God Our Healer

Are you in need of a healing touch from God?  Although we don't see as many physical healings of sickness and disease as were depicted in biblical times, God is still very much in the healing business today.  He heals our hearts.

Please stop by Pam's blog, Pathways to Freedom to view the post "My Healer", as she discusses how an intimate relationship with God through prayer and bible reading can provide the healing we all so desparately need.


His Grace Is Sufficient

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:9-10)

I recently attended a church different than my own and received a timely message from God that I can't get out of my mind.  I'm thankful that I can't.  Once again as I sat in a church service, feeling frustrated with a particular life situation, our compassionate God delivered a sermon to me to provide me with hope.  Through a pastor whom I didn't know, I was instructed to pray deeply the simple prayer "I can't, but You can" throughout the next week. I'm still holding on to that prayer.  Nothing is impossible with God.

It is hard to understand sometimes, especially when we are in the middle of something bigger than ourselves, how God's strength can be all that we need.  However, sometimes it is all that we have.  When we wonder how we can take that next step, He is there to guide us. When we fall down and skin our knees, He offers His gentle hand to help us up, kisses our wounds and tries to make it all better.  When we fall down humbly on our knees in prayer with nothing else to give, we finally see His power and strength as He lifts up our head, looks us in the eyes and tells us that we can make it.  His strength and love is perfect.

What are you trying to survive?  Remember, God can pull you through.  Take some time today and recount the times He has done it in the past.  He will be there for you today and tomorrow too.  Count on it.  His strength is perfect.  Even when we can't, He can.


Abundant Life

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. - John 10:10 NKJV

Abundant life.  Do you have it?  Jesus said that He had come so that His followers could have life and have it more abundantly.  What does that mean to you?

In addition to the eternal life we have through believing on Jesus Christ for salvation, we can also have a life on earth much richer than we can ever expect without Him.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives we can possess the qualities of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).  These qualities alone would affect so many people in our lives for good.

But what about the eternal impact for good we can have through a life of service to Christ?  When we minister to others in service to God, we not only reap blessings on earth, but we reap an ability to experience eternal life to the fullest.  (Gal 6:8)  And the good thing is, God is right beside us to help us serve Him.

When was the last time you reached out to serve God with your talents and abilities by enriching the life of someone else?  Do you feel that God is calling you to be a blessing?  If He is, knowing that He will help you in anything He asks of you, what are you waiting for?  Abundant life is yours for the taking.

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Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


The Completed Tabernacle

According to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did all the work. Then Moses looked over all the work, and indeed they had done it, as the LORD had commanded, just so they had done it.  And Moses blessed them. (Exodus 39:42-43 NKJV)

Looking back on Exodus 35-39, we see an example of God's people carrying out God's instructions to the letter.   Not only did they construct the tabernacle, but they carefully made all of the furnishings, altar items, and priestly garments.  It is amazing to me how much work it takes to do things exactly as God wants.  God is very particular and desires quality rather than quantity.  The good news is that God provides us with the resources to do the job!  God gave Moses all that he needed to get the work done, including materials and skilled personnel.  Incredible!

As I think about the completed tabernacle, I think about the following principles we can apply to our lives:

  1. God provided skilled workers - God stirred up the hearts of the specific people He needed to get the job done.
  2. God provided materials - more than they needed.
  3. Moses followed God's instructions to the letter - He gave God the quality God expected.
  4. Moses inspected the work - A leader is responsible for the work of subordinates.

What task does God have planned for you?  What character does He want to produce in you? He will provide the resources you need in many ways.  No job is too big for God.  Keep seeking Him and watching for His plan to be revealed.  When it is time to move on the task, God will make the way.

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Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


Do I Really Want the Blessing?

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the LORD your God...
(Isaiah 43:2-3a NKJV)

While I was journaling a few nights ago and trying to focus on God's role in a current situation, my thoughts wandered to the blessings God provides if we just persevere.  He promises us strength, companionship, and courage along the journey as well.   As I thought about this though, I couldn't help but think "Do I really want the blessing?" 

Think about the following:

You need to be...                               to experience...
Weak                                               God's strength
Lonely                                              God's companionship
Afraid                                               God's courage 
Disappointed                                      God's sovereignty/Goodness
Defeated                                           God's power
Sad                                                  God's comfort

And the list goes on...

Stay with me here.   Yes, I do want the blessings and promises of God to come my way.  Even if I have to endure some difficulties here and there.  We can't stop them from coming anyway, can we?

What are you trying to survive?  Whatever it is, don't give up and keep hanging on until you get to the other side.  A blessing awaits.

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Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.

 


Making His Faithfulness Known

I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. - Psalm 89:1

As I speak this week in Alton, Belleview, Highland and Collinsville, Illinois, I will remember this verse.  Why?  First of all because it is God's word and I should.  But most of all, because I will be making God's faithfulness to me known as I share my story of how through the years I've learned to reliquish control of my life to God.  Let me tell you, it hasn't been easy.  It still isn't easy!

God's mercy for us and others does endure forever, in spite of our shortcomings as Christians.  In closing, I'd like to share a poem I wrote back in February of this year in response to a CBS bible study homework assignment.  I think it sums up my talks for the week and the thankfulness we should all have towards God's mercy, even though sometimes we don't understand His ways. 

Why do You love me,
Why do You use me,
When I can't help but go astray?

I want to understand,
Yet I cannot understand,
How You decide the way.

Through the trials I will trust You.
Through the darkness I will follow You,
As You light up my way.

Thank You for Your mercy,
Thank You for Your grace.
Thank You for Your power to change.


God Will Provide

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: "See, I have called by name Bezalel ... And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship ... and to work in all manner of workmanship.  And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab ... and have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you:" (Exodus 31:1-6 NKJV)

God always equips those he calls to do his work.  Plain and simple.  Time after time in scripture we see examples of God providing resources to his appointed leaders, whether in the form of material resources, people or character qualities.  The example above with Moses is no different. 

Moses was nearing the end of his tiem on the mountain with God and had probably received more instruction than he could handle.  I wonder how Moses took notes of all the things God told him he would have to do with respect to every law and the intricate details of the temple/tabernacle construction!  If it was me, I would be really worried about how I could do all of it myself!

God never intended Moses to "go it alone".  As we see in our passage above, God provided human resources to Moses, and not just any warm bodies.  God provided to Moses men that were not only skilled in the various necessary crafts, but wise and knowledgeable men as well.  Now that is my kind of team! 

Has God called you to a task that is larger than yourself?  Pray and ask God to provide you with the appropriate resources to get His job done.  On the contrary, He may send you to someone else.  Nonetheless, His will and work will be done.

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Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


Ordinary for the Extraordinary

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.--Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV

In my last post, I wrote about Moses and how all of us, like Moses, tend to make excuses for why we aren't able to do what God has called us to do.  Today, I'd like to follow up that post by sending you over to visit Deborah Shank at Chocolate and Coffee to read her April 9th post entitled "God Uses Ordinary Folks"

Here's a teaser for you from her post there.  Deborah says:

"Our success in Christ should never be limited or measured by man's opinion or evaluation. God has given each of us incredible gifts and talents. As He opens doors for our ministries we should approach them with confidence thanking God for the continued work He is completing in our lives each day. He doesn't necessarily need the most educated and the most talented individuals to accomplish great tasks...God equips the called."

Deborah concludes by exhorting us to press on in confidence...

"Don't allow the enemy to discourage you by telling you that you are unworthy for the task God has placed before you. God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary works for His Kingdom!"

Yes, God does use the ordinary for the extraordinary.  He tells us that in scripture all of the time.  We just need to start believing Him.

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Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


Ransom Money

And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the LORD, to make atonement for yourselves. - Exodus 30:16 NKJV

Have you ever thought of what price in dollars God would have you pay to get into heaven?  Another way to look at this would be that this payment would be ransom money to get us out of the hell we deserve because of our inherent sin nature.   Since the beginning of God's relationship with man, that relationship has cost someone something.  Please stay with me here. 

It struck me in Exodus 30:12 that God spoke to Moses telling him that "every man shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD ... that there may be no plague among them when you number them."   The "ransom" here was a mere half shekel, equating to 33 cents.  Sounds like a small price to pay for security with God, huh?  But what would that 33 cents equate to today?  We all know about inflation, don't we?  I do have somewhat of a financial background so I thought I'd look into this a little further.  However, I couldn't find a calculator that would give me the future value of 33 cents invested 3500 years ago! 

But I was able to calculate what 33 cents would equate to in 1000 years at a 3% inflation rate (this is a good historical average rate for the U.S.).  Drumroll please.... the answer is a mere $2,268,499,276,285.98.  Over two trillion dollars.  The point here is to see that there is no way we could possibly give atonement to God with our own efforts.  We can't afford our own ransom money.

However, Jesus bought us with the price of His sinless life.  He paid our ransom when he gave his life for us through the death of a Roman crucifixion.  Don't forget that He not only suffered that agonizing death, but he came from a throne in heaven to live on earth with us.   And I don't even like staying in a cheap motel!  I can't even fathom what he did for me.   Because of Him, because I've believed on Him, my ransom has been paid.  I owe Him my life.  What about you?

For further thought:

1) Whose atonement money am I relying on to achieve a right standing with God, to gain entrance into heaven?  My good works or Jesus' sacrifice?

2) How can I repay God for what He has done for me?  How should knowing what I "cost" Him, change the way and quantity of my service to Him?

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Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


Discerning a Blessing

And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as the frost on the ground.  So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, "What is it?"  For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, "This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat."- Exodus 16:14-15 NKJV

Ah, they did not know that the small round substance on the ground was to be their food for the next 40 years!  God had heard the Israelites complaints for food in the wilderness, and once again provided for His people, this time in the form of bread from heaven.   However, they did not recognize their blessing for what it was.  Moses had to explain it to them.

Once again there are several principles packed into this passage.  Let's examine them, shall we?

  1. Blessings can be tests.  God will use blessings to test our hearts in order to determine our level of obedience to him.
  2. Blessings can be disguised. Gifts from God aren't always immediately recognized as the blessings that they are.  Manna means "What?" The people didn't know what to make of this new foreign substance at first glance.  Once it was explained to them by an objective source, Moses, who wasn't complaining to God, they understood what they had.
  3. Blessings can be squandered.  We need to use the blessings God gives us as he intends them to be used.  Notice the specific instructions given to the Israelites in Exodus 16 for handling their blessing. (v20-21) Following God's instructions will keep our blessings alive.

Is there a blessing hanging around in your life that you have failed to recognize?  Are you using the ones you've received and recognized for God's glory?  We are blessed to be a blessing to others.  What will you do with yours?

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Janna Rust is a Life/Business Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.