Walk This Way

 

But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 1 John 2:5,6 To read more, click here

How do we know that we are truly abiding in Him? The surest way to know is that we walk like Jesus walked. Christ’s life is an example to us. His life was always about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49). He walked in constant fellowship and dependence upon His Father, and sought to please Him in all that He said and did (John 12:49; John 14:31).

Because of Christ’s obedience, even to the the point of death, we have life! (Phil. 2:8) And with this life, we should do all that we can to please Him. This begins by allowing God’s Word to transform us. Hear, receive, obey, and apply the Word to your life and you will begin to see change. This is how we walk in the Fruit of the Spirit. This is how we grow in love. When we obey God’s Word and allow God’s love to be perfected in us, we will walk in love towards our fellowman and will abstain from the sinful things of the world. Love and obedience are manifested in our lives when we walk like Jesus.

This is not to physically imitate His movements, but to be an imitator of His actions, closely observing the Word of God to know what He did, how He responded, how He obeyed, how He loved, and how He served. Once you know what He did, do what He did! He has set the path before us, so we cannot go wrong if we walk like Him.

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Write the Word-May

Hello dear ones!

Still writing? Many have expressed a desire to finish the year strong. Well here you are—a list of suggested scriptures for the month of May! Like always, use them as you see fit. Allow God’s Word to permeate your soul. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3:16

Happy writing,
Your friend in the journey,
Sparrow

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Mission Accomplished

I sent three students on a mission to deliver some treats to a buddy classroom.  Twenty minutes later, they had not returned. After finding another teacher to watch my class, I went searching for the three missing students. As I passed the playground, I saw that the class I had sent my students to were at an early recess. I frantically asked the teacher had she seen my students, who were now, in my mind, missing. She said no, but also let me know that they had been outside for about 25 minutes. That said, I ran up to the other teacher’s classroom only to find my three sitting outside her door, patiently waiting for them to return. I was less than pleased, but glad that they were okay. I asked them “why didn’t you just come back?” One little darling answered “we didn’t want to come back until we finished the job.”

After breathing a sigh of relief because I hadn’t lost someone’s children, I began to reflect on a passage of scripture from Isaiah 55:10-11:

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Precipitation such as rain and snow follow cyclical pattern. When it falls from the sky it doesn’t evaporate until it waters the earth to bring forth growth so that the cycle of sowing and reaping may continue. The rain and snow does its job. It causes the ground and all forms of vegetation to prosper.

More beneficial than the rainfall are the Words of God. It goes forth from the mouth of God for purpose. Every Word spoken has a purpose; a mission for which it has been sent. The powerful Word cannot return empty without accomplishing the purpose for which it was sent. The Word sent forth will accomplish whatever the Lord pleases. Don’t be confused, the Word accomplishes what He wants, not always what we want. Dear friend, this is where trust comes in. We can trust God because He is trustworthy. He cannot lie (Numbers 23:19). We can trust God because He knows what’s best for our lives (Isaiah 55:9). We can trust God because He is working—He is present and actively orchestrating things in our lives to produce good results (Romans 8:28).

Not only do God’s Words produce results, but it will cause us to prosper! Again, this is a matter of trusting God’s will and His ways. Prosperity is not only a matter of material and financial gain, but also of spiritual prosperity where we grow from faith to faith and from glory to glory.  When we grow and move forward in the things of God, we are prospering.

Stake your confidence in the Word of God! Hold on to its promises and apply its precepts. It is powerful and effective, producing great results in our lives. Like my sweet little students, God’s Word will not return without accomplishing its purposes.

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Learning to Stand Still

Learning to stand still may seem like an odd thing to learn. It takes little effort; just do it, right? Wrong! Learning to stand still is difficult for many. Take my second grade class, for instance! I don’t mean a physical posture, but rather a heart posture. One that disavows human effort and stakes it’s hope on the power and ability of God.

In the 14th chapter of Exodus we see the people of God being pursued by Pharoah and his army. They found themselves standing between the Pharaoh’s army and a sea in front of them. At that point, they began to complain. They expressed their regret, they expressed their anger, they expressed their frustration, and they expressed their fears. Then Moses answered,“Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:13-14

Moses told them first, do not fear. Fear is an overwhelming emotion. Sometimes fear makes you run. You want to retreat or remove yourself from the situation. Other times fear makes you fight. Like a bear backed into a corner, you feel like the only thing to do is come out fighting. Rarely does fear make you stand still.

But that is exactly what Moses told the people to do next, stand still. Standing still involves planting your feet firmly.

God has given us something to stand on—something on which we can plant our feet.

We can stand in faith
We can stand in hope
We can stand in trust
We can stand on the Word

It’s difficult in uncertain circumstances, but we must be still!

Don’t sway! Don’t allow the things that come make you sway back and forth or side to side. Stand firm and trust God.  James tells us that a double minded person is unstable in every way. (James 1:8) Don’t allow your circumstances to make you waver.

Don’t lean! Don’t allow impatience or self-reliance cause you to take steps or make decision apart from God’s will. Proverbs 3:5 reminds us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding”.  

Moses then tells the people, “The Lord will fight for you, just hold your peace.” It maybe even more difficult to be silent than it is to be still. Oftentimes we don’t know what to do, but if you are anything like me, I always have something to say! It’s usually the wrong thing. Complaints, negativity, and doubt fills my mouth, then my heart, until it filters to my actions. In times of trouble, it is important that we speak God’s Word into the situation or be silent. Your words will fail, but His Words lead to victory.

King Jehoshaphat faced a similar situation (2 Chronicles 20). Nearby enemies had come together in attempts to defeat Judah. Jehoshaphat prayed. He was honest, “I don’t know what to do; but Lord my eyes are fixed on You” (v.12). He admonished the people not to fear or be alarmed, because, “the battle is not yours, but God’s” (v.15). King Jehoshaphat had to give a command to trust, just like Moses did; “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17.

There’s the command—Stand still! It can be difficult, it can feel counterproductive, but we must learn to stand still. Sometimes we stand between the enemies taunts and what seemed impossible. We want to react, we want to fight, we want to run, but God says stand still. Plant your feet firmly on the Word of God, and watch Him fight for you! FE870A96-4D50-4E34-AA15-D89198FCAAD6

What Not To Wear (Hope in 350)

I used to love the old show “What Not To Wear”. I loved to see the team of experts toss away the entire wardrobe of a participant only to reveal a new and updated wardrobe along with a makeover. The transformation was incredible!

Apostle Paul reminds us of the importance of living in the newness of life in Christ Jesus. The idea of adorning oneself is clearly seen in Ephesians 4:22-24 where we are told to put off ungodliness and to put on holy virtues. What’s beautiful is that we don’t have to do this alone! Just as in the show, we have an Expert who helps us. One who lives on the inside of us; whose desire is to see His character manifested in our lives.

In Colossians 3, Paul again list characteristics that need to be taken off, but also provides wardrobe exchange; he says “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (vs. 12). Do you struggle in any of these areas? If so, what you need is love. Like a perfect belt or blazer that pulls together the best outfit, we need love. Colossians 3:14 explains, “over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” The love of Christ constrains us to walk in the virtues that lead to peace.

So go ahead, toss out all your old wardrobe, and put on the virtues of Christ. Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and most importantly love. The perfect ensemble!

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:14

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He Sustains Me

144B3E66-2363-4970-A8B5-06FCF1B14877Too often we try to do the work of “keeping it together” on our own. We try to juggle all the balls in the air—day to day schedules and routines, relationships, commitments, personal desires, plus that unexpected circumstance that threatens to topple the whole thing. At any given point, we can become overwhelmed, feeling simple inadequate and unable to shoulder the burdens of life. Not to worry! You were not designed to bear that weight alone. Psalms 55:22 is a sweet reminder of a truth we should hold on to: Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken. (NIV)

You can lay all your cares on the Lord—“the good, the bad, and the ugly”— knowing that He will sustain you. He will both strengthen and support you. He gives us strength to endure what we face and He holds us together as we face it.

There’s an old song that says:

God has a way that’s mighty sweet.
I’m gonna lay my burdens down at His feet.
He knows the road,
He’ll carry your load.
God has a way that’s mighty sweet.

There is a sweet relief in knowing that it is His loving nature to carry our burdens simply because He cares so deeply for us. (1 Peter 5:7). He knows the road both behind us and ahead of us. He knows what we’ve endured and what we have yet to face. He invites us to give Him everything that has the potential to oppress, devastate, or defeat us. And in exchange He promises rest. (Matthew 11:28-29). You see, He doesn’t just carry our burden, but He will carry us! He will not allow us to be so shaken that it all falls apart. This is true even when it seems that it has already fallen apart, we can look with the eyes of the Spirit and see that God so masterfully holds it all together. He will not let you fall!

Father, thank You for sustaining me. I acknowledge that it is You, Who keeps me together. When I feel overwhelmed allow me to know that You hold me up and support me with Your unfailing love. Let me rest in Your sustaining power. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22 (NIV)

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)

Blessings,

Sparrow