july 31

Our hope lies in the precious blood of Jesus. This song will make you smile from ear to ear, give you goosebumps, make you cry and raise your hands in worship! I hope it blesses you this Thursday afternoon!

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july 30

I have recently decided to allow my “yes” to be “yes” and my “no” to be “no”. I, like maybe some of you, wanted other people to know how honest I was being, so I’d say things like “I promise” to even the simplest questions. A friend asked me if I liked her hair, and instead of letting my “yes” be “yes”, I wanted her to know how intensely I was telling the truth! I’d promise and swear over the silliest things, and even hold my hand up like I was in a court of law! I had to know that “they” knew I wasn’t telling falsehoods! But isn’t this ridiculous?! We are in a world where the truth is relative. Lying doesn’t seem as wrong as it was when we were growing up. In fact, CEOs and companies are encouraged to lie. Even rewarded!

Well, we may live in a different world than the one we knew as children, but that doesn’t mean we have to promise and swear that what we are saying is truthful and honest. How about we just tell the truth, and let it speak for itself?

“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” – James 5:12

july 28

I think it’s impossible to live the Christian life by holding on to material things or financial security. (Or holding on to anything, really. We know by reading Scripture, when we lose, we really gain. And when we hold tightly to something, we aren’t living freely!) How are we showing the love of Jesus without giving of ourselves, our time, our talents, our treasure? I think the following verse demonstrates vividly and definitively how Jesus wants us to live out our lives – with generous hearts and willing spirits:

“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” – Luke 6:38

july 27

“I look to you, I see the scars upon your hands.
And hold the truth, that when I can’t you always can.
I’m standing here, beneath the shadow of the cross.
I’m overwhelmed that I keep finding open arms.” (“What Love Is This” – Kari Jobe)

I don’t know about you, but the lyrics to this song bring me to tears. Have you ever been in a place where you kept finding God’s grace amidst the storm? Have you ever expected the doors to close, but you just kept walking through one after another? Have you ever expected God to turn His back on you because your life didn’t resemble the life you know Jesus died to give you? But then you returned to the Lord and felt His welcoming embrace? Always loving. Always open. Always willing to forgive and change, fashion and mold us.

HIS love is an everlasting love. No one on earth can compare. We are so lucky to be loved so deep and so wide and so high and so long. (Eph. 3:18, paraphrase)

july 26

Each day, let’s seek what the Lord has in store! Instead of excessively planning each moment, let’s dedicate our time to Jesus. He’ll have us exactly where we are supposed to be!

“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” – Psalm 143:8

july 25

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to HIS purpose.” – Romans 8:28 (emphasis mine)

I think it’s important to remember WHOSE purposes we’re desiring to carry out. Not everything in this life will be perfect. We will lose loved ones suddenly. Jobs aren’t guaranteed. Health problems will arise. Finances won’t add up. Sometimes, we won’t see the “working together for good” in this life. But we can rest assured that God’s ways are perfect for us. And He has a specific intention behind everything we face. And no matter what we think or how we feel, HIS purposes will remain.