Faithful Stripes

Copyright © 2017 by Michelle Lores

 

By Jesus’ stripes we are healed,

Set free from death and sin.

So much joy now to be found

In the arms of Him!

 

Sorrow on this earth still does abound,

But there is peace and joy inside.

And now for those who believe in Him, an eternal home awaits

Where every blessing does abide!

 

Oh, are you coming with me

To my eternal home one day?

Where we will finally be with Jesus

And worship Him face to face!

~

Isaiah 53:4-5 NASB

“Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”

 

John 10:17-18 NASB

For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.  No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative.  I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.  This commandment I received from My Father.”

~the words of Jesus~

 

Here is the thought for today:

 

Without Jesus, we have no hope.

 

Only He had the power to live a life without sin, willfully lay down His life for us, and by His own authority, take His life up again.

 

Praise God for Jesus and for the command God gave Jesus!  (John 10:17-18)

 

Our Heavenly Father knew we needed Jesus, and that’s why He sent Him.  He wants us to know Him that much!

 

So today, let’s be thankful for Jesus!  Without Him, we have no reason to hope–but BECAUSE of Him, we have EVERY reason to Hope when we place our faith and trust in Him to take away our sin and be the Lord over our lives.

 

Will you pray with me?

 

“Dear Heavenly Father,

 

You have been so good to us.

Thank You so very much for Jesus.

 

Thank You for loving us every day and in every way.

 

Lord, we have nothing of lasting value–no reason to exist–without You.

 

But because of the Hope you have given us in Your Son, Jesus, we have EVERY reason to rejoice, as well as a purpose for living.

 

Thank You for loving us so much, Lord.

 

May we live today to love You with all that we are and to love those around us as You have loved us.

 

Thank You, Dear Heavenly Father.

We love You so much!

 

In Jesus’ precious Name,

Amen.”

 

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Center Stage

Copyright © 2017 by Michelle Lores

 

Jesus, I need You center stage,

So that far as the eye can see,

My world and all that I do

Does not revolve around me.

 

Jesus, I need You as my Focus–

The One that I look to–

In every single moment I live–

In all I think, say, and do.

 

For You alone bring JOY, O Lord.

It is in Your presence I want to stay

For every single moment

Of every single day.

 

~Psalm 16:11 NASB~

“You will make known to me the path of life;

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

 

Being in the presence of Jesus is FULLNESS of JOY.

 

When we are outside of Jesus’ presence, focused on all that swirls around us, our lives end up in a mess.

 

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Here are some short thoughts to meditate on for today.

 

Who or what is your focus?

Who or what is mine?

 

This will determine our level of joy.

 

Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus and spend time rejoicing in His presence.

 

Only He has the power to order our lives according to the Heavenly Father’s will.

 

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Let’s pray together:

 

“Dear Heavenly Father,

 

There is no one else like You!

 

You are so Beautiful!

 

Lord, I want to once again surrender my will to Yours.

 

Order my steps, Lord.

 

As I walk in step with You, I know You will produce Your fruit of peace, patience, love, joy, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control in my heart and in my life. (Galatians 5:22-23)

 

Lord, make me a reflection of You to this world.

 

When all is chaos around me, may I have peace and calm because of Your Holy Spirit within me.

 

I love You, Lord.

 

Thank You so much for loving me!

 

In Jesus’ Name I pray,

 

Amen.”

Feeling Like Giving Up? Here’s Hope!

Copyright © 2017 by Michelle Lores

 

Do you ever feel like giving up on doing the right thing?  Do you ever grow weary of doing good as a believer in Jesus Christ?

 

Today, I want to give you some Bible verses to think about and hang onto if and when you need that extra push of encouragement to keep fighting the good fight.

 

At the end, I think you will agree that even in a situation like this, we can still find so many reasons to rejoice when we fix our eyes on the One who loves us.

 

The two Bible verse passages I want to share are:

Galatians 6:7-10, and Colossians 3:23-25.

 

They read as follows:

Galatians 6:7-10 NASB

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.  For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.  Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.  So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

 

Colossians 3:23-25 NASB

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.  It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.  For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done and that without partiality.”

 

As you take time to read both of these portions of Scripture, you will notice that both include a promise and a warning.

 

The promise is the good news.  It is a reward for those who don’t give up.

 

What is it telling us that we need to do to receive this reward?  Well, the reward is for followers of Jesus Christ who obey Him as Lord of their lives.  God looks at our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7).  He knows the motive behind everything we do.  Are we just doing the right thing to be noticed by people, or are we really doing everything that we do because we love Jesus, and we want to live for Him, and daily offer our lives to Him?

 

It mentions one other thing in Galatians that we are to do:  “Do good to all people, and especially those who are of the household of the faith…” (in other words, other Christians).

 

Do these two things sound familiar?  They are the two things that Jesus said that the whole Law and the Prophets (the full written Word of God at that time) depended upon… the two greatest commandments:  Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:36-40)

 

There is a warning mentioned too.  Did you catch it?

 

In both portions of these scriptures, it says that we will not get away with doing wrong.  We will receive a penalty, and there will be no partiality, no favorites.  If we do wrong, it will produce a crop of corruption in our lives.

 

I guess I wanted to share this today, because it is important for us to remember (me included!) that this life is about so much more than just living from day to day.  It’s even about more than ministry or a passion for life.

 

This life should be about Jesus all the way!  He should be our Love.  The reason we get up in the morning!  The reason and motivation behind everything we do.  His love should be our driving force.  It is His Love that is the greatest treasure, and we should be just itching to share it with everyone we come in contact with!

 

Is this how you live your life?  Is it how I live mine?

 

If you have ever felt like throwing in the towel, I encourage you to look back to the reason why you live how you do.  Is it truly in response to Jesus and His great love for you?

 

Take the time to really remember what Jesus did for you.  All that He endured during His life on earth… the mockery, the ridicule… all while living a life of perfect obedience to His Heavenly Father so you and I could come to know Him.

 

Then He died.  A cruel death.  And now He lives and reigns victorious!

 

My friend, He is offering that victory to US today!  We don’t have to be weighed down by this world.  What is it that is hindering you?  Jesus has defeated it!  Trust in Him, and He will enable you to rejoice this day.  Run to Him and hide yourself in His love.  By the power of His Holy Spirit within us, we can live this day victorious in Jesus.

 

Let us rejoice! For He has overcome the power of sin and death.

 

Do not grow weary.  Hope in the Lord instead.  He will renew Your strength, and make you able to run without growing weary! (Isaiah 40:28-31)

 

Will you pray with me?

 

“Dear Heavenly Father,

 

Oh, How I want to live faithfully for You.  You want my heart to be wholly Yours, and not divided with anyone or anything else.

 

Lord, God, I give You my heart fully this day.  I want to live every moment with You.  No matter what I do today, even the littlest thing, may it be done with a joyful heart full of praise for You.

 

May I also live to love other people today with Your love.  Every person on this earth was made in Your image, Lord God, and You desire me to love every person you put in my path with the same Love You have shown me.  May that start in my own household and go to every person I see on the streets.  You will show me how to love them, whether through a prayer, a smile, a word of encouragement, or a deed of kindness, each encounter will be different.

 

Heavenly Father, I praise You, for You are truly Awesome and Wonderful!

 

There is no one else like You!

 

Thank You for this beautiful reminder, and thank You for Your Word.

 

Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, my Helper, who will help me today to live according to Your Truth.

 

Fill me and make me more like You,

 

I ask in Jesus’ Name,

 

Amen.”

 

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Me and You, Lord ~ A Prayer

Copyright © 2017 by Michelle Lores

 

“I can be

Who You made me to be–

Every day,

Living Free.

 

“When I miss a step,

You are there

To catch me if I fall–

And to remind me of Your watchful care.

 

“Lord, I need You

In order to be ‘me’–

The ‘me’ You created

Me to be.”

~

“Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You that You made me different from everyone else.

Every person that has ever lived has been born with a unique purpose, made by You as a unique individual.

 

“I love you so much, Lord!

There isn’t anyone like You!

Maker, Creator, yet Lover and Friend.

 

“I don’t want to run and hide from the challenge of life.

I want to face it, knowing that I can handle any challenge with You by my side.

 

“Lord, how I love You, because You love me.

And how I need You in order to live every day You have given me completely and fully.

 

“Thank You that I can count on You every day I live.

For Your Holy Spirit within me continually gives…

 

“Love, joy, peace, patience, and every single one of your fruits,

When I walk in step with You–Lord, ground me deeply in Your roots…

 

“Of perfect, beautiful, and unconditional love,

As I fix my eyes on You and on things above.

 

“For You are perfect and worthy of all praise!

Jesus holds the Name above every Name!

 

“And as I look to You every single day,

I know that You will continue to lead me in Your perfect Way.

 

“In Jesus’ perfect and matchless Name,

May You be praised Now, Forever, and Always,

 

“Amen!”

 

~Ephesians 3:14-21~

 

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Why “Bowling with Limes in the Morning”?

Copyright © 2017 by Michelle Lores

 

I bet you are wondering why I would choose to title my blog, “Bowling with Limes in the Morning”?  Well, like so many things, this blog starts out with a story…

 

One morning not too very long ago, during a difficult time for my family, I woke up in the morning, just like we do every morning.  The days had been hard, especially for my husband, as tragedy had recently struck.  But we were all holding onto God and each other, and God did some truly amazing things.

 

So where do the limes come in?  Well, I’ll tell you.  We had just started the morning, and I was opening the refrigerator, when out rolls a bag full of limes.  I’m telling you, they just dropped out of the refrigerator and spilled out–all of them–right onto the floor.  As I stood there, just staring down at them, only half-awake, I realized that I had two choices:  (1.) I could get upset or (2.) I could just laugh.  It was kind of funny!  So I chose to laugh and pick up the limes.

 

Someone asked me, “What are you doing, trying to bowl with limes?”  And we just all started laughing.  It was just what we needed to lighten the morning and start off on a good foot.  But if you think about it, it could have gone the other way just as easily if I had chosen to get upset.

 

My point?  It is just this:  Every day that we live life, we have a choice:  Will we despair or will we rejoice?  I want to live today rejoicing in my Savior Jesus Christ, and I want to live every day that way.  Am I always successful?  No.  I’m human.  But my goal still remains the same as I point my eyes heavenward toward my Hope, my Life, my Salvation, my Love, and my Eternal Home.

 

Will you join me on this journey to turn every moment of every day into a reason to rejoice?  You will never regret making the decision!

~

May Jesus be your Love,

And may His Holy Spirit be the One guiding us,

Forever on our way

Until that Beautiful day

When we meet Jesus face to face!

~

In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

~

Hebrews 13:15