A Regular Custom

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I love my children, but I am sure glad I don’t have to offer a burnt offering for each of them, for their sins, like Job. A lot of what the ancient Israelites had to do seems cumbersome in light of the society we live in today. That is the beautiful love of Christ. He took care of our sins once and for all, past, present and future, on the Cross.

Now, that doesn’t mean we are to continue in sin simply because all our sins have been forgiven. There are still consequences for sin. One of the greatest consequences is broken fellowship with God. Nothing can ever separate a believer from the love of God, but our fellowship with him is interrupted by the sin in our life. Yet, God remains faithfully gracious. He gives us the gifts of confession and repentance, which restores our fellowship with Him. And, the Holy Spirit is always available to help us confess and repent.

But, what really stands out for me in Job 1:5, is the regular habit of Job’s burnt offerings on behalf of his children. Burnt offerings were a sacrifice. Job had to literally give up the animals he offered, this was a monetary sacrifice. He had to give up what was most likely a large amount of his time, (he had ten children!), yet Job regularly prayed for his children, which deepened his relationship with God.

Ah, and maybe this is one of the reasons bold, audacious prayers for our loved ones and the Bride of Christ never leave our lips, prayer deepens our relationship with God, prayer draws us into a more intimate relationship with God. And, it is there in that intimacy that God reveals our wandering heart to us and desires to heal us.

Encouraging you to make prayer a regular custom.

Shalom!

©2018TereseJMBelme/Hope forToday.

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The Man in the Circle

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Stand in a circle?! And pray?! That is exactly what Honi the Circle Maker did. He was an ancient Israelite scholar mentioned by Josephus in the book of “Jewish Antiquities.”

Honi drew a circle and stood in it and told God that he would not move until God provided the rain that had not come that winter. Honi prayed and God brought rain.

Rulers, scholars and religious types all thought Honi had a special relationship with God. Actually, what he had was prayer. He was so closely knit to God he knew the goodness of God’s character.

Honi wasn’t satisfied with just rain. Honi’s heart ached for the people of God. He not only desired the seasonal rain, he wanted God’s rain of favor, blessing and graciousness. Honi didn’t give up, he prayed consistent and persistent, big audacious prayers, that could only be answered by God. Then he waited in expectant anticipation for God’s answer.

Audaciously bold prayers our part of our inheritance in Jesus. You will never know unless you ask and when you ask let it come from a heart that has been steeped in the truth of God’s word and promises.

Boldly go where every man, woman and child ought to go…before the throne of God, drawing circles around your prayers.

Shalom!

©2018TereseJMBelme

 

Just be Held

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photo courtesy Pintrest.

I was scheduled to speak at a moms event at church, when I received a call from my child’s school counselor. As I stepped outside to take the call, she told me she was calling mom to mom; friend to friend. My child wasn’t in any danger nor was she in trouble, rather this was an informative call.

There was a storm brewing in our lives.

When I walked back into the event, “Just be Held” by Casting Crowns was playing. I DID NOT want to listen to this song. I sat in defiance with my arms and legs crossed, bouncing my leg up and down, up and down in anger and pain. I was upset with my friend, who was the ministry leader of the event, for choosing this song, but she was simply being obedient. I praise God now that she did choose this song, but for a very long time I couldn’t listen whenever this song was playing. 

With tears in my eyes, I was crying out to God, “Why are you allowing this?” The ‘this’ of that moment was nothing like the ‘this’ that was yet to come. The moment propelled our family into three years of a challenging struggle, that without our faith, could have destroyed us. It was a time of sifting, deliverance, and healing and the enemy took advantage, at every opportunity, to cause us to doubt Who God says he is.

I delivered my presentation and life went on. A few years later, I was cleaning up the files on my computer, and I came to my presentation. I was about to toss it in the garbage, when I very clearly heard the Holy Spirit speak to my heart, “Don’t do that.” I moved the cursor away from the garbage icon and dragged the document back to its original spot on my desktop.

This  morning as I sat and peacefully listened to “Just be Held,” I reflected back to the maelstrom of those years and the Holy Spirit showed me pictures of all the pieces He connected together. How He birthed His will in my life through those tumultuous years. How the presentation I almost threw away became my first ever published piece. 

Storms will rage around us but you have a choice. Just be held.

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held. Casting Crowns.

Shalom!

©2018TereseJMBelme

Shamless Audacity

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I’m reading the devotional, “Draw the Circle,” by Mark Betterson. Today’s reading is about prevailing in prayer according to Luke 11:8. As I was reading, I kept asking myself, “Does God’s word really say shameless audacity?” Sure enough, right there in the NIV translation….shameless audacity. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read this parable and those words have not stood out to me until today.

The Greek word is ἀναίδεια and literally means shamelessness as it relates to carrying out God’s plan with unembarrassed boldness, in dignity of faith. It is the faith-led believer who isn’t concerned with human fears even when they are being accused of being extreme or excessive. 

I want to live everyday in shameless audacity. So strongly connected to my Lord and Savior Jesus that I am the bold ambassador to His kingdom that he has called me to be. Throwing human fears to the pit because Jesus is my strong shelter and His banner over me and mine is love.

Shameless and dignified because of Jesus. Persistent in prayer and he will surely give you all that you need.

Shalom!

©2018TereseJMBelme

The Booty

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I just love God’s sense of humor! My verse this year is Isaiah 49:25. I was thanking God for returning the plunder the enemy has stolen throughout our ancestral lifetime and on a whim I looked up plunder in this verse and it literally means booty!

Isaiah 49:25 connects to my verse from 2017; Joel 2:25. Both verses are numbered 25. A coincidence? Maybe, but, then again, I don’t believe in coincidences. Last year God promised to restore everything the locusts had eaten. Believe me, I have held onto that verse for dear life! Now, he promises to retrieve the boo…er plunder the enemy has stolen!

Many, many times God will direct us to His promises in His word but we may not see them materialize in the physical right away. Sometimes we have to wait a really long time. PLEASE don’t give up! God is faithful, he can be nothing less. Faithfulness is His character.

Try this, move from praying about the promise He is giving you to thanking Him for producing His promise. This doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive His promises sooner than His perfect timing, BUT, you are praising and giving Him glory for something you haven’t even experienced yet. That is a faith booster!

May you always boldly approach His throne of grace.

Shalom!

©2018TereseJMBelme

Mizpah

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This beautiful verse jumped off the page at me and I knew I must share it. It was spoken out of tension between Laban and Jacob, as Jacob was obedient to God, who told him to go back to the home of his father.

Although Jacob was deceitful to Laban in the way he left to return to his father’s home, and Laban most likely wanted to harm Jacob, he instead extended the gracious words of Genesis 31:49. Some theorize that these words were actually a denunciation to Jacob for the way he treated Laban in parting, but only God could reveal it as a beautiful benediction.

With the sincerest of heart, I bid you mizpah!

Shalom!

©2018TereseJMBelme

 

Move that Mountain!

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When our oldest was younger she loved watching a certain show with the catchphrase, “Bus driver move that bus!”

This morning as I sat down to pray a song by Jeremy Camp came to mind, “Same Power.” As I listened the Holy Spirit highlighted this part of the lyrics, “The same power that moves mountains when He speaks.”

This same power, the Holy Spirit, lives in every person who calls Jesus Lord and Savior. Then, with His wonderful sense of humor, but in all seriousness, He spoke to my heart, call out to Me, “Holy Spirit move that mountain!”

If you’re struggling today and you don’t yet call Jesus your Lord and Savior, call out to Him and he will offer you the gift of eternity.

If you already know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, boldly call out to Him and say, “Holy Spirit move that mountain.” And, with childlike faith, keep asking because He is faithful to give according to His promises and His will.

We don’t have because we don’t ask. (James 4:3). Jesus is asking, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51). Do you believe?

Shalom!

©2018TereseJMBelme