John 20: Not By Sight

“You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing Me.” John 20:29. (NLT.)

“But these are written that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. And that by believing in Him you will have life by the power of His name.” John 20:31 (NLT)

This chapter starts at the empty tomb. The stone was rolled away and Jesus has risen from the grave! He is alive! The disciples see Him and realize what they thought they knew, Jesus is the Messiah! Thomas, one of the disciples, was not there when Jesus first appeared to them. When they told him they had seen Jesus alive, Thomas said He would not believe until He saw Jesus.

It was 8 days later when the disciples were together again and Jesus came to them. Thomas was with them and Jesus told Thomas to “Look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. believe!” John 20:27 (NLT) Then Thomas believed that Jesus was Alive!

In verse 29 Jesus tells Thomas “You believe because you have seen Me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing Me.” And this is where faith comes into play. I’ve never seen Jesus, seen the holes in His hands or touched the wound in His side, but I believe what the Word says. He came as a baby, fully God and fully man. He willingly went to the Cross and died for the payment of my sin. And He overcame death, hell and the grave. He rose from the dead and Lives!

Verse 31 tells me that these things are written so that I will continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah! And, that because I believe I will continue to have life by the power of His name! It’s His Word that brings me hope, that strengthens my faith and reveals Jesus to me.

My prayer today is for a greater desire and love for His Word. I pray for the hunger for the Word would be continuous. I pray for a greater depth in my understanding. Thank you Lord for your Word and for the life it gives me. Amen.

What is God revealing to you today in chapter 20? Share your insights in the comment section below.

John 17: His Prayer for Me

“I am in them You are in Me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent Me and that You love them as much as you love Me.” John 17:23. (NLT)

This chapter is a prayer from Jesus. He knows the time has come for Him to fulfill His purpose. He prays for His disciples and in verse 20 He says,, “I am praying not only for these disciples, but also for all who will ever believe in Me.” Which means He is praying for me in this chapter. His words to His Father are for me! For my life! Today! Right now! In this moment! His words are for me!

In verse 23 He says He is in Me. His presence and power fills me today. It’s His presence that strengthens me and holds me. I am so very grateful for the assurance I have that He is in me.

He prays that we, those who believe He is who He says He is, will experience “such perfect unity”. SO THAT, “the world will know that You sent Me and that you love them as much as You love Me.” Our unity as believers will show the world Jesus and the greatness of His love!

There is and has been, such a need for the peace, hope and joy that Jesus brings. i believe He truly is the answer to all we need. Jesus prays for perfect unity and when I look around me I see a lot of disunity. I see the division among believers, those who believe and know the presence and power of Jesus. How different would our world look if we could be in “perfect unity?”

I pray today for the presence of Jesus to be greater in my life. I pray that I will be slow to speak and quick to listen. I pray for His peace to be in me, with Me and that it will be evident where I go. I pray that as much as possible, that I live peaceably with everyone (romans 12:18). And I pray for His presence to strengthen me. I want to be a woman who is lead by the Spirit, who speaks and responds by the leading of the Spirit. I pray He is greater and I am less. Amen.

What is God speaking to you today in chapter 17 of John? Share in the comment section below.

Day 31: Wise and Kind Words – Proverbs 31

day31 pic of birds flying over the ocean

“When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instruction with kindness.” Proverbs 31:26 (NLT)

This is the chapter I may or may not want to avoid. This knowable and virtuous woman has it going on! She does it all with dignity, strength and grace!  She is a hard worker and her family lacks nothing.  She rises early and stays up late working, serving and caring for her family.  They adore her, there is no one finer!

Today as I was reading this verse about her words being wise and kind made an impact on me.  I could be all these things, hardworking, selling and providing for my family. Rising early to prepare for the day and staying up late to ensure all their needs were covered. But, if my words were harsh and lacking wisdom, all the other stuff would have little value. I’ve probably met a few women in my life who worked hard and provided a beautiful and well-maintained home, but they were mean and quick tempered. You wouldn’t want to cross them; they were a bit scary.  Their impact on my life was not how well they managed, but it was how difficult they were to get along with.

I want to be a woman who leads well and manages her life and home with great success.  I desire that my words bring hope, peace, comfort and wise instruction.  And I desire that I can do it all with kindness.  I understand that my words matter and how I speak matters.

I pray today for kindness and wisdom to be on my lips. I pray that when I speak, that my words will be full of wisdom and clothed in kindness. Thank you, Lord for the Holy Spirit and the evidence of the Fruit of the Spirit, in my life. Amen.

What is God speaking to you today in Proverbs 31? Share your comments below or join the conversation on our Journaling Through Facebook  Facebook Group.

Day 30: His Word Proves True – Proverbs 30

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“Every Word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection. Do not add to His Words, or He may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.” Proverbs 30:5-6 (NLT)

I have such a strong belief, conviction if you will, that the Word of God is true, powerful and so very necessary for my life. I know that when I spend time reading and studying His Word, I am strengthened. I have a greater sense of peace. My understanding of the hope I have is greater.

God’s very presence in my life is a shield of protection. This morning I am understanding that the wisdom and insights I receive and activate in my life bring protection. If I will commit to read and study His Word so that I can understand, then apply that wisdom, I will find myself on the path He has set before me. A path that leads to provision, hope and protection. His Word is TRUE.

I also am very aware of this warning in verse 5, “do not add to His words.” I can’t make the Word say what I want it to say, or what makes me feel good or right in the moment. I have to read it for what it says. I can’t add exceptions or additions that make if fit my wants or desires in that moment. It can be tempting to skip over those parts that point out sin in my life. It can be tempting to add in a little fluff to help my own cause. If I choose to change up His Word to fit my agenda this verse tells me He will expose me as a liar.

Thank you, Lord for your Word. Thank you for the Holy Spirit that leads me to understanding. I pray for greater insight and understanding. I want to grow in my desire for your Word. Help me to hide it deep in my heart keeping me from sin. Amen.

What is God speaking to you today in Proverbs 30? Share in the comments below or join the conversation in our Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group

Day 29: Safely Trust Him – Proverbs 29

pic of day 29 purple flower

“Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.” Proverbs 29:25 (NLT)

What a timely verse for me today. Life around me seems so uncertain and what I thought I knew; I don’t really know. What was “normal” may never again return. I find myself looking to leaders for answers. I’m looking to church leaders and government leaders hoping they will “fix” it all! The truth I just want to put all this chaos behind me and get back to what I was doing.

Then, I watch the news, I read comments on social media and I find my self feeling hopeless. I become fearful of my today and my tomorrow. I worry about how my kids are coping and what kind of future will they have. I feel frustrated and overwhelmed at times because I need a plan, a process, a solution.

I am reading this verse today and I’m rejoicing in the One I can put all my trust in! Nations rise and nations fall, but “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever!” Hebrews 13:8 (NLT) He created it all. He is present. He is working on my behalf. His plans “are for good and not disaster, to give you (me) a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11-12 (NLT)

My hope is Jesus. The fear and uncertainty of all that is happening before me cannot take center stage in my life. This mindset and mentality will lead me and entrap me in worry, despair, hopelessness, anxiety, anger and depression. This verse in Proverbs tells me that if I will trust the Lord, He will bring safety. My trust in Him will keep me from living hopelessly in fear and anger. I’m taking it one day at a time, looking to Jesus to lead my way.

Lord, thank you for this reminder today, that I can confidently trust you. You are my hope, my refuge, my strength, my deliver and my help. Amen.

What is God speaking to you today in Proverbs 29? Share in the comments below or join the conversation on our Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group.

Day 28: Like A Lion – Proverbs

Day 28 pic of shells on beach

“The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the Godly are as bold as lions. When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.” Proverbs 28:1-2 (NLT)

My journal post is short today, because it’s just simple. It’s my prayer and hearts desire. First, that I would have the courage to run toward the need. I pray for boldness to engage in the hard conversations. I want to reach beyond where I am comfortable to bring hope and heling to those in need.

And secondly, I am praying for continued wisdom and knowledge, the kind that will bring stability. I’m not a government official, but there are those in my realm of influence that I can lead. And I can’t do it without His wisdom, knowledge and grace in my life!

What is God speaking to you today in Proverbs 28? Share in the comments below or join the conversation in our Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group.

Day 27: Friends – Proverbs 27

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“The heart felt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Never abandoned a friend – either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance It’s better to go to a neighbor than a brother who lives far away.” Proverbs 27:9-10

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17

Friends are so important and such a huge part of who we are and who we become. The old saying goes, “you are who you hang with.” I’ve recently read that we become like the 5 people we hag out with the most. I immediately began to figure out who I hang out with the most and evaluated if I want to be like them?

It is important to have friends who give me good council, who are there when I need them and who are not afraid to call me out when I need it! I need to cultivate friendships that bring joy to my life, but that also help me to grow. I need friends who want the best for me and are not afraid to go through the hard stuff with me.

I need to be a friend like I need a friend. I must also bring joy but can’t be afraid or avoid the hard stuff. I need to grow, but I want to help them grow. A good friendship is one of give and take. A true friend will “fill my tank,” but will also give me opportunity to “pour out.” And it’s not always fun and games, real life is happening and friends walk the good and bad together.

Thank you, Lord, for all the amazing friends you have placed in my life. Thank you for those friends who love me, challenge me and have fun with me. Help me to be a better friend, one who is fun to be with, but one who isn’t willing to avoid the hard stuff. Amen.

What is God speaking to you today through Proverbs 27: Share in the comments below or join the conversation in our Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group.

Day 26: My Foolishness – Proverbs 26

day 26 pic of pink flower

“There is more hope for fools than for people who think they are wise.” Proverbs 26:12 (NLT)

I’ve recently talked with a few others about avoiding the back and forth conversations about all that is happening in our world. From all the virus do’s and don’ts, to politics to social injustice, there is just so much going around. The truth is I do not have all the right answers to all this and I don’t want to act like I do. There are so many who do think they are right about some or all of it, and maybe that is true. But, engaging in conversations that lead to name calling, hurtful comments and broken relationships helps no one and nothing is resolved. I do not want to act foolishly thinking I am right and what I have to say is right.

I’m not saying that those who engage in debates or conversations about all that is happening are fools. Although, some of what is being said is foolish and it helps no one. I cannot think I am so wise that I cannot listen. And the key is listening! I don’t know it all. I haven’t walked in other’s shoes experiencing life from their perspective. I can only know, learn and understand if I listen.

I don’t want to be a foolish person walking and talking as if I am the one with all the wisdom. Wisdom comes from the Word and from experience. I’m learning and understanding new truths from God’s Word every day and I plan to continue learning for everyday of my life. I can also learn from others experience. I’ve only experienced what I’ve experienced, so other’s insights will help me gain more wisdom.

If I think I know it all and have the right answer, then I’m a fool! I do have wisdom and understanding and many things and when I can, sharing that wisdom can be helpful. I must also use wisdom when I do share, if I’m only speaking to a fool who will not listen and will turn my words, then I to am being foolish.

Lord, help me to know when to speak and when to be silent. Help me to listen, truly listen to others. Continue to teach me through your Word and put others in my life who can speak truth and wisdom into my life. Help me to speak only things that will bring hope, peace, comfort and unity to those I engage with. Help me to learn, grow and understand through what others say and most importantly through your Word. Amen.

What is God speaking to you today in Proverbs 26? Share your thoughts in the comments below or join the conversation in our Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group.

Day 23: What is My Motivation? – Proverbs 23

Day 23 pic of bluebird

“Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.” Proverbs 23:4-5 (NLT)

My first pass by this verse I thought of “get rich quick” ideas that are out there, you know, sell this product and never work another day in your life!! Or, get a high demand, high paying job so you can acquire lots of money and stuff, which makes you feel secure. But then as I read through this Proverb again, I thought something different. I thought more about why I do what I do? What career path I’ve chosen and what call and purpose I feel God has set before me.

Our society wants to relate wealth with success. If you have lots of money, then you are successful. And though in some sense it is true, you picked a career path and now live comfortably with no financial limits.

I wonder though today, if all my riches, my career, my finances and all the stuff I find comfort in were stripped away, what would be left? Verse 5 tells me that “in a blink of an eye wealth disappears.” I’m asking myself, what will be left?

I’m reminded of David’s sermon this past Sunday, he talked about Job. He was a man who “was blameless, a man of complete integrity, He feared God and stayed away from evil.” Job 1:1 (NLT) And even after He lost everything; his children, all his possessions, his health and his wife, he declared, “God might kill me, but I have no other hope.” Job 13:15 (NLT)

I’m asking myself these questions today; What motivates me? Where do I find my security and my hope? What is the things God has called me to? If it were all taken away “in the blink of an eye,’ what would be left? Could I stand like Job and declare that God is still my hope?

I believe that God is my provider. So why waste my time on things He hasn’t led me to? If I follow His path and direction for my life, I will lack nothing. I can’t let what others have draw me toward things God hasn’t called me to. It may go well, but will the fruit of my labor be lasting?

My prayer today is for wisdom in knowing the things God has called me to and knowing what things are wasting my time and taking my energy. I want to be someone like Job, blameless, full of integrity, reverent of God and avoid evil at all costs! I desire for my focus; my energy and my time be on those things that won’t fade away. Amen.

What is God speaking to you today through Proverbs 23? Share in the comments below or join the conversation in our Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group

Day 22: Listen and Apply – Proverbs 22

day 22 pic of daisies

“Listen to these words of the wise; apply your heart to my instruction. For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart and always ready on your lips. I am teaching you today, yes you, so you will trust in the Lord.” Proverbs 22:17-19 (NLT)

The Word is full of wisdom, insights and instruction for my life. The older I get and the more I read His Word, the more confident I am in saying there really is an answer for every need in my life. His Word truly is my instruction manual for life. But I can’t just read it, I must let it transform my heart and I must apply it.

Verse 18 tells me to always keep them ready. This says to me I may not know when I need the wisdom, but if I know it then I’ll be ready. Rady to respond to life situations in wisdom. I’ll be ready to make small of large decisions with wisdom. Knowing His Word, letting it penetrate and transform my heart gives me confidence and understanding and allows me to be successful in all parts of my life.

I must keep His Word before me, reading and studying it. I must give opportunity for His Word to speak to me daily reminding me of who He is and what His promises are. The Word of God must be the loudest voice and influence in my life.

Thank you, Lord, for your Word. Thank you for the wisdom you have for me on each page. I pray for understanding and insights to apply the instruction and direction it gives me. Help me to memorize it and keep it close to me so I’m ready. Amen.

What is God speaking to you today in Proverbs 22? Share in the comment section below or join the conversation on our Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group