Tag Archives: Believe

The difference maker

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 14:16

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The small country church I attended as a child didn’t have air-conditioning in those early years. Hot summer days and nights found us cooling off with open windows and hand-held paper fans. On one of those fans, I remember a picture of an angelic-looking girl kneeling with hands folded in prayer.

That little girl’s image captures my idea of one who is fully committed: constant in prayer, sinless, unaffected by the world and all while serving others. She’s too much! My life doesn’t match up.

But when the Lord is searching for hearts fully committed to him, as in II Chronicles 14:16, I’d like to be found faithful and don’t want to miss out. I’d like to be in the receiving line for his strength.

Am I going to be skipped over because I fall short of some ideal? He knows I’m not perfect, and no one is, so how can anyone be worthy of receiving anything from him? There is a gap between who I am and who I want to be.

This separation reminds me of the father who pleaded for Jesus to heal his son of an evil spirit—if he could. Jesus told him that everything is possible for the one who believes. “Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!'” Mark 9:24

Jesus healed the son. He made up the difference where the father fell short.

Likewise, he makes up the difference for me. There’s no way I can be a 100% fully-committed all the time. I’m human. But, I know the one who fills the gap.

Lord, strengthen me today and where I fall short, be the difference maker.

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The chilly waters of change

“…they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt.” Acts 7:39

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The Israelites wanted to go back to Egypt—back to the only way they knew—slavery.

It takes time to adjust to the chilly waters of change. It’s not always comfortable to welcome the unseen and embrace the new—to believe and trust when life is thrown off-balance. It’s tempting to go back to lukewarm waters where one knows how to maneuver, even if it’s not the best choice for the long run.

The waters of change take time to adjust to. One has to learn where to step and when to trust the next foothold and move forward. It’s not necessarily the easy way; it’s the new way. And, however scary, it’s better to move forward with God than to turn back to Egypt.

Lord, go with me and lead the way. Let me not turn back to comfort zones and old ways. Give me the faith to believe in You, the trust to know you won’t leave me and the faith to move forward. Amen.

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God’s got this

“He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him.” Psalm 112:7 (Living)

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Dread hangs like a heavy dark cloud that may or may not release rain. It specializes in blocking out the sun. Living in dread of what could happen zaps spiritual strength and is a waste of mental energy.

One day of dread added to another, and then another, can result in a lifetime of hovering dark clouds.

I thought it was good to be prepared for the worst. How do I step out of this brooding, foreboding mindset and stop fearing bad news that could happen?

Regardless of what happens or doesn’t happen, God will take care of me. If I need to make adjustments, He’ll let me know. If the bottom falls out, He’s got me. If relationships are strained, He’ll walk with me through the difficult situation.

If I’m settled in my mind that God will take care of me, dread has no place to take hold.

Now then, be settled. God’s got this.

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Where will you go, thoughts of dread–

fears that race like thoroughbreds through my worry-prone head?

If thoughts are bridled and assured of your sovereign care,

where, tell me where, will worries then tread?

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No detail too small

“Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.'” John 20:27

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Just a week before, this is what Thomas said he would need to believe. “…unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” John 20:25

Jesus knew Thomas’s struggle and met him there. He provided exactly what Thomas needed to believe: the nail scarred hands and pierced side.

No doubt or detail is too small for Jesus to notice. No need is too trivial and no person too insignificant. He goes to great lengths to reveal himself to us, wanting to satisfy the doubts.

He meets us right where we are.

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Just as He noticed little children

and knew that someone touched his cloak…

Just as He saw Zaccheus in the tree

and knew where to throw the net from the boat…

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Just as He knew the heart of the wealthy man

and where to find a donkey beside her colt…

Just as He knew a room was waiting

and exactly when to go…

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The one who knows the details

meets us right where we are;

He understands our doubts

and answers questions of the heart.

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This cracked pot

“…Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galations 2:20*

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Unleash your creative power

Think a new thought through me

Extend your arms of love

Reaching out to those in need.

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You who speckle the sky with stars

And lighten the dark with the moon

Who brightens the day with the sun

Giving flowers to bud and bloom

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What would you do through me

Yielded to be your home?

Carry bread to a hungry world

Living water to thirsty souls.

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poem and photo by Patty Perkins

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Christ lives in me. The magnitude of that statement is mind boggling. Christ in me. Imagine…the Creator dwelling in this cracked pot of a temple and calling it home!

What would He do with a life given over to Him? What thoughts would seep? What acts of mercy extend? What lives would be changed simply because Christ was near?

My hope is to live every day — every moment — believing Christ lives in me.

*The One Year Bible, September 16, NIV, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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Heaven on a tray


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Would I laugh like Sarai,

listening from her tent?

Or question like Zechariah,

at the altar of incense?

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If impossible were promised

from a holy silver tray

would I in faith believe, or

facing reality, push heaven away?

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by Patty Perkins

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Believing is a big deal. Sarai laughed (Genesis 18:12) when she overheard that she would have a child. Zechariah questioned Gabriel—the very angel who stands in God’s presence! (see Luke 1:20 below.)

Yet, facing reality is a big deal too. God gives us common sense, logic and a brain to use. Maybe it depends on who’s holding the tray…is it God, or our own desires?

Life is certainly no silver platter for anyone. It’s just not that easy. But if there were ever a too-good-to-be-true offer this is it: He paid the price on a gruesome cross and now offers his life…on an underserved, holy silver tray.

Luke 1:20 “And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.”*

*The One Year Bible, March 13, NIV, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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Paralyzing fear

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Fear

is seeping poison.

It blinds eyes to God’s strength

and deafens ears to God’s eternal truths.

Fear shuts down the beating heart’s ability to believe

and immobilizes an anointed army that would otherwise win.

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by Patty Perkins

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Joshua and Caleb pleaded with the people to believe God would help them conquer the enemy and possess the land. But the people didn’t believe. They were afraid. They swallowed the poison of fear and shut down.

Fear paralyzes those with a vision from following through on God’s plan. We see the good land. But we also see formidable giants. So we shrink back from all that God intended for us. Fear can be a big wall to climb over just to get to the enemy on the other side.

Numbers 14:9 “Only do not be afraid of the people of the land…Their protection is gone, but The Lord is with us. Do not be afraid.”*

Numbers 14:11 “…How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?”*

*The One Year Bible, March 10, NIV, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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