Thursday April 24, 2014 New

Posted April 24, 2014 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I hope in Him.” Lamentations 3:22-24

When I read Lamentations, I cannot help but feel the weight that the author bore. I, too have felt the burdens of life and that there was no way up from the cares and frustrations that are part of being alive on this earthly plain. It is even more uplifting then to read these verses when in spite of physical suffering, painful injury and imprisonment, Judah can say that the Lord has delivered him from the bitterness of his life. He knows that God’s love for him is never ending and new every morning. With that love comes HOPE and the ability to rise up from his bed and tackle the day even when he knows that he will be the brunt of many hardships.

God’s love never ceases, it is NEW every morning and keeps pouring down when I am so undeserving. There is no end to His compassion. The world may seem to be crumbling around me but the Lord is by my side, shielding me from the danger and making me courageous when I feel like crawling back under the covers. Seeking Him is the key, Trusting Him is my only chance, Knowing that He is with me even in the darkness and the storm is my portion and cup. He can help me whether any storm. It is my job to wait on the Lord and allow Him to work to whittle down these overwhelming odds. When the mountain of grief seems so high that I cannot see over it, I have to trust that God will lift me to higher ground and give me the ability to deal with every issue or remove it.

Lord thank You for making all things new each day. When I turn loose of yesterday’s problems and face this day with You… I know Your grace is sufficient. Help me to trust in Your promise and Hope for the strength to overcome every obstacle. You are making me NEW!

Wednesday April 23, 2014 Stubborn

Posted April 23, 2014 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58

When I read this verse, I always feel like Paul is inviting me to be stubborn. I do stubborn WELL. My husband can tell you, immovable is my middle name. I can be like a dog with a bone and several of my grandchildren have inherited this trait. It has not always been cast as my best quality.  I do believe that having tenacity and being steadfast are the positive attributes of stubbornness. I can say with all modesty that I have these as well. I think Paul would be proud.

Choosing to do the work of the Lord is not always comfortable. Standing up for what I believe in, when it would be easier to back down or be silent takes conviction and a willingness to be subject to ridicule and run the risk of being ostracized. That is where immovability comes into play. Jesus did not succumb to the taunts to come down from His cross to “prove” His Deity. He remained stationary, demonstrating the strength that was only His to show under such dire circumstances. Paul and Peter, and most of the apostles suffered and died for their belief in God. Paul encouraged His followers to do the same. Being steadfast in dark and troubling times requires more than a touch of stubbornness.

Lord, I know that being stubborn is not necessarily my best trait. Help me to be filled with wisdom to know when I should back down and when I should be steadfast. I know that when I am following Your Will for me, it is okay to be immovable. Enlighten me and show me the instances and opportunities to be steadfast for YOU!

Tuesday April 22, 2014 JPS

Posted April 22, 2014 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

Jesus Positioning System. JPS. Jesus was lifted up as He said He would be to call all people to His Father and be a beacon leading the way home. So many are wandering aimlessly without direction in our world today. Begging for something to guide them, it is too easy to follow all the wrong things… wealth, power, celebrity, and our stomachs. Jesus needs to be the way and then there is no darkness, no stumbling. The real gift of believing in Jesus is HOPE. Without hope, there is no courage to look beyond the present situation. The inclination is to stay and wallow in doubt and self-pity when I am feeling hopeless. When I see Jesus, I have HOPE and with that comes Courage. I begin to move forward and follow the light and the truth does set me free.

The true direction is upward. God is calling me home. Jesus is the only way to get there. Heaven is real and I want to live there with Jesus, my parents, friends and all the believers who have preceded me in death. Finding my way without my JPS is impossible.

Lord, help me live always in Your truth. Give me the Hope that gives me the courage to stay on the path even when the road is rocky and I am unsure that I can stay the course. When others fall around me, help me to stay upright and determined to see You in paradise.

Monday April 21, 2014 Endurance

Posted April 21, 2014 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

 

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then, you will receive all that He has promised. Hebrews 10:36

Jesus endured so much. Hours of questioning, scourging, torture and ridicule, carrying a heavy cross, being nailed and hung upon it suffocating. I have friends who compete in Iron Man competitions and what Jesus endured was even more grueling and He knew what He was getting Himself into. How could He choose to allow Himself this agony? I believe that He endured this to show me exactly how much He loved me! His gift of self to redeem my sins was miraculous. There is no other word for it. All that before the greatest miracle of all, the Resurrection.

I went to see the movie, “Heaven is for Real” It is based on the book by Todd Burpo who lived this story with his son. It is a story of endurance also. No one wanted to believe that this little boy had gone to heaven and was there to tell about it. He gave witness about things that he could not possibly have known and his description of Christ was duplicated by a little girl in Lithuania who had also witnessed heaven and painted a picture of Jesus. Todd and his son, gave testimony and endured through criticism and persecution.

There are many opportunities to endure in faith. To believe and continue to act when all the odds are against me. God knows it would be easier to throw in the towel but He needs for me to endure. Believing and acting in God’s divine will creates a ripple effect in the universe. Each life is changed and a wave of goodness can be felt around the world when one simple act of kindness is performed. No one can do it alone, but when my actions are paired with others… my witness is shared with another… the word is alive and God’s Will is done.

Lord give me the endurance to do Your Will in spite of the pressures of the world. Help me to stand and proclaim “You are Risen!” and invite others to do the same. When we endure together, the load is lighter and the way is easier. Thank You for my Brothers and Sisters in Faith, for they make enduring possible.

Holy Saturday April 19, 2014 Confused

Posted April 19, 2014 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

 Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid.  Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. Luke 23:55-56

The women who stood at the foot of the cross went home to prepare spices for Jesus body and they waited until Sunday morning to go to Him because it was the Sabbath. They did not know that He would be RISEN and they would be freed from their sins. Holy Saturday is a kind of day of emptiness. Like the women with a plan for Sunday, Christians find themselves in a state of pause on Holy Saturday. Sure, there are much preparations happening today for an Easter feast and dying eggs with little ones but on the spiritual side… God’s people are holding their breath.

The Lord was the Messiah, wasn’t he? He came to rule Israel, didn’t He? Confusion abounded because He was miraculous and could even raise people from the dead… why then did He allow Himself to be crucified of all things?

Today, the world is still confused. We want to HIT the lottery and believe God should fulfill our every wish. Some consider God to be a grandfather, doting and generous; instead of a father, regimented and strict with standards. It is much easier to follow the Commandment rules than to live the Beatitudes. Being a Christian is confusing.

The challenge, then is to be like these women, preparing and doing what is the right thing to be done. Being ready for what is to come, is not entirely possible but when I do what is mine to do… I am being a faithful child of God. He will help me to see how I need to adjust to the circumstances that I find myself thrust into each day.

Lord, Thank you for this moment of limbo to take a breath and wait on Your will. I look forward to the future You have in store for me. I know it includes plans to prosper me, full of hope and a future with You!

Good Friday April 18, 2014 Crucify Him!

Posted April 18, 2014 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

“They will look on him whom they have pierced.” Zechariah 12:19

I have a hard time this week. Especially difficult is the reading of the Passion when I must say the words… “Crucify HIM!” I tremble inside when the congregation proclaims “Let His blood be on us and on our children.” On Easter morning I realize that those words are prophetic just as Zechariah’s words were. Jesus blood is on me and it was the price of admission to heaven. I needed to be washed of my sins and the only cleaning agent that would do the job is the BLOOD of the Savior of the world. From His side the blood flowed that would wash all mankind of condemnation.

Today, I will adore the cross and thank God for sending His Son to suffer and die on that instrument of torture. Without it, I would still be in my sins and living a life of desperation. God opened the gates of heaven with that key. I hate that it was my sinfulness that hammered Jesus to that tree. I know that my sins caused pain and agony for Jesus, just as my sins often hurt others… only restitution and forgiveness break down barriers among friends and family, Jesus did that for me with His Father, paying an incredibly high price.

Lord I come to worship YOU, I adore the cross, that instrument of torture and bountiful key that opened the gates of heaven. I stand before You, sinful and sorrowful. Please forgive me for sentencing You to such a horrible death. Thank You for Your willingness to die for me. Thank You for washing me in Your blood so that I am clean and able to obtain a life with You. I am Your humble servant.

Holy Thursday April 17, 2014 Overcoming

Posted April 17, 2014 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work… is finished. 1 Chronicles 28:20

Thought this verse was a rare gift on Holy Thursday. I can hear Jesus saying them to His disciples at the meal before He faced His own dark night in the Garden of Gethsemane. Before He would sweat blood thinking about losing His life and the lives of His friends to make the changes in the world necessary to be the atonement for sin. He knew each person needs encouragement and He was and is the ultimate encourager.

The apostles gathered in the upper room to share the Passover Feast. I have attended a Seder meal. Much scripture is read, much food and wine is consumed because you eat and drink after each Scripture passage that is read. It is a journey through Bitter herbs, sweet fruit, the choicest lamb and wine at every juncture. It is no wonder that the apostles fell asleep.

The Passover story is the one of overcoming the Pharaoh’s stubbornness through miracles performed by a God who loved His people enough to interfere. Of course, God’s timing is always perfect… what better night than this to overcome sin in the world and put the wheels in motion to save humanity again than the PASSOVER. Where the blood of lamb is used to protect God’s people. God indeed finished the work through Jesus. I know He does the same today, in and through His church. Even when I am discouraged, I know God is with me and if I persist with His help His work will be completed.

Lord help me persist through exhaustion, rally when the road ahead looks steep and rely on You when the road is dark or hidden by complications that seem insurmountable. I know You are by my side.


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