Sow & Gather

Hebrews

God Trains Us For His Service

New BeginningsMarci AnthonyComment
Discipline-Is-Good- Hebrews 12:11 - sowandgather.com

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11 ESV

Run-A-Mile-For-Time. That was the assignment on the board. What? People actually do that?

I've never run a mile nor do I desire to run a mile. I have many fitness and health goals but running isn't on the list. I grabbed water, sunglasses, and my GPS app. And we were off. My three friends were gone and I was sloggin' along dragging up the rear. I actually jogged the first quarter mile then had to switch to a fast walk.

My friends passed me on their return from the half-mile mark with encouraging words of "you can do it" and "good job." It was a beating. I knew I could finish in under 15 minutes just walking. It's not so much about my short little legs as it is my heart and lungs. See, those two body parts are not in shape to sustain jogging more than a quarter mile.

For six weeks I have attempted to jog a quarter mile twice a week. The quarter mile mark is where my gas gave out because I have not trained to run any further. Just as I have to train all my body parts to work at a greater capacity over longer periods of time, I also have to train my faith for the long-haul -- a quarter mile at a time.

My faith is all about training my heart and lungs, too. Making sure I'm not shallow breathing and missing out on a full, deep, refreshing breath to restore myself. Or sprinting on an ounce of faith when I should be going slower and deeper into the word of God to completely refuel my spirit for the race.

There are days when we just have to do faith sprints. Days where we just have to dig in on what spiritual fuel we have and go for it. If every day is a sprint, we will never recharge our body, mind, or spirit for the long-haul of life. Each day we dig deeper in the Word, we become stronger. God shapes us and trains us for His glory and kingdom-works one quarter-mile at a time.

I finished my mile in 13 minutes and 8 seconds. I was done. All used up. Two days later I ran my quarter mile - it was easier.

Dig Deeper |

Hebrews 12

Action Item |

Take a walk today and thank God for all he has provided you. Give praise for the coming year.

Prayer |

Dear Heavenly Father, you are with me on the sprints and marathons of life. Renew my body, mind and spirit this year. Amen.

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How to Give Thanks When We Are Overwhelmed

ThanksgivingMarci Anthony2 Comments
give-thanks-when-you-are-overwhelmed.jpg

. . . make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:21

Have you ever felt overwhelmed?  Had too much on your plate? Wanted to erase every filled box on your calendar? That’s where I was!  I just wanted to crawl on the couch, turn on the T.V. and pull a blanket over my head, hoping no one would see me! How can I do EVERYTHING that needs to get done? They are all things I love and agreed to do and truly felt God had placed on my plate. So why am I so frustrated??

In Hebrews 13:21 the word “complete” doesn’t mean “perfect” it means “prepared.” This verse is telling us that God is equipping us by way of adjusting, shaping, mending, restoring, or preparing us by what He has put “on our plate." God is preparing me in every work to do His will so that I will be well pleasing (through Jesus Christ). WHAT??? 

This means I need to get on my knees and ask God to give me strength, energy, wisdom, discernment, and even the ability to do the things I need to do. He had me exactly where He wanted me, where I needed to be...unable to do it in my ability and strength so that I would seek Him. I can get so distracted by what I am supposed to be doing that I forget WHY I’m doing it.

God never expected me to do ANY of it in my own ability – He knew I couldn’t; but He had to show me that I couldn’t do it. It is when I seek Him that what seemed like an overwhelming schedule, actually turns out to be opportunities to minister to others and to see Him working in my life.

What was once an overwhelming mess, in God’s hands becomes a way to reach out to others with love, joy, and peace. It is in those moments that I realize it is all through Him, and then He gets the glory and praise instead of me hurting my arm by trying to pat myself on the back for “all I did."

The holidays are upon us! You can choose to be overwhelmed, frazzled, and maybe even a bit angry. Or you can get on your knees and ask God where He wants you and what He wants you to do. Then, do it in His strength so that others can see the fruit of the Spirit manifested in your life. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” 

What are people seeing in you, someone who is overwhelmed or overjoyed?

Dig Deeper |

Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 3:17; 2 Corinthians 13:11

Action Item |

Write down three things you are thankful for today? If you are overwhelmed, write down why you are overwhelmed and give it to God in prayer.

Prayer |

Lord, help me to seek You in everything I do.  In Your hands even the smallest gesture can have life changing results.  Help me to remember that it is all about You not me. Amen.

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Hope Is Not A Feeling - It's Security In Christ

Romans, HebrewsSow & Gather - Tamera B.2 Comments
hope-is-security-in-christ-sowandgather-romans15

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.  NLT

As my children are growing older, I find myself holding my breath and sometimes simply “hoping for the best.”  Women face a multitude of issues that keep us in that same place of hoping. 

It is exhausting at times to Just. Keep. Hoping.  Webster’s dictionary speaks of this hope. It defines it as, “a feeling that events will turn out for the best.”  Oh my, my future outlook rests on my feelings so many times!

In His word, God speaks to us about a different kind of hoping, a hope that is not at all based on feeling or emotions.  God sized hope is a strong and confident expectation.  This hope has nothing to do with feeling, but is based on truth - the truth of God.  Oh how my soul desires to have confidence, to not simply wish but to know.

Romans 15 reminds us that the hope of God begins with Him and is received through trusting.  We trust when we give our hearts and lives to Jesus daily.  Trusting in Jesus has a result or benefit.  That benefit is joy, peace, and a confident hope.  Sit with Jesus today and trust Him!! 

Dig Deeper |

Hebrews 6; Hebrews 11

Action Item |

Think about how you have experienced joy, peace, and hope from God.  Trust Him today.

my-hope-is-in-christ-sowandgather

Prayer |

Dear Jesus, trusting you is difficult at times.  Forgive me for my lack of faith.  Give me the strength and courage to trust you in my life.  I desire to have confident hope.  I desire to be able to look at the future and smile.  Give me your hope today for all that lies ahead for me.  Amen.

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