted out, “I can’t do anything right!” Really, Jann this is how you honor your mother? This daughter was so very impatient and unkind! I don’t deserve any awards for sharing loving kindness today!
We learn how to be kind by observing how God has been so patiently kind to us. Jesus modeled his loving-kindness over and over to us.
He was patient with his family when they didn’t understand him
He was patient with the religious leaders when they scrutinized his intentions and plotted against him
He was patient with the disciples when they had their own plans for the kingdom of God
He was patient with God as he waited for his plan to unfold
He is patient with us as we learn to trust him
He is patient with us knowing that we are in process.
On my own I am one big hot mess! Selfishness and impatience come so easily to me and loving-kindness is a far off dream. Thank you Jesus for rescuing me from myself!
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
I love the meaning behind the words take captive
Strong’s defines it this way: to make captive:—lead away captive, bring into captivity.
The picture that is made in my mind is that of a conquering army taking over a city and bringing all of the people into captivity. The captives would now be under the authority of the new regime and would require them to be obedient to the laws of the land. This would not have been a peaceful event. Some would be killed and others would require strong reminders of their new position.
I don’t know about you, but my mind is a battlefield of thoughts. Maybe it is more like a mine field of thoughts. Out of nowhere comes anger, jealousy, resentment, and really bad one liners! In addition, words of discouragement, distrust and dissatisfaction find a way into my mind.
Asking God to Activate my mind is my way of asking Him to show me how to take captive those thoughts that are contrary to His Word.
Let me show you what I mean. Recently, I was talking with someone and they kept looking at me, but not looking at my eyes. Something was distracting them. Immediately the battery of thoughts began the bombardment of my brain! “What is she looking at? Is my bra showing, do I have mascara under my eyes, did I forget to blend in my foundation?” I felt so insecure and walked away very unsettled.
On any ordinary day it is not unusual to be in a pleasant conversation, when out of nowhere a thought crowds my thoughts. “She doesn’t want to hear what you are saying”. At this moment I have a choice to listen to this lie or take it captive and replace it with the truth.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
It is time to take every thought captive and to make them obedient to the Truth of Jesus!
“do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
We believe lies about
- Our value
- God’s love for us
- Our future
- The effects of sin
When you are hit over the head with one of these lies, take it captive by remembering that you are chosen, called by name and so love by God! Then replace the lie with the truth of God’s word!
When tempted to believe the lie try this
Lie: “I am such a failure. I can’t do anything right.”
Truth: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13
Lie: “I have no one.”
Truth: “God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”Heb. 13:5
Lie: “I am ugly, etc.”
Truth: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus”Eph. 2:10
Lie: “ I can never be forgiven.”
Truth: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.I John 1:9
Oh Lord- Activate my mind and fill it with more of You!
Last week I attended the IF:Gathering in Austin Texas. There I was blessed to hear from some amazing speakers, worshipping with 2000 ladies and a worship leader that made me giggle because of his pirate-like beard and share this time with not only my 2 daughters, but also with women that I just honestly love being around!
Have you ever been to a conference where there was so much content that your head spun? Yes, this was like that! Speaker after speaker, thoughts after thoughts, all good and all had a potential impact on my life but which one do I focus on? Which one am I supposed to implement?
“Lord, help me sift through all of these wonderful things to hear your thoughts”, I prayed.
I had come to the weekend a little tired, with high expectations and on an emotional rollercoaster. To say that I was a hot mess was not an overstatement! Sometimes, this sheep needs to be led and I think that my Shepherd was directing my steps. He is a good, good Father!
In the last few months, my mother who has dementia moved in with us, 2 dear friends were suddenly widows and my work and ministry life were causing some stressors.
I found myself crying out to God, “this is too much! Are you sure I can handle all of this? What are your plans Lord?”
This sheep needed a new way of thinking! Lord Activate your thoughts in me!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
I found myself asking Him to change my thoughts, to fill me with His Spirit, to give me a new vision and His peace in the midst of whatever circumstances would come my way! His answer was quiet and clear. “Abide“
“Abide in me, then I can activate my thoughts in you,” He continued to remind me of this simple truth throughout the weekend.
The only way to know the thoughts of God is to allow yourself to have time in His presence.
and you will Experience His love, His peace, His gentle leading.
Oh Lord Activate your thoughts in me.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Rest seems like a passive term. How then can it be activated?
Websters defines rest as 1: repose, sleep; specifically : a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities 2 : freedom from activity or labor: a state of motionlessness or inactivity : the repose of death a place for resting or lodging peace of mind or spirit peace of mind or spirit (1) : a rhythmic silence in music (2) : a character representing such a silence : a brief pause in reading something used for support
Today I was at the hair salon getting my pretty on. My mom went with me and sat quietly while they applied highlights to my hair. It has been quite the week! Our journey of having my mother live with us has begun and we are now in full swing. On this the 7th day of caring for my mom, I found myself a little anxious. Not the stomach fluttering, head spinning anxious, but definitely, not at rest.
As I sat under the dryer waiting for my highlights to turn the most brilliant shade of blonde God reminded me that He was the one who can activate my rest. He is the one in whom I can take refuge. He is the provider of perfect peace. Just as I had this ephiphany, my mom stood up shuffled past me, waved and smiled and then went into the bathroom.
I still have you Jann, He whispered, just as I hold your mom’s hand, I hold yours. Will you trust me to take care of both of you?
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3
God directs us to rest
You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest. Exodus 24:31 NLT
I love that it says you must stop working! I am all over that!
God provides us with mental rest because we can know and trust that He is covering us with His love.
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17
Jesus beckons us to come and rest with Him.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
He always seems to know exactly what we need!
Woo hoo! It is 41 degrees on a normally freezing January day in Michigan.
All the way home I can think of only one thing, sunshine! I crave the warmth of it. I crave the way my skin feels as it slowly warms to the embrace of it. I love the way it causes me to rest as I soke it up!
When will I be in the Sun’s presence?
I crave sacred, restful, warm time with Him.
Psalm 23: 1 The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul.
Psalm 4:4 Meditate with in your heart on your bed and be still.
Psalm 37: 7 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him.
Grab a pillow and join me in the Son!