Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Power of The Book – God’s Word

 The Power of The Book – God’s Word           

Can you imagine becoming a king at the age of eight? I cannot fathom being a king (queen), much less as a child.

Well, that’s what happened to a boy named Josiah. His father and grandfather, who preceded him on the throne of ancient Judah were not good examples for this boy-king. In fact, they were a couple of the wickedest kings the nation ever had. Second Kings 21 and Second Chronicles 34-35 give an account of their evil reigns. 

But then came Josiah—a breath of fresh air.

We’re told, “And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left” (2 Kings 22:2 NKJV*).

What do you suppose caused Josiah to depart from the leadership philosophies of his predecessors? The answer to that question is simple, yet profound.

In the eighteenth year of his reign, Josiah instructed his scribe, Shaphan, to take care of some administrative business with the high priest, Hilkiah, regarding repairs to the house of the Lord. While there, Hilkiah said to Shaphan, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan and he read it” (2 Kings 22:8).

“Then Shaphan the scribe showed the king, saying ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.’ And Shaphan read it before the king. Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, that he tore his clothes” (2 Kings 22:10-11).

In those days, the tearing of one’s clothes represented humbling oneself in despair over some occurrence. Here, King Josiah repented for the years of sins his nation committed against Jehovah God. Many of those sins included the worship of false gods. Josiah’s grandfather had even sacrificed his own son to the god, Molech. (2 Kings 21:6)

Josiah then instructed his spiritual leaders to go and inquire of the Lord on behalf of himself and the nation. God responded to their genuine repentance and promised peace in the land for all the days of Josiah. 

“Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to follow the LORD and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant” (2 Kings 23:3).

King Josiah then took action to uphold his part of the covenant. He ordered that all the pagan gods and articles of worship be destroyed, along with the priests of these gods and those who practiced witchcraft. (2 Kings 23:4-20, 24)

“Then the king commanded all the people saying, ‘Keep the Passover to the LORD your God, as is written in the Book of the Covenant.’ Such a Passover surely had never been held since the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah. But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was held before the LORD in Jerusalem. … Now before him (Josiah) there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him” (2 Kings 23:21-23, 25).

Scholars tell us that the reforms of King Josiah launched the greatest revival throughout the kingdom in Old Testament history.

The days we live in are filled with sin, fear, and unrest. Many people in distress are turning to God, discovering His Word, and uncovering the hope that’s found in Christ. We hear reports of increased retail sales of Bibles and many are digging out Bibles they haven’t touched for years.

Because of a renewed interest in God and Jesus, many spiritual leaders and modern-day prophets predict that a new Great Awakening and Last Days Revival is right around the corner. How thrilling to think we might be a part of that! Repeatedly we hear, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

God’s Word is certainly powerful—giving life, strength, and hope for the future. Like Josiah, lets read The Book and allow God to revolutionize our spirits.

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:11). 

After Josiah read the Book he repented of national sin and took action. If repentance is in order, we need to go before God and repent. He loves each of us more than we can imagine and desires for us to be in right relationship with Him. He is quick to forgive when we sincerely repent for our sins.


Through Jesus, God’s Son, and with the help of His Spirit we can live our days in harmony with our Creator. He put us on His planet at this time in history to give us abundant life and to help Him build His kingdom.

Let’s pray: Father God, these are amazing days I’m living in. It’s also amazing to think you placed me here to serve Your own purpose in this time in history. Help me to know You better through Your Word, to hear You as You teach and guide me, and to serve you according to your plan for me as I join You in the building of Your kingdom. I want to glorify You with my life. In Jesus name—amen.

* All Scripture quotes are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

©Copyright 2020 Connie Wohlford

Monday, August 24, 2020

The Power of Fullness

 The Power of Fullness                                       

Have you ever said, “My heart is full,” or “My cup runneth over”? At times in life when an experience or event pleases me immensely, I have felt this way and have said those words.

For example, when I first held each of my newborn sons and then years later each of my grandchildren, the feelings of joy and completeness overflowed. More importantly, when our two sons and eight grandchildren each received Jesus as Savior and Lord and was baptized, my heart was full.

These life experiences fill our hearts and complete something in our lives. The Bible speaks of fullness on several occasions, meaning to be filled to satisfaction or brought to completion. Strong’s defines fullness as “what fills (as contents, supplement, copiousness, multitude), or what is filled (as container, performance) … fulfilling …” * 

By Robin Lambert (Instagram) - used with permission

Psalm 24:1-2 tells us, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters” (NKJV). 

How encouraging it is to know that God owns the earth and all that’s in it. 

Though the nations rage and Satan appears to be having his way on many fronts, ultimately God will have His way. In the end, we who are in Christ will come out winners. 


On God’s calendar:

In the fullness of time He laid the foundations of the earth. (Psalm 102:25)

In the fullness of time God established His own people through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

In the fullness of time Father God brought forth His own Son through the virgin, Mary, and named Him Jesus, (Yeshua in Hebrew).

In the fullness of time Jesus paid the sin debt of all Mankind, dying on a cross.

In the fullness of time God rose Jesus back to life from the dead, completing the way for those who put faith in Him to have eternal life.

In the fullness of time Jesus will return, God will set up His Eternal Kingdom and all wrongs will made right.

I believe that my favorite Bible uses of the word fullness are found in Paul’s letter to the fledgling church in Colossae when he spoke of Jesus. His description of Jesus helps reinforce our reasons to trust Him.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on the earth, visible and invisible. Whether thrones or dominions or principalities of powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist (that is, hold together**).

“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have preeminence.

“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:15-20 NKJV).

Now, that’s enough to make me want to shout! Unless you’re pressed for time, I suggest you read that passage again—this time out loud, standing up.

And there’s more. Let’s move into the next chapter for a nugget that can knock our socks off when we soak it in and believe in depths of our being that it’s true.

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principalities and power” (Colossians 2:9-10 NKJV).

Jesus Christ is the fullness of God in bodily form. When we are born-again believers in Him, He is in us by way of the Holy Spirit. That means we are complete in Him who has authority over all other powers that may exist.

The fullness of God is full in us. No, we are not equal with God by any means. But we have access to our Creator through our Savior, Jesus. He is in our very breath. We have power over sin, power to stand on truth, and power to walk in the character of Jesus Himself.

Therefore, let us know our God and know our Savior. Let us meditate on and study God’s Word, the Bible, so we can understand who we are in His fullness and be able to withstand the attacks of evil forces and stand firm in truth—that is, God’s truth. (Ephesians 6:12-13)

Let’s pray: Father, thank You for sending Jesus to rescue me from evils of life and fears of death. Thank You that in Him Your own fullness dwells. Help me to allow the fullness of Jesus to shine in my own life and to fill me with all I need to be who You created me to be. In Jesus name I pray—amen.

*Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, by James Strong; Crusade Bible Publishers, Inc.,, Nashville, TN, 1890; Greek Dictionary, p. 58.

**my insert

©Copyright 2020 Connie Wohlford

Sunday, August 16, 2020

What’s on Your Child's Reading List?

 

Children’s Books by Connie Wohlford      

What’s on your child's Reading List? 

How about some books about Jesus — or a unique animal character? 

Do your children (ages 3-11) know about things that happened to Jesus as an infant? And, what about captivating events before during and after Jesus crucifixion? 

Or perhaps the young ones in your life would enjoy unique stories about that odd creature, a rhinokaroarus, named Gerald. 

Please consider the stories I wrote for my grandchildren which have evolved into delightful, informative books for all children to enjoy—even grown up ones. And, hey, each book comes with a FREE reproducible word puzzle! 

Though each is a stand-alone book, the four books about Jesus are connected by a parallel donkey story. The adorable donkeys, Gil (meaning joy), Elpis (means hope), and Kavod (meaning glory), affectionately help captivate young readers and listeners. 

Watercolor illustrations, by Virginia artists, Molly Keller and Lesley James, beautifully carry the stories along.  

Then for entertainment with a moral twist enjoy the rhinokaroarus stories. Delightful illustrations, by Virginia artist, Ken Henderson, help convey the story of Gerald, whose unfortunate life changing experience brings him a best bud and some unusual adventures. 

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Book lengths are between 20-30 pages. Each book comes with a FREE word puzzles which challenge and are enjoyed by children who are old enough to write as well as adults. These puzzles may be copied as much as you wish for repeated use and/or group use, such as in Children’s Church, VBS, homeschool, Christian school, etc.

 I invite you to take a look at my children's books:

Joy Comes to Bethlehem- (Temporality Sold Out) - Meet the lovable donkeys, Gil, and her little one, Elpis.

Journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem with Joseph, Mary, and Gil. Experience the sad goodbye of Gil & Elpis as well as the danger and the drama along the way. See the faithfulness of God and the amazing birth of His Son, Jesus.

Again, read of the birth of the Savior. Enjoy the setting & the perspective of these faithful beasts of burden carried along with the beautiful full color illustrations by Virginia artist, Molly Keller.

 

At eight days of age Jewish boys experience the custom called “Bris Milah,” and their names are recorded in the Hebrew records. Go with Joseph and Mary as they take Jesus to the home of a rabbi for His own ceremony. While walking along the dusty road, Mary & Joseph each recall the most unusual way in which they came to name their baby son. Their faithful donkey, Gil alerts them to an alarming danger at the Rabbi Jonathan’s courtyard. 

Meanwhile, back in Nazareth, the young donkey, Elpis, is still missing her mama, Gil, but continues to be comforted in a very special way. So, join in with these wonderful characters of the Bible & learn about the infant life of Jesus. Young & old alike take pleasure in gaining insight into these early days of the King of kings, artfully captured in the story & illustrations in His Name is Jesus.

 

He Is The ONE - As was tradition, at 40 days of age little Jesus is taken by His parents to the Temple to be dedicated to Yahweh. There an amazing thing happens. Share the surprise and wonder with Joseph, and Mary when strangers, Simeon and Anna, recognize Jesus as the long awaited Messiah. 

Their faithful donkey, Gil (whose name means hope), accompanies the Holy Family to Jerusalem. While Gil waits outside the temple, her thoughts turn to her own little one, Elpis (pronounced el-peese’), who is back in Nazareth. On this eventful day, Elpis’ jolly fun with her buddy, Buzi, turns into a painful tumble. Join in to see how the little donkey deals with her ordeal with her Mama so far away

.                                                                      

The Lord Has Need of YOU - Join donkeys, Elpis & her little one, Kavod, and experience the last days of Jesus’ life on earth prior to His ascension. Having known each other since childhood, Elpis and Jesus are uniquely reunited.

Through the eyes of these loveable donkeys, see the Bible account of Jesus’ earthly life from His triumphal entry into Jerusalem to His ascension back to Heaven after rising from the dead. It includes several occurrences during Holy Week and thereafter.

 Walk alongside Elpis and Kavod and share in the joy of knowing Jesus on a personal level. Feel the sadness of His crucifixion. Then rejoice with the donkeys, the disciples, and others at the resurrection of the Jesus, the Messiah. Stand amazed with them at the risen Lord as He ascends to Heaven, rejoicing at the promise of His eventual return.

This account is carried along pictorially with the beautiful watercolor paintings of Virginia artist, Lesley James. Children and adults alike will be blessed by her art, by the story of Jesus, and by the personal challenge to step out in faith because the Lord has need of you.

 

You’re A What?! ~Every once in a while, a story or character comes along that is different−really different−from anything else you find on a shelf of children’s books. 

 Gerald, the star character in You’re A What?! is just that−different.  He is a captivating creature who has been dealt a ruthless blow, having experienced a collision with life that changed everything. He suddenly finds that he has become a “rhinokaroarus” (pronounced “ry-nock-a-roar-us”). “A What ?!@#?!”  you might ask. The author, herself, did not invent the word, “rhinokaroarus.”  It was made up by her father. She and her brothers heard it on a regular basis.  Amidst his destress, Gerald is befriended by a funny badger named, Banjo, whom every reader or listener will come to adore.


                    

Make It A Happy Day  ~ That, one of a kind, creature, Gerald, sets out on an adventure with his new friend Banjo, the badger. Through a bit of conflict, they really do find a way to make it a happy day. Just ask the fish! The 6 friendly trout get to experience the good and the bad when they encounter the odd-looking Gerald and the clash with Banjo. 

Artist, Ken Henderson’s captivating illustrations help to carry the story along.

 


Thanks for considering my books for the children in your life. 

Let me knowif you would like to order a signed and personalized copy of one or more of my books?

The Lord has Need of You is the only one of these books available on Amazon but if you would like a signed copy, get it through me.  

You can contact me via email or Facebook message:

author@conniewohlford.com https://www.facebook.com/ConnieWohlfordAuthor/         

 PayPal or credit card.  Sales Tax added, in Virginia.  Nominal fee for shipping.

FREE SHIPPING on orders of 4 or more books shipped anywhere in continental USA 

 All of my books are 100% Made in U.S.A.

©Connie Wohlford 2020 

Monday, August 10, 2020

The Power of Holiness

 

The Power of Holiness                                              

A Bible teacher whom I greatly admire told of an incident in which she purchased pajamas for a gift. In order to best fit the recipient, she switched out the top from one pair to go with the bottom of another pair. She carried her purchase out of the store, pleased to know the PJ’s would fit perfectly. But by the time she got home, she was miserable with guilt. The Holy Spirit was nudging her spirit, helping her realize and admit that her action was wrong—dishonest even.

The next morning, she returned the pajamas and confessed to the store personnel what she had done. Can’t you imagine the humbling experience that must have been?

Her point in the telling of her blunder was that the Holy Spirit is holy. Holy. When we are born-again followers of Jesus, He resides in us and helps us stay on the straight and narrow path.

So, what is holy? What is holiness? 

Photo by Connie Wohlford
It can be defined as “the process, quality, and condition of a holy disposition and the quality of holiness in personal conduct. It is the principle that separates the believer from the world … It causes every component of our character to stand God’s inspection and meet His approval.” *
Many Bible scholars describe holiness as being “set apart.” We who follow Christ are to be separate from the world. We’re to be in the world but not of the world. (John 17:14-16)

The world’s system often emphasizes accumulation of wealth, power, fame, notoriety, constant entertainment, self-indulgence, and so on. What would you add to this list? These things can preoccupy our minds and our time, pulling us away from the things of God, which are of eternal significance.

While many accomplishments and pleasures can fit into a holy life, they are not to be the focus and fuel that drives us. God wants us to have plenty and to enjoy life. He also warns that life is not always easy, and we may be persecuted for our faith because we disapprove of and/or do not participate in many of the world’s ways.

Peter inspires us with this powerful exhortation: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10 NKJV).** 

We have been called out. We are His own. Think about it—meditate on that. We’re a chosen generation—each one handpicked by our Creator. He calls us His own special people. Father God has looked down on us with compassion and mercy that is renewed every morning. (Lamentations 3:23)

We need not live in darkness for we are in His marvelous light.

The Holy Spirit is holy. Let’s never forget that. In Him is no darkness nor impurity. And He has chosen to take up residence in each of us so that we have the power to be holy and walk in holiness.

Paul wrote, “And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13).

“For God did not call us to uncleanness, but to holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God who has also given us His Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 4:7-8).

Yes, the call to holiness is a mighty tall order but with the help of the Holy Spirit in us, we can do this thing for God. We can be set apart—separate from the ways of the world.

I have told my grandchildren that taking a stand for Christ and what is right may be the bravest thing they ever do. It takes courage to be holy and like my admired Bible teacher, we’ll sometimes miss the mark. But when we step up and make it right, we’ve grown some and have allowed the light of Christ to brighten in us.

Let’s pray: Holy Father, thank You for calling me out to be Your own. Thank You for the indwelling of Your Spirit Who helps me walk in holiness according to Your own character. Lord, help me to be brave so I can fulfil the purpose You have set before me and help others along the way. In the holy name of Jesus, I pray—Amen.

 

Me—Holy?

Holiness—me! You’re kidding. Right?

You do know who I am.

 

You’ve called me out to walk upright

But God, I’m such a sham!

 

Enter in—Your Spirit, Lord.

Yes now—I do receive.

 

Your loving kindness—thank You, Lord.

In You, I do believe.

 

Now holy, I will walk with You.

Your Spirit lives in me.

 

The road of life we’ll travel on,

And holy I will be.

 

By Connie Wohlford

August 2020

 

*Spirit Filled Life Study Bible, Thomas Nelson, “Word Wealth” page 1829.

 **Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version

©Copyright 2020 Connie Wohlford

 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

“For Every Purpose”


“For Every Purpose”                                    

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV). 

WOW! Has this not been a crazy season? And King Solomon wisely said, “To everything there is a season.”

Here’s a COVID acrostic for this season which began in March 2020:
Crazy
Overwhelming
Viral
Interesting
Disruptive

What would your COVID acrostic look like? You might do better than I because all those words I came up with seem a bit understated.

Now, look at the second part of that verse: “a time for every purpose under heaven.” Time is a measure of space in each of our lives. Purpose is the reason and the value we place on something. 


When we look at the first and second chapters of Ecclesiastes, we see King Solomon attempting to put his finger on the meaning of life. He concludes that much in life is out of our control. The pandemic has certainly illuminated that all over the globe. Striving to corral everything in our little sphere is like “grasping for the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:14) and he concludes, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV).

We must remember that God created the universe— “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world and all that dwell therein) Psalm 24:1 KJV). God is in Heaven and we are on earth. God is eternal—from eternity past to eternity future. Our time on earth is temporal—limited and brief. But we are eternal beings and because of that God has put eternity in each of our hearts. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

So, God created the earth and the universe. He put it all in motion and set up a time for everything—a season and a time for every purpose—His purpose.

We will do well to know our place in His world. He is Creator and we are a part of His creation. Though we’re each a small part, He knows and loves each one of us. He saw our form in our mother’s womb and He knows each of us by name. We’re higher beings than the animals, birds, creeping things, and sea creatures. We’re greater than the trees, plants, mountains, oceans, lakes, soil, rivers, and deserts. We are the crown of God’s creation for we are made in His own image and are triune beings, consisting of spirit, soul, and body.

We can be assured that this season of COVID19 is a period of time when God will fulfil a purpose—His purpose. No, I don’t know what that purpose is, but might someday.


So consider this acronym for COVID:
Cosmic Occasion Vigilantly Illuminating Divine purpose.


Five things we can do to maintain hope & peace during COVID19:

1- Stay focused on our Savior, Jesus. Spending time in His Word and in prayer are key.
2- Do what we can to stay safe and healthy.
3- Remain positive, confident that God is on His throne and has this all figured out.
4- Trust God to fulfil a great purpose that will astound us in the end. Be excited with anticipation!
5- Encourage others along the way. 


Let’s pray: Oh Lord, You see each of us. You are intimately aware of how this season of time is impacting each of our lives. Thank You, Father, that Your love is unfailing and without end. Thank You that we can trust You with our present and with our future.
Thank You for Jesus, the Prince of Peace, and help us to take His peace and rest in Him. And thank You that You are doing wondrous things during this crazy time. In Jesus name we pray—Amen.

Questions to consider:

1. Evaluate the quantity and quality of time you spend in Bible reading/study/meditation and prayer.
2. What are you doing to stay safe and healthy?
3. Do you have a positive attitude during this COVID season?
4. List some positive things you believe God is doing or will do during this COVID season.
4. List ways you can encourage others during these days of pandemic.

“O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do,                                   but our eyes are on You” (2 Chronicles 20:12 NKJV).



©Copyright 2020 Connie Wohlford

Sunday, July 5, 2020

The Good vs. The Best


The Good vs. The Best                                           

Do you know the difference between what’s good and what’s best?

I drew a beautiful home design for our family. The layout was great and it had lots of windows. My parents were excited about the prospects of our building our new home on the hill above theirs.

The big obstacle was heightened interest rates at that time. The idea of selling our current house and building a new one just wasn’t practical. After prayer and counting the costs, we decided to hold off on such a project.

A few years later, my husband and I decided that the time had come for me to leave teaching and embark on a new career. After much prayer and preparation, I was ready to launch my own log home business, representing a company owned by friends.

The hill behind my parents was not a preferred location for our new log home. God had a plan greater than our own and we found land which better suited our needs and was only about a quarter of a mile from my parents. Then to add to the beauty of our story, when our son retired from the military a few years later, he and his wife built a home on that hill above my parents’ which, of course, thrilled my folks.   
Photo by Connie Wohlford
King David wanted to embark on a grand building project. He yearned to build a magnificent house for God. A man after God’s own heart, he loved his Heavenly Father deeply and wanted to honor Him in a grandiose way. 

We find the account in 2 Samuel 7. David said to Nathan the prophet, “’See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent and curtains’

“Then Nathan said to the king, ‘Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you’” (2 Samuel 7:2b-3 NKJV*).

Without inquiring of the Lord, Nathan responded prematurely to David. The idea sounded great and Nathan basically said, “Sure. Go for it.” But this was out of God’s plan and He set Nathan straight that very night.

“But it happened that night that the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, ‘Go and tell My servant, David, “Thus says the LORD: would you build a house for Me to dwell in?’” (2 Samuel 7:5). He went on to tell him that He had moved about in a tent all along and had never asked David to build Him a house.

Then God made a covenant with David, moving from the good to the best.

“Now therefore, thus shall you say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of Hosts: ‘I took you out from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel. And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth.

“’Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the LORD tells you that He will make you a house.

“’When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever’” (verses 8-13).

The covenant blessing continues through verse 16, ending with, “’Your throne shall be established forever.’”

Awestruck and overwhelmed with gratitude, David sat before the Lord and said, “’ Who am I, O Lord GOD? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? And yet this was a small thing in Your sight, O Lord GOD; and You have also spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come. … Fort there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

“’And who is like Your people, like Israel, the one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make for Himself a name—and to do for Yourself great and awesome deeds for Your land—before Your people whom You redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, the nations, and their gods?

“’For You have made Your people Israel Your very own people forever; and You, LORD, have become their God. …

“’So let Your name be magnified forever, saying, “The LORD of hosts is the God over Israel. And let the house of Your servant David be established before You. … Now therefore, let it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue before You forever; for You, O Lord GOD, have spoken it, and with Your blessing let the house of Your servant be blessed forever”’” (2 Samuel 7:18b-29).

Here God made an eternal covenant with David, that his seed would be on the throne of God’s people forever. Centuries before, prophets had proclaimed that Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah. David was from the tribe of Judah and twenty-eight generations later after him, Jesus took His seat on the eternal throne at the right hand of Father God.

Ultimately, David’s son, Solomon, built a magnificent temple—the dwelling place for God. This was God’s plan, not the plan of a man.

Let’s be assured that God knows best in all situations. He knows what lays ahead, down every path, and around every bend. When he steps in with correction, whether redirecting or plan or helping us come to repentance for a sin, we can be confident that it’s because of His unfailing love for us, He always has our best interest in His mind and in His heart.

Like David, when God corrects us, lets worship Him and extol His greatness. 

Let’s pray: Father God, thank You, that You always know what’s best for me and that You love me so much You’re willing to step in and correct me when needed. I love You and am forever grateful. In Jesus wondrous name—Amen.

In comments below, feel free to share about a time when God corrected or redirected you.

*All Bible quotes are taken from the New King James Version.
©Copyright 2020 Connie Wohlford

Sunday, June 21, 2020

A Season of Reset: Three areas to consider


A Season of Reset: Three areas to consider       


Have you said or heard the word, “reset” lately? 


With the beginning of the COVID19 Pandemic and the upending of our lives, many people have been talking about and anticipating the implementation of a reset in certain areas of their lives. For many, it has been in regard to family and the way they prioritize time. For some, it’s a forced reset because their means of earning a living has diminished or vanished.


Whether being affected by the pandemic, or more recently, civil unrest, I want to suggest three ways in which we can each benefit from a reset. 


A word used in the Bible that is comparable to reset is renew. It is described as “a combination of ana, ‘again,’ and kainos, ‘new.’ The word suggests a renovation, restoration, transformation, and a change of heart and life. In Romans 12:2, it indicates a complete change for the better, an adjustment of one’s moral and spiritual vision.” *


It says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2 NKJV).


Then in Paul’s letter to Titus, we’re told of the Holy Spirit’s work in helping accomplish renewal. Holy Spirit is helping us reset our character. 


“but when goodness and lovingkindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:4-6 RSV).


When we believe and receive Jesus, we’re made new—we’re born-again. From time to time, even daily, we can do some soul-searching and consider how we’re doing in our walk with Christ. Occasionally, we may need a reset and renew our commitment to Him. We may even need to rededicate ourselves to Christ. 

Image by Focus on the Family 





As we are on the cusp of reentering society, let us consider three ways we can reset our lives in order to live better on the other side of COVID19. In doing so, we can more closely experience the abundant life God wants for us.


Let’s reset: 


1. Our spiritual walk. In this season of quarantine, many people are interested in knowing God better and involving Him more in their lives. Please read Titus 2:11-3:8 or at least re-read verses 4-6, quoted above. Romans 12:1-2, (above), gives insight as well. 


We can ask ourselves and ask God, “What can I do to improve my relationship with my Creator?” Here are a few suggestions:


Let’s spend quality time, daily, in His Word and in prayer, and listen quietly to hear Him speak. He’ll probably not speak audibly but will speak into our spirits in a still small voice through an impression, instruction, or encouragement.

Involvement in a Bible study group, church fellowship, or both, either in person or online can give us sound teaching, encouragement, and fellowship.


2. Our priorities. A reset of our spiritual walk will set us up for realigning our priorities. 


It’s sad that, due to the pandemic, people are out of work. And it’s unfortunate that sports and extracurricular activities have been suspended on every level. But there has been a bright side to this situation. 


I’ve heard many people say that since they have more time at home, they’ve had additional family togetherness, time for exercise, pleasure reading, or Bible study. Some are doing things they’ve not had time for, like plant a garden and enjoy creative talents such as art, cooking, sewing, knitting, crocheting, woodworking, and so on. 


I recently hear a man say that after quarantine he and his wife plan to continue taking frequent walks together. Others are exercising on a regular basis and plan to continue in the future.   


It’s good to look on the bright side of a dark event. Taking time to prayerfully realign priorities is wise and can lead to a more joy-filled and meaningful life.

Regarding our use of time, the Bible says, “Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise—sensible, intelligent people; making the most of the time—buying up each opportunity—because the days are evil! Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17 Amplified). 


3.Our finances. A thorough evaluation of and reset of finances is a good thing to do periodically. Currently, as many people have experienced a reduction or total loss of income a financial reset has dealt a harsh blow. 


No matter our level of income we can execute our financial life according to biblical teachings and we will be blessed in doing so. Resetting our spiritual walk and our priorities put us in position to reset our finances with godly wisdom.


Learning biblical principles on money and aligning our priorities with God’s Word and His character give guidelines that, when followed, produce financial security. In a nutshell, the Bible teaches that we should work and earn a living, give into God’s kingdom generously, and spend money wisely. Also, we’re to stay away from excessive credit. Proverbs 22:7b tells us that “the borrower is servant to the lender” (NKJV).  


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Jesus taught, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-20 NLJV).

As we reset our finances, we’re wise to follow the principles set up by God, being confident that He knows what’s best. 


So, have you been thinking about a reset of some kind? Please share your thoughts in a comment, especially if COVID19 has impacted your ideas on the subject.


May God bless you as you continue to navigate this strange season. If a reset of any kind is a part of your life, I pray you do so with God’s leading.
   

*Spirit Filled Life Study Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, “Word Wealth” at Titus 3:8, page 1863.

©Copyright 2020 Connie Wohlford