Unchanging

Unchanging

Malachi 3:6-11 throughout the Bible and throughout time, scripture shows again and again that God is an unchanging God. He remains the same. When we feel distant from God, it is not God who is distant, it is us.

In Malachi, 3:6-11, we see that our actions can keep us distant from God. We rob God our time and our resources.

Read Malachi 3. Meditate on verses 6-11.

Have a conversation with God.

Ask him: “God, where in my life am I robbing you of my time and resources?”

Challenge:

Write it down. Whatever He speaks…it may come later, while you are working, doing chores, watching TV…stop what you are doing and write it down in your journal.

Now. How can you reconcile “that thing” with God? Spend time with God this week asking Him how you can give back to Him and His kingdom. Once you’ve figured it out, with God. Tell your spouse, mentor, accountability partner, or friend. Make sure to check your heart, before you do. This is about accountability, and God getting the glory…not you. Got all that done? Great. Now go do it.

Verse 11 shows us what will happen when we reconcile with God, what will happen when we are honest with God. He basically tells us “Child of mine, I’ve got your back. I will defend you”. Meditate on verse 11.

Repent and ask forgiveness: God, I have robbed you of ___________. Father, I repent and change my ways. Please forgive me for _________. I want to draw near and close to your heart.

Follow through- Do the thing you said you would change.

Thank Him and Give Him the glory. Thank Him before, during, and after. When God is faithful to do what He said He would do, your story is now His story. Share what happened with someone who needs to know. Invite God into that process. Ask Him who needs to know. When you share what He has done in your life, He gets the glory.

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Waiting

Waiting 

Have you ever been waiting? Waiting on a promise of God? You can see right behind you, the old is gone, yet, in the same breadth, the new is just out of reach. Your fingertips are touching it, but you can’t quite grasp it, yet. Oh, that place is such a hard place to be. 

In Isaiah 43, the Bible says: “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. see! I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams In the wasteland.” ( v 18-19). 

(V 25-26) 

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence.”

We hold onto the past, and still hold onto hope for the future. But..we can’t have both. We must come to God with open hands and say: Father, I lay down who I was. I have sinned. I repent, and I choose to walk with you. I choose your ways over my ways, Lord. 

Challenge: 

This week, thank God for who He is. Thank Him that He blots out your transgressions. Thank Him that He remembers your sin no more. 

Repent to Him. Repent for the ways you have sinned, known and unknown. Lay it all down at his feet, with open hands. Don’t pick it back up. He’s already forgiven you. And if you do pick it back up…because we’re human. Repent again, and put it right back down. 

Now, look up. Look for the new things He is doing. When you see it, jot it down in your journal. Or save it on your phone to jot it down later. 

Talk with Him about it: God, give me wisdom. What is my role in your plan? 

Thank Him, again. 

Thank you God that your promises are true. Thank you, God that you are faithful.

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Change: 1 Peter 3

Change.

Change is hard. Change takes a conscious effort on our part. When our circumstances are chaotic, and we desire change in the people or circumstances around us- we often need to start with ourselves.

How many times have you wished that a person’s annoying behavior would stop. A co-worker? A friend? A child? A spouse?

We all know someone. We are all that someone! Gasp! Yup, I said it. You and me. We are that annoying person with an annoying behavior. We are all that person that needs to work on something. Have you ever found yourself grumbling: “Ugh, I wish _______ would just. . .”?

Here’s the thing. . . We can focus on what every other person is doing wrong. We can grumble, and complain. We can point out the speck in other people’s eyes. Or, we can do the heart work. We can do the work inside ourselves, and wait. Wait and see how our spheres of influence, and our circumstances change.

And the best way we can do that is to give abundant grace to ourselves and others. That takes what I like to call: Heart Work. Making changes within our own hearts.

So, let’s do the heart work!

If I’m honest, I can do a great job at pointing out all the ways everyone else is doing all the things wrong. Just ask my husband!

To be honest, I’m excited to start working on my heart, again. Yes, I said again. I go through seasons of my fair share of grumbling and complaining. Let’s face it. . . heart work is a life long journey. When I’m working on having a gentle spirit, I feel more at peace.

Read 1 Peter 3:1-7. (If you don’t have a physical bible with you, I love reading from The Message version on the YouVersion Bible App).

In 1 Peter 3, the Bible says, in short, that our husbands will not be won by words, rather our actions. (Re-read 1 Peter 3:1-6)

In the Message version, verse 4 starts off “Cultivate inner beauty. . .” I love the picture this paints. When I think of inner beauty, I think of someone who is at peace. She is graceful, gentle, and elegant. What does inner beauty look like for you? Write that down, and put it somewhere you will see it on the daily.

What I love about the Bible, is that I can often take what I’m reading and learning, and apply it other places in my life. Even though these verses are referring to the husband-wife relationship, here, we can apply this to all of our relationships-working on yourself and how you respond. Work on your inner beauty, and it spills out into not just your relationship with your spouse, but it’ll spill out into all areas of your life.

Again, 1 Peter 3:4-6 refers to creating an inner beauty within yourself. For me specifically, that looks like uprooting my impatient and angry responses.

Is it ok to feel these emotions?

Absolutely.

However, I’ve learned that reacting from these emotions only hurts my relationships. And being someone who struggles with cultivating relationships, I’ve learned, the hard way, how important it is for me to communicate in a healthy way. To breathe, think, and process before I respond. To take a re-do on any given situation. To apologize when I’m in the wrong.

In my opinion, a lot of changes we desire boil down to communication: how we speak to ourselves, how we speak to others, and how we speak to God. We also have to be willing to release other people from our expectations. That’s not to say that we don’t have healthy boundaries; rather, letting go of the thought that things need to happen a certain way. Letting go of feeling we need to control every aspect of a situation.

I’ve noticed that when I’m working on these things, it’s easier for me to find my gentle, quiet spirit.

Challenge:

Think of a way that you can practice having a gentle and quiet spirit. Do you lose your patience with your kids? A co-worker? Your husband? Think of a strategy you can use to rewrite that habit to turn to a gentle and quiet spirit amid the chaos. Write it down. We live in a world of chaos, and at the end of the day, our husband, our kids, and the people in our spheres need us to be a place of gentleness and quietness.

Father,

Thank you for this beautiful day. Thank you for change. Thank you that even though every day brings change, every day- you remain the same. Father, we need you. Fill us up. When we struggle, send us a whisper to remind us to respond with a gentle, quiet spirit. Help us to make time to spend with you each day. You are the gentle spirit we seek. Help us to be more like you, each day. Amen.

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