Friday, March 27, 2015

Live Like That: Through the Eyes of Grace

There’s a dim light shining from the kitchen into the living room. I watch my husband breathe through his Bi-PAP machine mask with his legs sprawled out like a frog ready to jump into action.  He can’t get comfortable.

Hoping to be of help, I grab the MSM cream from the bathroom, return to the living room and prepare to massage his swollen legs.  An hour and a half later he seemed to have fallen asleep with some relief. 

As I rubbed his lower legs and feet, I found myself feeling grateful for the grace (favor) and mercy that my husband has shown me over the years. 

He cares for me like a mother hen - literally, even preparing 99% of the meals.  Being able to smear a little lotion on his aching body for a few hours a night seems very little compared to this daily favor he shows me. 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFBNairobi, Kenya; Kathmandu, Nepal; Benalmadena, Andalucia, Spain; Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu and Bangalore, Karnataka, India; Trinidad and Tobago; Morocco; Ghana; Lebanon; Thailand; Mauritius; Guyana; Vietnam; Gambia; Austria; Uganda; Peru; Japan; Yemen; Algeria; Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Nigeria; Damascus, Syria; Pakistan; Bhutan; Indonesia; Kenya; Sri Lanka.
USA Atlanta, GA; Indianapolis, IN; Bridgeton, NJ; Jamestown, NY; Harlingen and Lubbock, TX; Madisonville, TN; Brunswick, GA; Birmingham, AL; Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, FL.
Thank you for your continued support and sharing Believing Our Belief on Daily Favor.  (DFB - Daily Favor Blog)
You are welcome to leave comments or prayer requests below.  All are private. I would love to hear from you and how Daily Favor has worked in your life.  Contact me by leaving a message in the box at the bottom of this week’s post.

Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).
Read Messages, updates and visit the Q & A or other sections.


It only took a moment … 

At 2:30 in the morning I quietly got up from the hassock to go wash my hands from the MSM ointment like the directions suggests.  Not five minutes later I re-entered the LR to find that my husband had already taken off the apparatus like he does almost every night in his sleep. 

With my hands on my hips I asked him, “What are you doing?"  He began to laugh and tried to talk his way out of why he removed the mask.  I sat down beside him to see what he was going to do next being half asleep.  Within a minute he dozed off to sleep with the gear in his hand. 

You’ve Been Poked 

Realizing how much the mask hurts his nose (I could have said face, but I won’t go there), I sat in the dark watching him.  It got really quiet, so I knew he had stopped breathing for a few seconds. 
 
To get him to move without startling him I did something any good wife would do, I poked him (and I don't mean the Facebook kind, even though I got the face part right). 

Now you might think I did that with my hand or finger, but no, the moment of opportunity was too much to resist. 
 
Could I say it was a brief time of temptation?  I suppose, but I’d like to think of it as bucking up to the call of duty. 

Hubby’s chin began to drop and his mouth opened wide.  Trying not to laugh I looked for something to poke him with … found it!  A two foot, 1/4 inch round red plastic handled sticking device would suit nicely.  Taking the rounded end I gently touched his mouth trying to get him to stir.  Nothing … 

Poke, poke, poke … still no movement.  Placing the tip inside his mouth I swirled it around his lips like a stirrer, bopping it on his tongue. While in unbelief that I’m doing this I burst into laughter, but he still didn’t awaken.

You might even say what I was doing was scripture based since he is a child of God’s, and as I was merely trying to get him to breathe …  

“You are fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured upon Your lips, therefore God has blessed You forever.”  (Psalm 45:2 NKJV)

(OK, not really, that would be taking this verse out of context.) 

Tapping his cheek, ear and the outside of his lips with the stick, he remained unstirred.  Finally, I had to give him a whack on the leg with my hand to get him to move.  Brushing his hands across his face he turned and looked at me.  Quickly, I hid the poking utensil like I was the magician David Copperfield. 

Now if you never did anything like this obviously you’ve never been to summer camp or grew up with seven siblings! Don't judge me, even Andy put lipstick on Barney when he was sleeping.

Smiling as an innocent child, I asked him if he was going to put that thing on so he could sleep safely.  I got my answer when he got up and read a book! 

I Want to Live Like That – Grace Because 

Come on, don’t think I’m some sort of deranged or mean person, I learned all this behavior from my husband’s creative antics that he has lavished on unsuspecting citizens of Heaven (only he’s much better at it than I am). 

The only difference is that he won’t know what I did until he reads this post. (Right now you can say a little prayer for me!)

Gods grace: a reason to love.
When I was asking the Lord what He wanted me to share this week, not much came to mind except the overwhelming thankfulness of the grace I’ve received even when undeserved.   

Jesus knows that we’re not always going to get things right, but His grace, mercy and favor still remain because of one thing … His love. 
 
It’s love I find in many believers that, like my hubby, forgives me for the wrongs (or mischievous behavior) I do, no matter the reason.
 
This kind of love causes me to want to live like that; a life that always disperses grace. 

Remembering Grace 

The word “grace” is mentioned in the Bible almost 150 times in several aspects or contexts of the phrase or act.  Every person ever born will have received the grace of God in their lives whether they realize it or not. 

When I was reading my devotions this week I thought about all the people who received the grace of God during the life work of Jesus while here on earth.  People were filled with joy due to the grace that was shown them in healing, restoring finances, relationships and more. 

“And the Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, (He is) full of grace and truth. 

… and of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.” (John 1:14,16 NKJV) 

Yet many of those people forgot about the grace of God as noted in the Bible. Tracing from the time spanning between the triumphal entry to the crucifixion of Jesus, the heart of mankind changed. 

How long does it take you to forget when someone has shown you grace or mercy?  One week, one day, one hour? 

Thankfully God’s grace is mine, because of the cross Jesus died on for my sins.  When we remember that we have been given the gift of grace through salvation by believing in Jesus Christ, living examples of grace should be what others see and receive from us.
 

“For by grace you (we) have been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God,
not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

 
This Week’s Challenge:
Remember Grace 

For many who believe in Jesus Christ as the risen Son of God, the next seven days starting with Palm Sunday, are referred to as Holy Week.  As we prepare for Resurrection Sunday celebrations, I’d like us to remember the grace of God that is ours because of the work of the cross. 

Is there evidence that we’ve been changed by saving grace?  Grace can change a heart if we live like God’s love is for real.  We want to be like and show Jesus to the “least of these", as we live out God’s grace so that everything we do points to the cross.
The Grace Challenge
When your children get into mischief, don’t blow it out of proportion, but show them grace. 
 
If your co-worker, boss, friend or spouse seems unruly or unfair, remember grace. 
 
While standing in line at the bank, check-out or deli, remember grace while being patient.   

No one needs to be pinned to the cross ever again for a sin they’ve committed. Jesus already took care of it, so we can live by and through the eyes of His grace. 

We can show the world that grace through love can be theirs too. Let this week be the start of your believing in the grace of God for whatever sins you’ve committed in the past. 
Believe you are forgiven by grace, and live like that. 

P.S.  Just to let you know …
To be fair I let my husband (aka “his grace”) read this before publishing, while I took refuge in the kitchen. It didn’t help.  He immediately came after me in a somewhat voice of rebuke,
“No wonder I can’t get any sleep. You did that?”
 Timidly I replied, “Only twice and not on the same night!”

Once more receiving remarkable unmerited grace and favor, he smiled and asked, “What do you want for dinner?” 
 

Live Like That - Sidewalk Prophets

Amazing Grace (My chains are gone) - Instrumental with lyrics

 
Until next time, favor someone with grace.
 

Check Messages throughout the week.
 

“The gift of grace is My favor on you.”
Jesus Christ

 
What’s New This Week: Click on book or link.
http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?event=AFF&p=1167566&item_no=20881
Available in eBook format.
 
By John Ortberg, Laurie Pederson, Judson Poling
 


Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Poke  God's Grace  Grace Challenge
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Honestly, What Do You Believe?

“That’s not the way I prayed,” was a phrase I said to God when something didn’t turn out the way I thought it should.  Unfortunately, this isn't the first time I've had this conversation with the Lord.

Last week our challenge was to stay in continual rejoicing over what God has done and is doing in our lives.  When life lessons come into play though, it’s sometimes difficult to keep such a joyful attitude. 

During those situations we can be sure the world is watching what we will do to stay in faith.  They’re looking at us for strength and hope.  They’re wondering, do we really believe? 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFBBerkhamsted, England, UK; Milan, Lombardia, Italy; Sevastopol, Ukraine; Zambia; Vietnam; Karachi, Sindh and Islamabad, Pakistan;  Taipei, Taiwan; Cape Town, West Cape, South Africa; Rabat, El Kelaa des Srarhna, Morocco; Guyana;  Singapore; Sierra Leone; Bulgaria.
USA Estero, FL, Salem, OR, Utica, NY; Eucha, OK; Kabetogama. MN; Haddon Heights and Clayton, NJ; Richardson, TX; Salt Lake City, Utah.
Thank you for your continued support and sharing Believing Our Belief on Daily Favor.  (DFB - Daily Favor Blog)
You are welcome to leave comments or prayer requests below.  All are private. I would love to hear from you and how Daily Favor has worked in your life.  Contact me by leaving a message in the box at the bottom of this week’s post.
 

Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).
Read Messages, updates and visit the Q & A or other sections.


Psalms Manifested
To say that this has been a demanding week would be an understatement.  As soon as the “rejoice”challenge was put out there I knew we were about to go into battle.
My husband was faithfully singing the rejoice song every day and he was looking forward to what the Lord was going to do this week.  Then came the test. 
By now those who have been following Daily Favor know that with completely trusting God, tests and trials are a part of receiving blessings and favor from the Lord.  It’s a “no brainer” as some would put it.
On Monday the car broke down. Tuesday and Wednesday hubby had difficulty sleeping due to pain, so the house was at unrest most of those nights. (It’s part of the side effects from the medicines.)
When it came time to pick up the car on Thursday it broke down again, and again and again … ugh.  Besides the car klunking out, it also needed brakes.  The brake shoes were shot and the rotors were metal to metal.  Mr. Goodall (the mechanic) asked my husband how he could even drive the car.  He didn’t know the brakes were “that” bad. His response, “It was God keeping me safe.”
Psalm 91 was manifested once more with us resting in the shelter of the Almighty.
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.
Because he (any believer) has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.  He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.  With long life will I satisfy him, and show him My salvation.” (from Psalm 91)

Rebuttal
“God you know that I believe You will work this out, but …”  My not so subtle interrogation seemed justified in my thinking. 
I tried to talk my way out of it in confessing, “I’m not questioning You Heavenly Father, but how is this situation pleasing to You?  How does it look as a believer to have these problems keep arising?  This isn’t what I prayed would happen.”
In my conversation I thanked God that the car broke down across the street from our house and that my husband was able to get it started to take it to the mechanic. 
Proceeding in my thanks, I was grateful the bill wasn’t outrageous, and that someone gave us use of their vehicle while ours was being repaired so we didn’t need to rent one.  More thanks were given for God letting our friend be in town to drive us to the auto garage, and that the mechanic was in the car when it broke down a second time.  Are you seeing a pattern here?
When talking to God about my gratitude it became obvious that He was working things out all the time, but in a way others could see His hand on the situation.  He was blessing us while I was waiting on His favor.

Honestly, What Do You Believe?
The first thing our flesh wanted to do when the car issue came up was to panic, which would have caused us to walk in unbelief that God really does care what happens to us.  If we gave into feelings of desperation or fear we would have played right into the devil’s scheme.
However, leaning back on the promises of God it took me to this verse in Proverbs that I read last week.  I wrote it down in my journal not knowing I would need it this week, proving God is always ahead of us and knows our future.

“To do evil is like sport to a fool, but a man of understanding has wisdom.  The fear of the wicked will come upon him, and the desire of the righteous will be granted.” (Proverbs 10:23-24 NKJV)

Not believing God, is really evil thinking because it is calling God a liar. It shows lack of understanding of Who He is and how He keeps His word.  Believing God’s promise to take care of my needs (Philippians 4:19) demonstrated wisdom in operation, therefore my desires will be granted.
Along this part of the journey God put unbelievers in our path, so they could see how the Lord works in the heart of a man to show favor on His behalf.  Although the situation still isn’t completely remedied, this is what I heard God speak to my spirit, “I’m not done yet.”

“A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but a man of wicked intentions He will condemn." (Proverbs 12:2 NKJV)

He does this every single time!
What's funnier, I don't make him
get off & work around his arms!
Knowing the Lord is faithful helped us to keep singing, laughing and praising even through it looked like there was nothing to rejoice over at the moment.
We found joy in the first blossoms of spring, the rain, funny things cats do all the time, and belly laughed at some of the dumbest stuff just because we were overly tired.
To others we seem a bit strange or peculiar.  That’s OK, we like peculiar as it fulfills scripture in the life of a Christian.
We believe God is good, all the time.  He said a “good” (referring to a righteous person, not one that does good deeds) man receives, obtains favor from Him, so we will. Therefore, God will work this out for our good, wait and see.

Your Belief is Showing
Maybe you’re like millions of people who believe in God, the life of Jesus including His crucifixion and resurrection.  You even believe in Heaven and salvation. That’s not where your problem with the Bible is, but it lies in your believing what’s between the pages of the Holy Book when it applies to you personally.
 
It’s not enough to merely say we believe God and the Bible.  Our actions will prove to others what we really do believe. If we come unraveled at every test or opportunity when God is showing Himself to be real, our faith means nothing.
If we are continually struggling with what we believe, then we really don’t believe.  Our faith has to be greater than singing songs of praise or making simple declarations hoping things will come to pass.  We have to believe what we say we believe, without hesitation or fail in every situation.
We have to live what we believe.

This Week’s Challenge:
Forfeit the Struggle

I’ve encountered many situations this week where people have been struggling with what they really believe God will do in their lives.  

They’re about ready to throw in the towel of belief because they don’t see things working out as planned.  This is where we need to be honest about our own lives, while remaining strong in faith about what we believe.  

Our challenge - We are going to share our faith experiences with someone who is struggling with their belief, and be encouragers to help them through the trial.  Be honest about the things you battled over while waiting for God to answer your prayer.  Talk about how the Word of God brought you to the other side reinforcing what you believe.  

In sharing you will discover one of two things.  Your faith and believing God is growing stronger eliminating the struggle to believe.  Or, you’ll find out what you really didn’t believe, but said you did leaving them to wonder,
 
 “What do you believe?” 
 
 
 We Believe - Newsboys

 

Until next time, believe a good man obtains God’s favor.

 
Check Messages throughout the week.

 
“The Righteous receive My favor.”
Jesus Christ

 What’s New This Week: Click on book or link.
http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?event=AFF&p=1167566&item_no=939461
 


 by Johnnie Moore
 

Listen to his testimony on why he wrote this book on believing what you believe.

 

'Honestly: Really Living What We Say We Believe'
by Johnnie Moore

 

Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy.

Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Faith in Action Hebrews 11:1  Psalm 91  Questioning God  Live What You Believe
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.