Where or what do you turn to when you are sick and desperate for healing?
A funny question that might often be overlooked is: do doctors provide the healing for our sick bodies, or is it God who always heals?
Doctors can only make the effort; it is only God that heals.
However, many believers don’t prioritize God’s ability to heal them regardless of the nature of their sicknesses or diseases. Whether it is cancer, diabetes, kidney failure, or a disability, Jesus Christ can heal you. He can make you whole again because He’s bigger and greater than all sickness or disease.
In today’s devotion, we shall focus on how we can access the healing power of God by praying relevant healing prayers.
Prayer is a communication with God – a two-way process of asking and receiving through faith.
What Causes Sickness?
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16 (ESV)
In interpreting this Bible verse, many people are tempted to believe that God uses sickness to chasten His children whenever they sin against Him. In fact, some preachers corroborate this erroneous belief. But what is this Scripture actually talking about?
God doesn’t punish us by inflicting our lives with sickness when we miss the mark. He’s not a cruel Father. Romans 8:1 says “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. Condemnation most often in the bible means to cause suffering or severe punishment.
But, God may choose to use trials or sickness to “refine us into Gold” as it is written in Zechariah 13:9. So, we may not be punished by sickness or disabilities, but we may be refined into something greater by it.
This is something important to keep in mind. When we are sick, or when a loved one is sick, we know that God is sovereign over it all. We may not be able to clearly see His ways, but we can rest in the fact that God is doing work for His Kingdom. And when we come to this realization, it helps us to pray and ask the correct things of Him, to strive for healing and health.
This also will put our hearts in minds in the right place when something doesn’t go our way. We may pray for a loved one to be healed, and it may not happen. The most important thing we must remember is that the soul of the person is healed, and their heart is brought to life to live and love Jesus Christ. Their body might fail and fade away like dust, but it is the soul of the person we must pray is reborn into the kingdom of God.
God Wants Us to Fully Worship Him and Glorify Him – Pray for Healing so You May Worship Him Fully!
Remember that God wants us to be sober-minded (1 Peter 5:8-9). Not only sickness or disease, but poor nutrition, lack of exercise, environmental factors, etc. can have a negative impact on our health. These negative impacts can cause our brains to become clouded with anxiety, anger, and exhaustion, whether it is us who is in the trail or a loved one. But God does not want us to remain in this state, and we can pray for Him to heal us and remove our bodies from these distractions so we can be restored and worship Him fully.
We can pray the promises of God back to Him. This is a great technique because God will always keep his promises Deuteronomy 7:9. Here is a great book call the Bible Promise Book, which is loaded with scripture verses that you can pray back to God, using the power of His own word in prayer.
There are also several devotionals centered around trails and sickness that can help keep your mind right and centered on God during the tough times, like this one.
Faith is key to your healing
And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” Mark 5:34 (ESV)
When praying for healing, we must have faith that God has healed us already. It’s not by our righteousness. Our work may fail us; but faith in the Word of God will never fail. We pray in the Spirit and remind Him of those promises He’s made to us in the Scripture.
Psalm 107:19-20 says, “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.”
Our prayer must be fueled by faith in Christ. Faith enables us to access the abundant provision of God’s protection and preservation. The Great Physician hasn’t run out of His healing balm. And right here, where you are, God is able to deliver you from the stronghold of diseases and sicknesses.
If you need healing over a particular sickness or disease, pray this prayer:
I thank you for the life that I have in you. No volume of words can express how faithful you are to me. Father, thank you for every blessing I’ve received from you through our Lord Jesus Christ. Sweet Jesus, you know everything about me. You know how I’m feeling at the moment. You understand my pains and worries. And I strongly believe that you are able to fully heal and restore me to good health. Your Word says we should ask and we shall receive. Lord, I look up to you for my healing today. Heal me by your power. Deliver me from power of sickness. And restore strength to my spirit, soul and body, so I may be sober-minded and able to fully worship you.
Thank you God for your promises. It’s well with me in Jesus’ name.
Prayer of healing for friend or Family Member
God, the Great Physician,
I’ve come to your presence today over (mention the name of the person affected)’s health. I absolutely believe that you have the power to heal. You have healed so many, and Christ Jesus you know what it feels like to heal the sick, the dying, the diseased. I may not understand your ways, but I trust in your will and sovereignty. Lord I ask that you heal (name of the person), I ask that you restore him/her back to good health so they may glorify your name and worship you free from the distractions of affliction. Almighty Father, show your mercy to him/her today. Let your hand of healing descend on them and accelerate their recovery.
You know the feeling, right? You arrive at church, fully ready and raring to worship God through songs of praise. There’s anticipation of what He might reveal to you during that time of worship. There’s a desire to allow Him to press His truths further into your heart. It’s a feeling of excitement and joy!
Sometimes you might even turn on worship music in the morning to start your day off and prepare your heart for further worship. There is nothing like good music in the morning… there is just something about it, right?
The same can be true with our daily time with the Lord – an excitement and fresh desire for Him to have His way with our lives. It’s the feeling He’s designed us for – to find ultimate and total satisfaction in Him!
But you’ve probably also experienced moments (or seasons) when you just don’t feel like worshiping God. It might be due to external circumstances (packed schedule, health issues, etc.), or it might be due to whatever you’re wrestling with internally.
No matter what is causing the negative circumstance, it can feel impossible to want to worship the Lord in those times. At church, at home, wherever.
We Must Press on and Worship Him
The funny thing is… we are called to worship the Lord. We have a new nature to “sing to the Lord, and Declare his glory among the nations” (1 Chronicles 16:23-24). However, we have a lot of thoughts and distractions that try to keep us from doing this. Sometimes we have to make an effort to worship God, even in the midst of heavy circumstances, and we might be surprised at what follows!
God tells us that when we press on to know Him, or “acknowledge Him”, He will come to us “like the rain” (Hosea 6:3). The key in this verse is that as we “press on” God promises he will come to us, resulting in a deeper relationship with Him. This isn’t a zero-friction response – this is a response that is essentially saying, “God, I’m not necessarily in the ‘mood’ to worship You right now, but I choose to press on so that I may experience fullness in You.”
Bring Everything to Him
Jeremiah 29:13 tells us when we seek God with all of our hearts, we’ll find Him. Our heart may be full of bitterness towards a person or situation, or it may might be full of unconfessed sin, or of a lack of discipline in pursuing an active relationship with Him. But God’s not asking us to figure out that stuff before we worship Him – He wants us to bring it to His feet, lay it down, and surrender all of our doubts, fears, and issues to Him.
Discipline Yourself for Worship
Through self discipline, we can choose to worship God whether we feel like it or not because we know of the great reward we have in Him. Going through those motions is worth it because it’s not how much we feel like worshiping Him that matters, but in fact how worthy of worship He truly is. If I tell my heart to line up with His truths and will my body into a place where I’m worshiping Him (“pressing on”!), He will draw near to me and my heart will be satisfied by Him (John 6:35).
So don’t choose complacency when it comes to worshiping God even in the difficult circumstances. Pursue Him, lay everything at His feet, and allow Him to reveal Himself to you.
As a closing thought: One of the ways I keep myself oriented in a worshipful mindset is to keep worship music on throughout the day. And if I’m in need of focusing at a deeper level on prayer, reading, work, etc., I turn on instrumental versions of worship songs to keep those songs bouncing around my head (which are filled with God’s truth) while allowing me to maintain focus. It’s a great way to soak in His truth all day long!
Often time, we wake up with eagerness to check our emails and social media accounts for updates; and thereafter rush right into the day without committing our day into God’s hands. We’re constantly overwhelmed with the thought of how to convert our to-do to done. But we don’t consider it needful to spend time with our Maker… seek His presence and ask for His plans for the new day.
Many people might not yet understand the benefits, as well as the spiritual implication of starting off a new day with prayer.
Why is it important to create a habit of praying before anything else in the morning?
Today’s short devotion focuses on the benefits of Morning Prayer and the power that comes with it.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went to a desolate place, and there he prayed – Mark 1:35 (ESV)
This verse is preceded by an account of how our Lord Jesus Christ healed all kinds of terrible diseases. And forced out a lot of demons from those oppressed of the devil.
How is this relevant?
We will be more thankful
Morning Prayer is a great avenue to thank God for the victories and testimonies of the previous day. Of course, we know that God has been faithful to us, and we couldn’t have amounted to anything significant in life without His help. We can’t even thank God enough for sacrificing His Son, Jesus Christ for our salvation. He saved us from our sins and gave us a new life in Christ Jesus. Thus, we should always acknowledge this in our prayer.
We will learn direction for the tough decisions ahead
Morning Prayer is the time to get our faith refueled and find out the assignments that God is committing to our hands for the new day. In doing this, we trust God to enlighten the eyes of our hearts to know the hope to which He’s called us.
We will learn to lean on Him for knowledge
Combined with reading of the Scripture, Morning Prayer can dramatically enrich our spiritual, physical, mental and financial lives. God speaks to us through His word and often times we will be reminded of things we should be praying for right from the scriptures.
Be encouraged to start the day off in prayer.
Each time we consider God first on our to-do list, we’re simply telling Him that we’re nothing without Him. Thus, calling on Him to come and have his way in everything we’d be doing that day.
Therefore, every believer should make it a lifestyle to engage with the Holy Spirit as we begin our day. You’ll be amazed at how God will invigorate and transform your life for optimum productivity.
Learning to Obey our Lord with gladness and joy can be difficult.
We learn to obey and disobey from our childhood, through interactions with our parents, our teachers, our coaches, and so on… Unfortunately for all of us, we naturally lean towards disobeying!
Recently we have been even more intentional in the language we use when we discipline our two-year-old. Of course, I’ve always tried to use positive, “nice words” and as a former teacher, I thought I was doing pretty well. But after reading Shepherding A Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp, I realized the great importance of teaching my child to obey us.
I wholeheartedly recommend this parenting book if you want to parent according to the way God calls us to.
Learning to obey starts early
I thought it was okay to let things slide when my 2-year-old daughter would disobey. I learned though that when I allow my daughter to disobey, I am putting her in a dangerous position because God has commanded children to obey their parents. I also realized that I am building bad habits early on that will carry throughout her whole life, and someday may affect her relationship with Christ.
So, when she isn’t obeying right away, I say something along the lines of “You need to obey Mommy. What does God say? God tells you to obey.”
And as I just said this a couple of minutes ago and she came forward in obedience, I thought, “man I wish I had someone telling me to obey like this. I know God tells me to obey in certain situations and I don’t. I need someone following me around telling me to obey God.”
I’m not kidding, I really thought that.
Ok not this kind of following. Remember Brainy from hey Arnold!?
We do Have someone Helping Us Obey the Lord, The Holy Spirit!
Then immediately God convicted me and reminded me of this great truth: I do have someone helping me obey! The Holy Spirit does exactly that.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26).
The Holy Spirit is literally named the Helper. He helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26). And as John 14:26 tells us, the Spirit teaches us and reminds us of all that Jesus taught…including commandments. So not only will we remember them but by the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16) through Jesus Christ we can obey God’s commandments and not live by our flesh (Galatians 5:16). We don’t naturally have the desire to obey, just like my daughter doesn’t. But when we are born again, we are given a new nature (Ephesians 4:24; Ezekiel 36:26-27) and His commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3).
It’s amazing watching my daughter obey. She’s a two year old born into sin so I’m not trying to pretend that she does it right away or does this every time. But most times when I ask her what the Lord says about obeying me, she will obey. I will often say, “Do you love God?” And she will say, “yes.” And then I will say something like, “Well God tells you to obey Mommy.” And this usually results in obedience. It is the exact picture of John 14:15 and I can definitely learn from her.
Do We Trust on The Spirit to Help Us to Obey the Lord?
In John 16 Jesus tells us it is to our advantage that He goes away because then the Helper will come. Do we view the Holy Spirit in this way? I sometimes think about how amazing it would have been to walk around with Jesus, learning from Him. I also wonder if I would be doing certain behaviors if Jesus were in the same room with me. But my heart doesn’t fully grasp the beauty of the presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside me. It as if Jesus were in the room with me!
So, I do have someone around me at all times telling me to obey. The Holy Spirit guides us in truth (John 16:13), bringing God’s words (and commands) to our minds, and empowers us to obey. He is better than the Helper I was hoping for.
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).
It’s been over a month since celebrating Christ’s resurrection during Easter. Holy week is long over and we’ve returned to our normal routine. And as sad as it is to admit, I haven’t been celebrating the resurrection of Christ each day in the same manner I did on Easter morning.
I don’t know about you but every Easter morning I wake up extremely excited. I typically participate in some sort of reading preparation for this joyous holiday, whether it is reading each gospel account of the crucifixion and the events leading up to it or a written Easter devotional. Starting off each day celebrating the resurrection of Jesus with an Easter devotional is my personal favorite.
This means I’m reflecting on the meaning of Jesus’ sacrifice more intentionally all week. So by the time Easter morning arrives, I am so excited to read the resurrection story in each gospel book or finish whatever reading material I was reading to celebrate!!!
I wake up so very joyful!! I’m extra excited to go to church. I wear a special Easter outfit. I play a variety of worship songs in the morning that have to do with Christ raising from the dead. And I just can’t wait to celebrate the resurrection all day! I want to keep shouting “He is risen!” And want to share with everyone all that the resurrection means!!
….but I don’t wake up this excited about the resurrection every day.
Why don’t I wake up this excited every day? After all, we celebrate Easter because Christ really did raise from the dead…but this truth is meant to be celebrated every day! This true, miraculous event has literally changed our lives in every way. It is the most important thing to ever happen. And it’s meant to impact the way we think and live as the body of Christ.
Celebrating the Resurrection of Christ Every Day: 5 Helpful Ideas
Easter is the best holiday and it’s good to reflect on what happened. It’s good to read Easter devotionals and spend time reflecting on the whole story. But the reason for it and the outcome is meant to be meditated on and celebrated daily.
How can we have more of an “Easter morning mindset”every day? Here are a few ideas:
1. Begin the day reviewing God’s redemption story
Remind yourself of the five parts to the gospel story: creation (God created all things and everything was perfect), rebellion (sin entered and separated us from God), rescue through Jesus Christ (we need a Savior to take upon the wrath and penalty we deserve from our sin), restoration to God (and the new life full of blessings He’s given us only through Christ), and the return of Jesus! Take time to really reflect on each point. It’s hard to wake up grumpy or live defeated when you have the gospel at the forefront if your mind.
2. Personalize the gospel
Remember how you were before God changed your heart. Before believing in Christ we were:
dead (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13)
lost but HE sought us out (Ezekiel 34:11; Romans 3:11; John 6:44)
We were headed for destruction and would receive the just payment for our disobedience against God. But now we:
are alive in Christ and dead to sin (Colossians 2:13-14; Romans 6:1-14)
have no condemnation (Romans 8:1)
we have peace with God and are justified (Romans 5:1), redeemed and forgiven (Colossians 1:14; Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:9; Ephesians 4:32)
united with the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17), belong to the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), and a member of His body (1 Corinthians 12:27)
have access to God (Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:18) through our one mediator Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5)
His adopted children (Galatians 4:4-7, John 1:12; Ephesians 1:5) friends (John 15:14-15), ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), and saints (Ephesians 1:1)
free and victorious (1 Corinthians 15:57)
were darkness but now are light (Ephesians 5:8)
will spend eternity praising Him because our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20)
are called to spread the Gospel (Matthew 28:19-20)
*This is NOT an exhaustive list of our identity before or after Christ. Find much much more by reading your Bible!
3. Remember what the resurrection means
Christ’s resurrection changes everything. It shows that the payment HE bore for OUR sins was received by the Father. It proves that God is sovereign over all, defeating death, Satan, and sin forever. It reveals God’s heart…that He keeps His promises. Because of the resurrection, we can have a new, victorious life, completely justified, and lived through the power if the cross. And we will have new resurrected bodies as Christ did when the time comes. All of the above verses of our life after Christ are only possible because of the resurrection.
4. Begin the day with songs of praise
I love listening to Christian music. God uses it to encourage my soul as well as praise the Lord. However, not all praise songs are created equal. Too many contemporary Christian songs are all about us and not about God. Find biblical Christian artists and stick with them. For more reasons to listen to Christian songs, click here.
5. Celebrate all day!
Continually proclaim “Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!” This isn’t just an Easter phrase but a marvelous truth that is true every single day now and forever!!! If you’re celebrating all day, unbelievers are bound to notice your excitement. And it sure helps to put things in perspective…spilling your coffee, stepping in gum, running out of gas, being late for the 50th time, arguing with your spouse, etc. Are all more manageable when we remember life’s greatest truth!
I pray these five ideas will help you to celebrate the resurrection everyday by the power of the Holy Spirit all for His glory. It is truly worth celebrating everyday. Keep it constantly on your mind and build the habit of renewing your mind when you begin to get too distracted in life.
The best study bible you can find is one that helps you grow deeper in your love and readings of scripture. That is exactly what a study Bible was designed for!
The main difference between a normal bible and a study bible is that a study bible is equipped with side notes and commentaries that help you cross reference and understand the big picture of every verse as you read.
In our list below of the 12 best study bibles of 2019, we tried to find a variety of study bibles. Hopefully, there are some bibles on this list that you never knew existed and that can help you grow in your readings of scripture. Enjoy!
(1 of 12)
ESV Study Bible
The ESV Study Bible is one of the most traditional study bibles on our list, and it never fails to deliver. Reformed Bible teachers and scholars like John Piper, Mark Driscoll, R. Albert Mohler Jr., and R. Kent Hughes have endorsed and supported this bible since its release in 2008. In March 2009, the ESV Study Bible became the first Bible ever to win the Christian Book of the Year Award by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).
CSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students, Hardcover
The CSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students an awesome tool for young adults, students, and people who are new to the faith. This study bible is loaded with truths of Scripture and equipping with thoughtful and practical responses when the core issues of faith and life are challenged. There are so many questions asked about scripture today, and this bible was created to help you answer them. This revised and updated edition includes new articles and extensive apologetics study material from today’s most popular youth leaders and apologists to reflect relevant apologetics issues and questions being discussed today. This is a truly unique Bible created to encourage students to ask tough questions, get straight answers, and strengthen their faith.
The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible is a fantastic tool to help you grow deeper in your knowledge of scripture. For those of you who are looking to take your studies to the next level, this study bible is for you. This study bible pulls apart the keywords of scripture and looks at their original Hebrew and Greek meanings. It then explains what the original Hebrew/Greek words mean and how they are typically used in their original languages. For those of you who are not sure what the most accurate translation of scripture is, this book may be perfect for you. As the reader, you will be able to dive deep into the scripture and pick apart the original translations and see how they apply to our texts today.
Another awesome tool to help you grow deeper in your studies of the scripture is the Classic Comparative Parallel Bible. Much like the Hebrew-Greek Key Word study bible we just looked at above, this study Bible helps you understand the original meanings and translations of scripture. This bible, however, helps us understand the scripture by comparing the different translations with one another. This study bible is one of the best tools to bring to Bible studies where most people bring different translations of scripture. Maybe you can be the one to help them understand how they all perfectly explain the Glory of God?
All of the scripture contains the redemptive story of Christ Jesus. The ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible is a tool that helps us see Christ throughout the whole bible. This Bible comes equipped with a context that explains passage-by-passage how God’s redemptive purposes in the gospel apply to the lives of believers today.
Our beliefs should always be rooted in God’s word. The goal of the ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible is to help you understand where the core beliefs of Christianity come from today. There are so many different denominations, traditions, and beliefs circling the word “Christian”, and they cannot all be right. This bible was created to help readers understand how scripture forms the basis for our understanding of God, humanity, sin, salvation, and eternity. This is an awesome tool that may help you decide which church is the best for you; a church rooted in God’s word and dedicated to staying true to the scriptures.
The ESV Student Study Bible was written for students who are serious about God’s word and are dedicated to learning more about what the Bible teaches and how it can be applied to everyday life. This study bible is loaded with 12,000 study notes, about 900 “did you know” facts, 120 Bible character profiles, 80,000 cross-references, and 15 topical articles. This study bible also has a keyword glossary designed to help students better understand some of the key phrases of scripture.
What kind of women devotional site would we be if we didn’t include a study bible applicable to women on our list? The Women’s Devotional Bible is rich in theology while remaining extremely practical for life application. This bible has features and content written specifically for women, along with daily devotionals to help you go deeper into each book of the bible. The commentary of this study bible was written by both men and women including professors, musicians, authors, counselors, homemakers, and conference speakers.
The NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible is loaded with full-color imagery and over 700 illustrations, photos, infographics, and maps that visually represent key Bible information. But that is not all, this study bible also features important facts and notes on key features of the Bible. This may be a kids study bible, but it may even be beneficial for anyone who learns visually. Color and images help our brains retain more information than just text alone. This study bible is crucial for kids to help them retain the information and apply it to everyday life.
The #1 selling bible of today is the Life Application Study Bible, and maybe for a good reason. This study bible looks at the passages of scripture and helps us personally apply them to your circumstances of life. It does this by answering real-life questions, providing almost 10,000 life application notes, and features designed to help you apply God’s truth to daily life. This bible is the perfect gift for a new Christian who might not know how the Bible applies to their life.
The NIV Journal the Word Bible for Women is a unique study bible. This study bible guides you through the passages of scripture and provides relevant reflections. What is so powerful about this study bible is the ability the reader has to reflect on every page they read and help them retain the information. This study bible is a great tool for learning and memorizing scripture. You can read the reflections first, then the scripture, or vise versa; whatever helps you as the reader grow deeper in your studies.
The NIV Foundation Study Bible provides easy to use features, notes, and commentaries designed to help you learn the scriptures. This classic study bible comes equipped with the worlds most popular Bible translation, the NIV. If you are not sure what kind of study bible to buy, this study bible may the right one for you. It is as close to a normal study bible as possible but provides great cross-references and commentaries at the bottom of the pages for the readers to understand each verse and treasure their understandings.
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:2-3
Is Your Thirst For Daily Bread Like That of a Child’s Thirst For Milk?
I’m very blessed to be able to breastfeed my children. I breastfed my first for 14 months, pushing as long as I possibly could (even through biting and intense pain) until I was absolutely sure my body had stopped producing due to my second pregnancy. And this second child of mine eats A LOT… so I’ve breastfed enough times to observe several things about breastfeeding…at least with my own kids.
It’s an amazing process that our God designed. Now I know there are intense debates surrounding this topic so I am not shaming any woman who physically cannot or does not breastfeed for whatever reason.
I think one thing we can all agree on is that a newborn’s thirst for food is intense! One minute they are sound asleep, and the next they are screaming their brains out as if you have never fed them before. In fact, my husband often jokes about this and says to me “are you going to feed the baby, he is starving to death!”.
Our relationship with the Father and our thirst for daily bread through His Word and prayer should be like that of a child drinking his milk. Here are 3 actions I have observed my son does that I think we should apply when we hunger for the daily bread of life.
1. He longs for his milk.
“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk,” 1 Peter 2:2
Do you long for the pure spiritual milk (daily bread)? My son is so hungry for my milk. He craves it and his frustration quickly escalates when he is not fed quickly. But as soon as he is in position to eat and begins the process, he instantly relaxes. It’s not just the milk he enjoys but being close to me, having (semi) alone time with me, and feeling my embrace.
Are we like that? Do we crave to be in God’s presence? Do we long for it, thinking about the next time we can spend quiet time with God? Do you become frustrated when you aren’t able to be in His Word or do you shrug it off thinking you’ll just find time to read tomorrow?
2. He fills himself up.
“…that by it you may grow up into salvation…” 1 Peter 2:2
My son’s a big boy. He was born at 8lbs 6oz, returned to his birth weight within two days of being home, and then gained about a pound a week for a little bit. He was 14 lbs at his 2-month appointment and was already wearing 6-month clothes.
Now at 4 months, he is already 17 pounds. Needless to say, it is obvious to all that he likes to eat. Almost everyone that sees him says he’s a big boy or makes a joke that he doesn’t really like to eat, does he? Someone even said when he was 2 months that it looked like he ate a 2-month-old!
Are we well-fed like this? Are we learning and growing more each week? Do we fill our bodies, minds, and spirits full of daily bread? Is it apparent to all when they see us that we are becoming more like Christ, radiating His light? Or do our actions show that we are actually starving because we’re not feeding from His Word enough?
1 Peter 2:2 says that the pure spiritual milk will grow us up into salvation. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and faithful reading of His Word, it should be so obvious to all that we are not only lovers of Christ but are well-fed with biblical knowledge. For how can we grow up if we are not feeding ourselves daily with bread? My son will not continue to grow if I stop feeding him, and neither will we if we starve ourselves from time with God.
3. He savors every moment with me.
“If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:3
My son savors his feeding. Since his older sister is still under two, my attention is divided and a lot of times he is the one who is lacking enough of it. So he knows his feeding time is a special time with Mommy. His posture and expressions indicate how much he enjoys his feeding. When he’s finished, he appears relaxed and at peace. He sometimes falls asleep and sometimes looks at me with his big brown eyes, both showing how much trust he has with me. It’s really a beautiful interaction. I provide (by God’s gracious blessing) what he needs, he takes it in, enjoys it, and enjoys me. He looks at me with such affection and admiration.
Are we savoring every moment we spend with the Lord? Do you enjoy the actual words God has written? His story, blessings, sovereignty, generosity, and loving kindness is truly incredible. When we spend time with Him filling our spirits with His daily bread, we will feel the way my son does…relaxed and loved. We will feel at peace and leave our quiet time with a satisfied heart as my son does a satisfied tummy.
Jesus taught this too.
In fact, the prayer that Jesus used to teach us how to pray includes the very words “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6-9-13).
Some other verses eluding to filling yourselves with spiritual food are:
John 4:14 “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 6:55-59 “For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.”
Here are several things my baby boy does NOT do that we sometimes do when reading the Word:
1. He does not eat real fast so he can check it off the list.
2. He does not spend his day doing other things all the while knowing he should eat and then do it for 10 minutes total at the end of the day.
I’m not saying we can’t read our Bible at the end of the day. But if we think about how many minutes a day we’re given and how much we need the Lord throughout the day, it’s a shame if we wait ONLY until the day is over to be fed and then give ourselves a snack. We need our daily bread.
3. He can’t seem to get enough. He always wants more.
I pray we crave for God the way my son craves to be fed. That we would not accept silly replacements, such as time on social media, TV, etc. when we’re hungry for His Word. I pray that it will be obvious to all that we are followers of Christ, not for our own sake, but to fulfill Matthew 5:16. And I pray that we would indeed know that goodness of the Lord and tasted how good He is (Psalm 34:8).
Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
I’ve recently been struggling with showing enough affection to each of my children. I have a 3 month old and a 22 month old, so life is busy and my attention is definitely split. This morning was especially difficult because my baby woke up super excited! He was kicking, smiling, cooing, and just oh so happy! Of course I wanted to show him love, talk with him, and listen to what he had to say.
But then nearby was my beautiful firstborn, who is still getting used to sharing me. She was asking me to play with her, which she actually doesn’t do often so I wanted to be with her at the time she asked.
I had to share my time and in the end, one had to be patient and try to understand. I wish that I could give both all the attention they crave. They’re both very content, relaxed children who can play independently. But that doesn’t mean they never want my attention so what do I do when they both want it at the same time?
Thankfully, our heavenly Father doesn’t have this problem.
He can work in our lives, listen to our prayers, answer our prayers, and show love to all His children at once. Think about how wonderful that is! We never have to wait in line, share our time with Him, or wonder if He’s too busy! He is always with us!
How do I know this to be true?
Matthew 28:20– “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Deuteronomy 31:6– “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Psalm 139:7– “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? ”
Jeremiah 23:23-24– ““Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.”
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Zephaniah 3:17– “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
And now because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, those of us in Christ have the Holy Spirit living inside of us!
1 Corinthians 3:16 – “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
John 14:16-17– “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
He’s Never Too Busy
He is never too busy for us. I just love this truth because all we know in this life is busyness. Even the most loving person we know can’t always be there for us. But God is always with us. He is all-powerful (omnipotent), all-knowing (omniscient), and everywhere (omnipresent). He is sovereign over all and nothing is too hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:17).
That is not to say that everything is all about us because it is absolutely all about Him. He created us for His glory (Isaiah 43:7). But when we call upon Him by His grace, He’s there for us. Praise be to God!
Every believer has their own unique, magnificent story on how they were saved by Christ.
The story is referred to as our testimony.
Sharing our testimony not only to friends and family but to unbelievers IS A MUST! We should never be silent about the things God has done and is doing in our lives. There is such power in our testimony. NEVER be ashamed, but acknowledge what the Lord has done in your life to all the nations!
So what is our Testimony and why should we Share it?
Your testimony is your individualized story of how Jesus drew you out of sin and darkness and raised you into life in Him. Your testimony should always start with your life before Christ, revealing the necessity for Him. It needs to be honest and should give examples of what you were like. What did you spend your time doing? What did you look forward to? What did you find your identity in? What did you feel you could not live without? How did you live and how did you treat others? How did you view God? What did you believe?
It then should shift into how Jesus saved you. This should completely give God all the glory because it was Him who opened your eyes. Was it a sermon, was it a church camp, was it a believer sharing their testimony to you? Did someone invite you to church or did God work through a low point in your life?
Finally, your testimony should contain what your life is like after you have been saved by grace. Again, all the glory to God because He is the one who changed you. What is different about your life now that can clearly be seen? What desires are different? How do you view God now? What matters now? What is God teaching you?
We need to share our testimony because it glorifies the Father to do so! And God uses our stories to bring others to know Him.
What does the Bible say about sharing your testimony? Here are a few verses:
Mark 5:19 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.”
Psalm 22:22 “I will praise you to all my brothers; I will stand up before the congregation and testify of the wonderful things you have done.”
Psalm 66:16 “Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me.”
Daniel 4:2 “I want you all to know about the miraculous signs and wonders the Most High God has performed for me.”
Matthew 10:32 “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.”
Galatians 6:14 “But may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world!”
Your Testimony is Not About You.
It is clear in Scripture that we are not to boast about ourselves or any accomplishments we have done. Look at the few verses above, we can see the consistent theme… He has been merciful, He has done, He did for me, He has performed for me, He will acknowledge.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Ephesians 2:8-9 which says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Be careful of which words you choose to use when sharing your testimony.
Some of the most common sayings we often hear from believers are sadly all about us. Sayings like, “I accepted Jesus into my heart”, “When I chose Jesus”, “When I let Jesus in”, “When I turned from sin and turned to Jesus”, “When I started to walk with Jesus”.
Can you see how easily we can distort how the scripture says, He, He, He, and make it all about, I, I, I…
Your Testimony Should Always Contain The Gospel Message
Your testimony is so powerful, and it is unique to you alone!
How amazing is it that every single one of us has our own special story of how God rescued us?
To really grow your testimony and increase its effectiveness, you must have a clear understanding of how your testimony fits into the gospel message.
So what is the Gospel? Here is a super fast overview.
God is good
God is just and He loves Justice (Isaiah 61:8), God is Holy (1 Samuel 2:2), God is righteous and perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4), God never changes, never lies, never changes his mind (Numbers 23:19).
2. We are not good
We are not righteous (Ecclesiastes 7:20), we are wicked (Genesis 6:5), we do not seek after God (Romans 3:9-19), we desire things opposite of the Spirit (Galatians 5:17), we all sin (Romans 3:23).
3. The penalty for being “not good”, and our desperate need for a savior
The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2), God will destroy sin (Exodus 33:3)
4. Jesus satisfies Gods payment for sin
To fully satisfy Gods wrath and His perfect justice, the world needed a savior who was worthy. God sent His only son Jesus Christ (John 3:16), who lived a perfect life free of sin (1 Peter 2:22), to become sin on our behalf (2 Corinthians 5:21), and become the final sacrifice once and for all (John 19:28-30).
5. Jesus was raised to life, conquering death!
Jesus rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:4), Jesus has authority over death (Revelation 1:17-18)
6. We can now live a life free from sin and empowered by the Spirit if we are born again.
Jesus will set you free from sin (John 8:36), by believing in Him may we truly live (John 11:25), hoping in Him gives us strength (Isaiah 40:31), we must be born again to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).
So how should our testimony be “formatted” so it contains the Gospel message? It is quite simple, just follow these couple questions.
Who were you before Christ? How did you come to know Jesus? How does your life look different now that you know Jesus?
If we follow these three questions when sharing the gospel, we can be sure to hit on every point of the gospel, and give glory to God and not ourselves.
Hope you were encouraged to get out there and share all the wonderful things God has done in your life! Do not be afraid, and don’t worry about being perfect. He is perfect for us. He will use the seeds you plant according to his perfect plan. Even if you don’t follow these guidelines God will still use you for His kingdom!
In this post, we are featuring a powerful testimony from Compassionate Hearts For Kids. This is a true example of God using a heartbreaking situation in one family to reach others for His glory. We pray their story encourages you to have compassion and love for children in need, just as Jesus Christ did. And we ask that you follow God’s lead in joining this organization.
Caden Project Testimony
Our story unfolds over 10 years ago when we had our first son, Caleb, in 2006. We were happy and excited to welcome our first child and had so many hopes and dreams for him and us as a family.
Our dreams came to a screeching halt and our world was forever changed when at 3 weeks old he became very sick. As the doctors frantically tried to figure out what was wrong with him, it seemed like everything around us was spiraling downwards.
They broke the news to us that he had a very aggressive genetic immune disorder that required a bone marrow transplant to survive which he had in 2008 at the age of 18 months old. To complicate things more, he had a stroke and sustained a brain injury during his treatment process that caused him to start having seizures.
We felt we were in a nightmare that we couldn’t escape. Our faith was tested like never before. I road the typical emotional roller coaster of being mad at God to being sad at our situation to completing cutting people off and not wanting to be around anyone who had a“typical” life. I would get jealous of other people who had healthy children.
About 4 years after Caleb’s transplant we decided we wanted to have more kids. We were past the shock of everything and ready to move forward with our lives. We then had our second son, Caden, in 2012 and when he turned 6 weeks old he became very sick and we were yet again devastated with the news he too had the same disease and would also need a bone marrow transplant to survive. To say we were devastated is an understatement. To go through it once was shocking enough but twice was unbelievable!
Caden went through his bone marrow transplant in 2013 at the age of 15 months old. While he was there a close family friend gave him a teddy bear to comfort him and give him a “friend”. We had no idea what that small act of kindness would lead to or what God had planned to do! He completely took a situation that Satan intended for evil and he turned it into good hence Romans 8:28. We had no idea the path we were about to embark on!
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”. The reason I mention this verse is that we are living proof of this verse which is what I want to share now.”
When Caden received that bear and we saw what it did for him we decided to start a non-profit organization called Compassionate Hearts For Kids that we started back in 2013 shortly after his transplant.
Being in the hospital with both boys and seeing what these kids and families went through has given us this immense compassion and love towards others. We decided to launch our first outreach called The Caden Project where we travel around to different children’s hospitals and give our own “Caden” teddy bears to sick kids. The reaction we get not only from the kids but the parents are priceless! It’s the small act of kindness that we display through giving them a teddy bear and showing that we care that means the world to them.
Then at the beginning of this year we launched a children’s book called “A Bear Finds His Purpose” that shares the true story about what we do but also has a meaningful teachable message that can be shared with children about how they can do small things to help others and make a difference in someone else’s life. We call it The Caden Project Challenge and we hope it sparks a “pay it forward” or “ripple effect” in people’s lives. Our book comes with it’s very own miniature “Caden” teddy bear and a reusable tote bag. The proceeds from this book/bear combo are helping us expand and reach more kids!
To learn more about us go to our website below. Also, follow us on Facebook and YouTube to see what we are up to!
We are excited to announce we just won the gold award for the Mom’s Choice Awards and the Community Giving Award for the NAPPA Awards! You can get your own copy of “A Bear Finds His Purpose” and help spark The Caden Project Challenge with your own kids!
I hope our story has inspired you that no matter what you might have gone through or are currently going through, God can take any situation and use it for good to help other people. We are living proof of that. We have had immense heartache with watching both of our boys go through what they’ve gone through but the joy we are receiving by blessing others is priceless!