Walk Through The Bible 365

Are You Pleasing The Crowd Or Jesus?
Jesus wants us to be a salt and light of the world. When we live for Christ, we will show others what Jesus is like. We hide our light by being quiet when we should speak the truth. We hide the salt when we just want to please the crowd when we should share Jesus to them. We can not please the world and Jesus at the same time. God wants us to listen from the crowd, pray for the crowd, share His hope to the crowd, and please God
Prayer: Father God, help us to be sensitive to people around us, to understand their needs and to love them. Help us to please you by serving people in their needs, not in their own desires.In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it. And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled. Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors. And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him. And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem. And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.
Mark 15:1‭-‬47 KJV

O Lord , rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.
Psalms 38:1‭-‬10 KJV


Seeds of Spring: A Woman’s 40 Day Devotional

Day 17
Planting and Tending Your Garden
Read Ephesians 3:14-21.
As you look at this passage, what is Paul praying for us? When you see what he is praying for the church, I want you to consider the thought that Christ is praying these same things for you. Look at His desire for you and consider that today. Our God is passionate about His glory. We see this in verses 20-21.
Quietly recite today’s focus verse to yourself. Hide it in your heart and meditate on it throughout the day.
Ephesians 3:16
“That according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being.”
As people who have come to faith in Jesus Christ, as people who know He laid down His life for our sins and that we have given Him our sinful life in return – we have to remind ourselves we are in a daily battle between our human desires, or our flesh, and the Holy Spirit of God that now dwells in us as a believer in Christ. We often forget this and feel overcome by our cravings and impulses. Think through this past week. Think of a moment that your flesh had you in its grip. Now think of it in light of the truth that you have the power of the Spirit of God within you. Ask the Lord to help you remember and, by faith, to walk in the truth of His power. Jesus Christ does dwell in you. Believe this by faith. God will see His power overcome your weakness. Praise be to God. As you walk forward by faith, His power will be displayed and you will bear a harvest of His righteousness. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
“O Lord, may I be strengthened with power through His spirit in my inner being, so that Christ will dwell in my heart fully, through faith! Help me grow in faith.”
Strengthened with power through His Spirit in me.
Ask the Lord to bring to life all that has been planted in your heart today.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lordʼs holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:14‭-‬21 NIV

Seeds of Spring: A Woman’s 40 Day Devotional

Day 14,
Planting and Tending Your Garden
Read Ephesians 2:17-22.
Read this passage through a few times and ask the Lord to increase your understanding of your position in Him and in His church (Ephesians 1:3-14).
Quietly recite today’s focus verse to yourself. Hide it in your heart and meditate on it throughout the day.
Ephesians 2:19-20
“You are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone.”
When did He begin to draw you to Himself? Think back for a moment about when and how the Lord opened your eyes to see Him as your Savior and Lord. How have you grown? Do you love Him more today? Do you love His word more than ever? We think of ourselves as a part of a family, a church, a neighborhood, a group, or an office, but how often do we think of ourselves as a member of the household of God? 1 Peter 2:5 tells us “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” Please bow before the Lord, and offer Him a sacrifice of praise. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Think on this powerful truth in each step you take today.
Member of the household of God.
Ask the Lord to bring to life all that has been planted in your heart today.

And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Ephesians 2:17‭-‬22 KJV

Seeds of Spring: A Woman’s 40 Day Devotional

Day 11
Planting and Tending Your Garden
Read Ephesians 2:4-7.
Why does God save us according to verse 4? We were dead, but now where are we seated according to verse 6?
Quietly recite today’s focus verse to yourself. Hide it in your heart and meditate on it throughout the day.
Ephesians 2:4-5
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.”
The enemy, the devil, works so hard to make us feel rejected, unacceptable, and outcast because he is! We are God’s, chosen before time to be His, positioned in Christ, hidden in Him, never to be cast out or forsaken, and seated at the best table. No matter who shuns or rejects us in this world, we are forever in Christ.
Pause for a moment and consider the mercy that God has showered upon you. Really plant this seed of truth in your heart and believe it. Wherever you are right now, bow your head and heart and recite these words, quietly meditating upon them: “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which you loved me, even when I was dead in my trespasses, you made me alive together with Christ.” Close your eyes and envision the Lord’s mercy pouring over you like spring rain.
Given mercy and loved with God’s great love.
Ask the Lord to bring to life all that has been planted in your heart today.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:4‭-‬7 KJV

Seeds of Spring: A Woman’s 40 Day Devotional

Day 4
Read Luke 8:9-15.
Jesus continued on through the villages, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. People from town after town came to Him. When he saw the large crowd He told them a parable. Many were following Jesus. Out of those who would listen, Jesus described how the seed, His word, would fall on four different kinds of hearts:
Some fell along the path. And some fell on the rock. And some fell among thorns.
And some fell unto good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.
Jesus then called out to all of them saying: “He who has ears to hear let him hear.”
Only those with one type of heart could truly hear. Clearly there are those who don’t listen at all. But of those who would listen, few would truly hear. J.C. Ryle comments, it is a parable of universal application. The things it relates to are continually going on in every congregation wherever the gospel is preached. The four kinds of hearts that it describes are to be found in every assembly that hears the word. These factors should make us read the parable very carefully. We should say to ourselves, as we read it, “This concerns me. My heart is seen in this parable. I, too, am here.”
He who has ears to hear let him hear.
Our heart is represented in one of these. Ask the Lord this week to help you see the condition of your heart.
Praise God for bringing His word to you.
Confess your need for His Spirit to reveal the true condition of your heart.
Thank God for drawing you close to Him.
Ask God to help your heart be humble and ready to receive His truth.

And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
Luke 8:9‭-‬15 KJV

Seeds of Spring: A Woman’s 40 Day Devotional

Day 3
Read Luke 8:4-8.
The seed of God that is sown into the good soil is the only seed that bears fruit. What does the “good and honest” heart look like? What kind of hearer is this? This is the one that upon hearing the word of God takes it to heart, listens, repents, believes, and obeys. This is the heart in which the seed takes root, grows, and produces fruit that matures.
How do you receive God’s word?
Jesus tells us this parable to help us examine ourselves: Do I have ears to hear? Do I have a heart that is able to respond to the word of God in repentance, belief, and obedience?
As I look back on my life as a professing Christian, I realize that during the first ten years the weeds of the world choked out the word of God. I loved the things of the world. “Real life” was too important. God’s word had fallen onto the ground of my heart and began to grow, but the worries and concerns of this world far outweighed the importance of God and His kingdom. Thankfully God didn’t leave me there; He rescued me. It was as if He took a rototiller to my heart. But that wouldn’t have been enough. He completely replaced my heart with a new one. The seed He sowed into my new heart took root and grew. Since that day this new heart responds so differently to His word. It delights in the law of the Lord!
Read Psalm 1.
If your heart delights in God and His word, praise and thank Him! Thank Him for the great and immeasurable gift that He has given to you and nurture that gift! If your heart does not delight in the law of the Lord, do not despair, do not give up, and do not walk away. Confess it to the Lord. No one has the power to make the soil of their heart good. Ask God to forgive you and cleanse you of all unrighteousness. “Lord, let your living words penetrate our hearts and produce a full harvest of righteousness!”
Over the next several weeks, take God’s word to your heart and ask Him to help you receive it by faith and then bring it to life through obedience. Ask Him to help you bear a full harvest of righteousness.

And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Luke 8:4‭-‬8 KJV

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord ; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Psalms 1:1‭-‬6 KJV

Faith In The Way Of The Lord

You come faithfully from your land unto another, bring with you your new FAITH in one one true GOD. And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.
Ruth 1:15‭-‬18 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rut.1.15-18.KJV Ruth once had many God’s now have chosen the one true as GOD.

There are many blessings given by GOD for those who are faithful.

And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
Ruth 2:11‭-‬12 KJV

And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the Lord , who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.
Ruth 2:20 KJV

One woman’s FAITH has seen what GOD gives in return.

Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Beth–lehem: And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this young woman. So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son. And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord , which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David. Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
Ruth 4:10‭-‬22 KJV

Get Lost: Love Feast. Part 3

Gain heart focus by praying Scripture out loud:
Lord, here I am, a piece of weak flesh. But I can’t afford to fight as if I’m made of flesh. I need weapons that have divine power to destroy any barrier between us. Please give me Your Word to destroy arguments in my mind against You and to take down every lofty opinion that raises itself above the knowledge of You. Take every thought in my mind captive to You. I don’t wrestle with flesh and blood, but against the devil—against cosmic powers and spiritual forces of evil. I need Your full armor. Put on me truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, and salvation. Help me to stand strong today. Above all, give me the sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word. Help me to pray in the Spirit with all kinds of prayer. I want to proclaim the mystery of a relationship with You. I want to be Your ambassador. I want to speak boldly. Help me. (Adapted from 2 Corinthians 10:3–5; Ephesians 6:12–20)
“By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.… For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.”

Psalm 33:6, 9
The Maiden in Song of Songs had serious body image issues. She grumbled, “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys” (Song of Songs 2:1).
In their ancient culture, these two flowers were considered ordinary and mundane, even bothersome. Sharon was a plain near Israel, and both of the flowers referenced grew there like weeds. If she lived in North America today, the Maiden might say: “I’m a dandelion.”
Solomon’s answer strikes me as peculiar: “Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens” (Song of Songs 2:2, NIV). In other words, “If you are a simple dandelion, then you’re a dandelion between two burrs.” What?! Is that supposed to be a compliment?
I guess we’d better look a little closer to see what he was really saying, because it has little to do with her appearance. Bible scholars believe that key to this conversation is the fact that lilies of the valley and rose of Sharon are wildflowers. They are not cared for by man and tended in a vineyard. They are tended by God. They belong to Him. Solomon was acknowledging that the Maiden was cared for by God. And that truth is our primary weapon in this battle about beauty.
You see, I don’t think our struggle with beauty has much to do with us at all. I think it’s a fistfight between your Creator and His archnemesis. God has already established your worth by creating you. He personally chose everything about you. Your hair color. Your skin tone. Your height. The curve of your nose.
The fact that God created you is your worth. Like Solomon, He will not pander to your self-consciousness and self-focused obsessions. He might acknowledge them, but then He will redirect your attention to your true value—that you were created and can be tended to by Him.
The Maiden quickly embraced Solomon’s estimation of her beauty. How do we know? By chapter’s end we see her repeating over and over again that he had called her “my beautiful one.” In repeating his words, she is dwelling on them. And the fact is, what we dwell on becomes what we believe. (Dwelling on photos of anorexic models and thinking them beautiful will make you feel inadequate. Dwelling on the truth that God created you and loves you will make you feel confident.) As the Maiden dwells on Solomon’s words of acceptance, she comes into agreement with them.
Ever heard about the power of positive thinking? Turns out it’s all in your head…literally! Researchers call it the science of neuroplasticity. In words the rest of the world can understand, it’s the ability to rewire the neural pathways in our brains! By meditating on something long enough and often enough, we carve out new passages for our thoughts to travel. So don’t get discouraged if your mind keeps defaulting to an old rut for a while. Keep at it! Think new thoughts. Better thoughts. His thoughts. The process takes time, but eventually your heart will start to feel what your mind has come to know!
Today God speaks to us through the Bible as clearly as Solomon spoke to the Maiden. We experience His healing power in quoting Scripture over our broken vision of ourselves.
He wants you to believe the words He has spoken about you and to agree with them. Read the following verses out loud, and make note of each step of obedience you can take to come into agreement with God’s truth as His words cleanse and restore you.

Feeling average? His Word says you are made wonderfully.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139:14–16
You can be cleansed and restored by praising Him for how He has created you.

Spending too much time in front of the mirror? His Word says that who you are inside deserves more attention than how you look outside.

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

1 Peter 3:3–4
You can be cleansed and restored by spending more time on grooming your heart than in obsessing over your hair and face!

Have a tendency to grab the short skirt or low-cut V neck? His Word says that our beauty is to be expressed modestly.

I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.

1 Timothy 2:9, NLT
You can be cleansed and restored by buying reasonably priced clothing that does not show off your belly, boobs, or butt! (Watch out for those plunging necklines and skin-tight skinnies!)

Feeling overwhelmed by comparison to magazine covers? His Word says that a woman who fears the Lord is of greater worth than a supermodel!

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Proverbs 31:30
You can be cleansed and restored by choosing to live up to God’s ideal of womanhood rather than the world’s. (Striving to achieve the world’s ideal reflects a fear of man.)

Of course, you can read those words all day long, but unless you express belief by taking action on what they say, they will never cleanse and restore you. You can’t break free from whatever beauty lies hold you captive unless you come into agreement with His words. Are you willing to do that?
In addition to lies about our beauty, the enemy wants to keep us captive to lies about the past. But here again the words of God bring healing.
Let’s back up a tad in the story of Solomon and the Maiden. (By now you’ve noticed that I like this story and we’ll be digging into it now and then.) As the love song begins, we find her basically saying in Song of Songs 1:6: “Don’t look at me!” You might think that this too is about her beauty, but it’s not. While she’s commenting on her skin darkened by the sun, what’s really going on is shame concerning her past. We don’t know why, but her brothers had assigned her the job of caring for the sheep. Such field work was normally reserved for men because it required physical strength to drive away thieves and wild boars. The job was inappropriate for a woman who was valued and treasured, because she’d become muscular and strong. Jillian Michaels strong. And back then, they liked their women tender, not tough.
Solomon wastes no time in embracing her strength as an asset. He says, “I compare you, my love, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots” (Song of Songs 1:9). Horses are not weak. They are strong. And wild. And beautiful. Solomon is saying that what she perceives as a blot on her worth he sees as another dimension of her beauty. He is actually attracted by her incredible strength!
God spoke a similar truth to me through 2 Corinthians 1:3–4, which says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” I read that and realized my past didn’t disable me in helping others; instead, the healing process I’d experienced filled me with an abundance of God’s comfort to pour out on others. Through His words, God changed the value of my past.
Here’s the point: our Savior can turn any deficit into a strength through the power of His words if we will only follow hard after Him by agreeing with them and obeying them.
What in your past has permanently marked you as not having been properly cared for—whether by yourself or others?

Whatever wounds you carry, you are not alone. Whether it’s sexual sin that mars your heart or a bad family situation or anything else, God’s words can heal you.

Here are some samples of what God’s Word says about your past. Read them and let His truth silence any recurring, untruthful, or ugly thoughts in relation to your past.


Thinking your past disqualifies you from future ministry? His Word says that you should forget your past in light of the future.

I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal.

Philippians 3:13–14

You can let God’s words cleanse and restore you by deciding to stop hiding in the past and move into the future ministry He has for you.


Stuck in misery over your sin or those sins committed against you? His Word says that we should not remember or meditate on the past because it prohibits us from being aware of the new things He is doing in our lives.

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way.

Isaiah 43:18–19

You can let Him cleanse and restore you by shifting your thoughts away from self-pity and discouragement about the past, and instead asking God to help you be aware of what new things He is doing in you.


Having a hard time believing you’re forgiven? His Word says that if you confess your sins, He forgives you.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

You can let Him cleanse and restore you by confessing your sins to Him and asking for forgiveness.


Shamed by a secret you’ve never told anyone else? His Word says that we are healed from our past in community, by confessing to other believers.

Confess your sins one to another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.

James 5:16

You can let Him cleanse and restore you by confessing your sins to an older, wiser woman in your church.


Today’s action step is to continue the work of following hard after God by coming into agreement with His words about you. To be healed and cleansed by His words, you must first be familiar with them. This requires you to feast on them, especially in areas where a specific lie rises up in your heart.

I don’t know what lies have entangled your heart. But you do. And it’s time to break free by replacing them with truth. Jesus said:

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

John 8:32

Freedom doesn’t come through head knowledge but by letting the words of God seep so deeply into your soul that you intimately know them to be true. I invite you to step into the cleansing power of His words today.

Write Your Story

Plan to spend a little extra time with your journaling assignment today. I would like you to select a verse or two that specifically confronts any lies that keep you from the love of the Father.

First, take a few moments to write down any lies you believe about your beauty or your past. They’ll probably come to mind quickly, but if not, just meditate. Ask God’s Holy Spirit to reveal to you any areas in which He wants you to seek freedom from lies.

Next, identify at least one Bible verse that speaks truth to your heart. You can use an online search engine or a Bible concordance if nothing specific comes to mind right away.

Once you’ve identified the verses you need to feast upon, scribble them on a sticky note for your bathroom mirror, post them on your Facebook wall, or make a bookmark for your Bible. Put them where you can see them, memorize them, and use them any time the enemy attacks you with lies. I’ve got two Post-it notes on my mirror right now. I’ve got work to do, and so do you. Let’s get it done!
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

2 Corinthians 10:3‭-‬5 KJV

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;  And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,  For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6:12‭-‬20 KJV

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

Psalms 33:6 KJV

For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.

Psalms 33:9 KJV

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Psalms 139:14‭-‬16 KJV


Unshakable Moms 2

“I’ll Hold You Up”

I answered the door and she stood there, arms full of my favorite things.

“I wasn’t sure what you might like, so I got one of everything”, as she passed me a sweet tea and a small carton of ice cream. She hugged me tightly about smashing the goodies between us.

“I’m here to do your dishes”, she said. And she sat her bags down, gave my daughter a high five and headed toward my kitchen. I thought she was joking, because who actually does that? I remembered the picture I had posted on Instagram a few hours earlier of my overflowing sink, and baskets of clean, unfolded laundry in the background. It had truly been “one of those weeks”. I had shared it with a winky-face emoji, but I was secretly drowning on the inside. I couldn’t keep up with my kids, my house, the chaos. And there she was, washing my dishes while I stood dumbfounded.

Those people are few and far between, aren’t they? But why? Why are we all not stepping out to lend a hand where we can? And it’s not like she was someone with much freedom – she had three kids of her own at home. It takes a village as they say.

When I think of an unshakable community – the picture of the story in Exodus 17 always comes to mind. Moses was fighting a war, and as long as he held his staff in the air, they were winning. But it became too much for him. That’s when his people, Aaron and Hur, they held his arms up for him. He remained steady because they were there, being his village and helping him stand unshakable through his battle.

Who’s arms can you hold up? It’s incredible the difference we can make by simply showing up. If we all start holding each other up more, we will create an unshakable foundation for our children. Sometimes we just have to step up and say, “I’ll hold you up!”.

Exodus 17:8-16

8Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.
9And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.
10So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
11And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
12But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
13And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
14And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.
15And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah–nissi:
16For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.