I WILL Wednesday 12/4/19

It’s I WILL Wednesday!

I WILL love you, oh Lord. Psalm 18:1

In today’s I WILL passage, King David declares that he will love the Lord. This is very timely for the Advent season. This season is all about love. God loves us so much that He sent His Son. ( John 3:16) Jesus loves us so much that He came to earth to show us the way and became the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (John 1:1; Romans 5:8 ).  With love on display in such a beautiful way, we are compelled to respond.

Sadly, such a beautiful love has been rejected by a sinful world. Instead of embracing this love, some turn to the pleasures of sin that only provide temporary gratification. Even still, God’s love pursues us, seeking to change our hearts by His grace, favor, mercy, goodness, and kindness. God took the initiative, He made the first move. Therefore, “we love because He first loved us”( 1 John 4:19 ).

We should love the Lord God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength (Deuteronomy 6:5). Jesus says that it is the greatest commandment, and also to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Let’s make an intentional effort, this holiday season and every day, to love. First, love the Lord emphatically. Then love others, which should be a natural extension of our love for God. And not just with words! Intentionally demonstrate love! Love is the reason Jesus came. That’s why we can say, I WILL LOVE!

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I WILL Wednesday 11/27/19

It’s I WILL Wednesday!

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I WILL trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

This is another praise filled passage from the heart of King David. He ascribed to the Lord, the glory due unto His name (Psalm 29:2 ).  Rock, Fortress, Deliverer, Strength, Shield, Horn of Salvation, and Stronghold are the attributes used to describe God. They are the reasons David could confidently say “My God . . . in whom I will trust.” Every beautiful truth about our Father proves that He is fully trustworthy.

Though this is true, many believers struggle in the area of trust. We believe, yes, truly believe, but when it comes to seeing the fruit in our own lives, we stop short of trusting with abandon. Even when we want to. Especially when we need to.

Some translations read “in whom I take refuge.”  To take refuge is to find a safe place. This reminds me of the old hymn “‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” The hymn writer shares about a sweet, tender place in his relationship with the Lord—a place of trust. That is a place where we can lay our burdens down, cast our cares at His feet, and receive the comfort and strength we sometimes so desperately need. The hymn writer ends the chorus in the popular hymn with the line, “O, for grace to trust Him more.” The days that I need to trust the most, are usually the days that my faith fails.  That’s when I pray,  “Father, give me the grace to trust you more.”  He is faithful to give me the grace that I need to confidently trust.  That’s why I will confess daily, I WILL trust!

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I WILL Wednesday 11/20/19

It’s I WILL WEDNESDAY!

I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8

This week, we are looking, at King David’s declaration of victory, I WILL not be shaken!

Psalm 16 speaks of David’s place of contentment and even rejoicing in difficult times. It also speaks prophetically about our Savior, Jesus and the hope that He brings.

How did David have hope in trying times? How did he find a place of contentment? He kept his eyes on the Lord.

I’m reminded of Peter when he walked on water. Before he began to walk, it was dark, foggy, windy and wet. Yet at the bidding of Jesus—“come”—Peter walked on the water.  The scripture says “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’”   Matthew 14:30.  Peter saw the wind and began to sink. The wind didn’t cause Peter to sink, it was his shifted focus. He took his eyes off Jesus and put his eyes on his surroundings. Remember, the wind was already boisterous, the darkness was pervasive, the fog was present and the water was still wet. But when Peter had his eyes on Jesus those things didn’t matter. With eyes trained on Jesus, he didn’t sink, he couldn’t be shaken.

Where’s your focus? Is it on the circumstances around you, or on the Savior who walks with you?  When your eyes are on Jesus, nothing can shake you. Focus on the Savior. Look to Him to be your comfort, your strength and your inspiring example. Keep your eyes on Him, the Author and Finisher of our faith journey Hebrews 12:1-3.

King David knew this well. That’s why in the middle of the storms in his life, he could declare “my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope (v. 9 )”.  As he walked closely with the Lord, David could say from experience, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore (v. 11 ).” The storms will rage, and hard times will come, but when you keep your eyes on Jesus you can say, I WILL not be shaken.

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I WILL Wednesday 10/23/19

Happy I Will Wednesday!

For this ‘I Will Wednesday’, we will actually be focusing on an ‘I Will Not’. Found in Psalm 3:5-6, King
David makes a declaration. He says I WILL not fear . . .
During this time in David’s life, he was running from his own son, Absalom, who had started a rebellion against him. He was forsaken by many who claimed to be his friend. His own people began to defect and join Absalom’s ranks. Trouble on every side, so much so that on-lookers felt like even God would not help him (Psalm 3:2).

In spite of it all, David did not allow the storms in his life to shake his faith. With resolve, he affirms that God is his shield, glory and the lifter of his head  (Psalm 3:3).    In the middle of his storm, when he should’ve been greatly troubled, David slept well because he knew that he was kept by the Lord  (Psalm 3:5). 

Today, all may not be as you think it should be. Troubling thoughts may attempt to derail you. You may feel that the storm you are in is overwhelming or even devastating. Even if family and friends have betrayed you, make this your declaration, I WILL not fear! We can endure our present circumstances with eyes fixed on our future hope. Then, when fear tries to creep in, be comforted by this truth; Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me (Psalm 23:4).

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. Psalm 3:5-6  

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I Will . . .

A29BE5BF-6B9C-4212-80AB-2B9AD6BEA6C3I will. . .
This is the answer I received from this sweet little precocious girl who dropped by my classroom one morning. This little girl, so full of life, has been through so much at her young age, but these things have not defined her. Through all that has happened, she has continued to be ever-spirited and bubbly. And her bubbly nature is abundantly infectious. She had brightened my day multiple times when I was her teacher and now, as she walks her little brother to class, she is still like a ray of sunshine.

One particularly difficult morning, Sunshine came bouncing into my room. She greeted me with a smile and hug. We chatted for a minute before she said,“I gotta go.” I said, “Ok, sweet pea. Have a good day.” Now, the typically response would be “ok” or “thank you.” On those tougher days, you may even hear, “I’ll try” or even, a dismissive “hmmp.” But not this sweet one. She bounced out of my room after saying two simple words that flipped my mood, and started the wheels of my mind turning. She said, “I will.”

First, I began to think about how I respond when I’m told to “have a good day”. Do I just see it as a well wish that is largely dependent on the happenings of the day? Or do I realize that I can change the trajectory of my day with the words I speak? Next, I began to think about those I tell “have a good day.” Is it just something to say? Or am I consciously speaking over that person’s day?

Then I began to think about the Word of God. How many ‘I wills” are found there? Am I actively declaring these in my life? Psalms includes many.

Some notable ones are:

I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness,
And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. Psalm 7:17

I will love You, O LORD, my strength. Psalm 18:1b

I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1

Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You. Psalm 56:3

Come and hear, all you who fear God,
And I will declare what He has done for my soul.  Psalm 66:16

You are my God, and I will praise You;
You are my God, I will exalt You. Psalm 118:28

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help? Psalm 121:1

What if I made the “I Wills” in scripture a part of my daily confession? What can I discover as I focus on changing my words and therefore changing my mindset? Like my darling little friend, I will challenge myself to take ownership over my days, my years, my life. I will submit to God’s sovereignty and to His divine authority. I will invite transformation through the Word of God by confessing the Word daily (because the Word Works). I will shape my day with Words of life so the next time I’m told to have good day, I can say with confidence, “I will!”

(Over the next few weeks, we will be exploring the I Wills found in scripture, in particularly in the Psalms. Join us on the Sparrows Song Facebook group each Wednesday for “I Will Wednesdays” to discover more truths from God’s Word.)

 

No Words Necessary

96653AF5-CF3C-43A3-9686-2B3FA4A6768BOne of my favorite lines in a song is “though she spoke no words, everything she said was heard, as she poured her love on the Master, from her box of alabaster.” This beautiful song, by artist CeCe Winans, depicts the story of the woman with the alabaster box who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. This beautiful account is found in Luke 7:36-50.

When the woman began to wash Jesus’ feet, the Pharisees who invited Him to his home began to question, within himself, whether Jesus was truly a prophet. These unspoken words were addressed by our Savior. Jesus, through a parable, explained the gratitude and love shown by this woman.

This woman said nothing, but there were shouts of praise. She uttered no words, but thankfulness flowed from her heart. Maybe she didn’t know what to say, or maybe the words just wouldn’t come out right. Either way, no words were needed! Our beautiful Savior heard the cries of her heart. This reminds me of a beautiful scripture found in Psalm 56:8. It says, “You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?”
(NKJV).

God is not unaware of the struggles we face. Every tear that falls is accounted for. More beautiful than that is an ancient custom that when friends visited a person who was suffering, that friend would collect the tears of the sufferer in a tiny bottle as a memory of the event. God, our faithful friend, visits us during our suffering. He doesn’t leave us all alone. Yes, He is there all the time, but when we are hurt, in distress, and in pain we become more acutely aware of His nearness. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Our loving Father sees our tears and hears the silent prayers that we pray. He truly knows the whole content of our hearts. He visits us in our suffering and comforts us with His precious presence.

Every prayer will not be only tears, we need to employ strategic warfare through praying God’s Word, praying in the Spirit, and supplicating before Him. But there will be times when we don’t know what to say, or the words escape us, or they just won’t come out. In these times, posture your heart in prayer, fall down at the feet of Jesus, and cry out to Him.