Matthew 5:43-44 Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Matthew 19:19 Honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 22:37 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Luke 6:32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that you you? Even sinners love those who love them.
John 13:34-35 Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Romans 13:9 and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbor. therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Exodus 15:22-25 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?” Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.
The Desert Botanical Garden of Phoenix is 140 acres of more than 50,000 vibrant desert plants. I was in awe of the enormous Saguaro Cactus, whose blooms just happen to be the Arizona state flower. These cacti can grow to be over 40 feet tall. But, my favorite part of the Saguaro Cactus is its ribs. The ribs expand and contract in response to the amount of moisture it is storing, allowing it to survive in the desert for several months without rain. A large saguaro can store up to 6 tons of water, and can survive loosing 2/3 of its stored water. Shallow, wide spreading roots quickly draw up rainwater, even after a very short rain. Additional roots called “rain roots” grow within a few hours of a rainfall to capture even more moisture. It is a remarkable cactus. Nothing like anything we see in the Midwest.
God has equipped the Saguaro Cactus to withstand extreme climates of the desert. God equipped the Israelites with Moses as their leader to withstand extreme situations as they travel through the desert. God has equipped you with the Holy Spirit who will allow you to withstand any circumstance as you travel through life. Soak up the Word today for drought days in the future.
Acts 20:28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
What does church look like for you?
Who has been your shepherd?
How has the church impacted your life?
How have you impacted the lives of those who do church alongside you?
May the Holy Spirit be in you as you become the church to others.
Mark 12:41-44 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.”
The peasant widow gives from her scarcity. She is stretching herself, even denying herself because she realizes that the source of her provision is not the coins. Her source is God. She is confident that he will provide. Jesus sees her unselfish, faithful heart and knows her giving is more.
What is your source of provision? Is it the coins in your savings account, your job or processions, or is it Jesus?
Mark 7:5-8 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with unclean hands?” Jesus replied, ” ‘Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”
Spending time in the Word is time well spent. I am reading the Bible in chronological order this year with a group from church. The New Testament readings began in the chapter of Mark. Mark teaches how Jesus lived on earth as He walked along side ordinary people, doing extraordinary things. He instructs us to follow Him, not traditions designed by man. Jesus continues to walk among us every day, doing extraordinary things.
Listen to Him.
Learn from Him.
Follow His example.
Psalm 19:1-4 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
God is everywhere. Last week we visited our daughter in Scottsdale, Arizona. We took a day trip to Sedona. As we meandered down the road, Hannah said “Mom, do you see it?” And there it was! A simple yet elegant cross set in the red rock formations. It was breathtaking. He hiked up a steep hill to discover Chapel of the Holy Cross. The chapel was small, but the views were huge. They were something from out of this world. The hand of God was evident in that place.
Where have you seen God lately? Share your God sightings with the world!
Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Earlier this week we received the tragic news below about my cousin’s family. Please pray for healing that can only come from God as Brooke and Hendrik remain in the hospital. Pray for peace and love and strength for this beautiful family……..
Our family has been dealt a huge tragedy today. We received news this afternoon that Eric’s sister Brooke had been in an accident with their 3 children.
This is an unspeakable/unfathomable tragedy.
We lost our sweet nephew James(4) and sweet niece Natalie(2).
Brooke & baby Hendrik(3 months)are still fighting for their lives!
We need our prayer warriors to intercede:
-For Brooke & Hendrik as they are still fighting hard and for them to be fully restored.
-For the Lord to have his way…
-We also pray for (Dad/Husband) Christopher. He is going through so much.
-Pray for family that is traveling to get there and be with them.
-for each of us as we mourn the loss of James and Natalie.
-Pray for all of our hearts… this is so much to process and take in. It’s so very hard.
We are clinging to Psalm 23 – a scripture that James has memorized and has written on his heart at such a young age already! How amazing is that.
We are also wanting each of you to love hard!
Hug your family/friends/those you love! Life is so precious.
Cling to the cross!
It’s the only HOPE we have!