Today was an awesome day! It was a good morning! We started worship with “Hold Us Together,” singing the words, “This is the first day of the rest of your life.” I looked onward and considered that today’s the first day of something special for three young girls, one who was confirming her baptism, and two who were scheduled to be baptized. Yes, my eyes began to tear up. One of the three girls was my daughter—the other two were two precious sisters who I have watched grow through the years—former students, considered family in my eyes. Oh what a wonderful morning!
As the three girls were before us I continued to pray for each one of them and I thanked God for His great plan for each of their lives. After the ceremony had finished, I made my way to the bathroom. I heard the words, “Good morning.” I looked around. No one was in the bathroom. No one was in the lounge. No one was anywhere near me. And I said, “Yes God, it is a good morning.”
Every day someone accepts the Lord as their Savior, it is a good morning. Every time someone becomes a brother or sister in Christ, it is a good morning. Heaven rejoices. We rejoice. God wants all of us to come home. Each one of us. Read 2 Peter 3:9. Today, it was a good morning. Three people very near and dear to my heart had the most important day of their lives. Join me in praying for each of these girls. Pray also that those who have yet to have their “good morning” will open their eyes and ears to what God has for them—the beautiful free gift—and give themselves as a living sacrifice. Thank you Jesus!! Oh what a beautiful day!
I wrote three verses in each of the books for the girls. Here’s one I wrote for my daughter:
“For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” – Zephaniah 3:17 [NLT]
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas were in prison singing hymns. An earthquake opened the prison doors but the prisoners stayed. Free to stay. Why? Why didn’t they run? They were bringing Hope.
The jailer woke up from the earthquake and saw all the doors of the prison open. He immediately decided to kill himself because he would have been killed anyway for allowing the prisoners to escape. He felt hopeless. This reminds me of Elijah and the hopeless woman and her son. Do you remember she wanted to eat the food she had left and then die? In 1 Kings 17, you find this widow of Zarephath feeling hopeless, just as this jailer. Elijah was bringing Hope.
In both cases, this sense of hopelessness was met with the presence of God. Paul and the others stayed. The jailer asked what to do to be saved. He and his household were saved. The widow and her son never ran out of oil. What was once hopeless was no longer. The jailer was then “filled with joy” (v. 34). From hopeless to joy—you can have that too!
“The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped… He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’” – Acts 16:27, 30 [NIV]
There were two sons who were very different. The one son wanted the inheritance so the father split up the estate and the son ran off with the amount he was given. The other remained. Most people remember this story. Finally after the son spends all of his money, he realizes what he did. He returns to his father and repents. What was lost was now found.
What was the father doing while the son was away? Can you remember that part of the story? When the son was returning, he wasn’t even at home when his father saw that he was returning. He was “still a long way off.” Why? Because the father was watching and waiting for the lost son.
God watches and waits for us too. He does not want to lose any of us. He is filled with unfailing love and overflowing compassion. He wants to run to each of us. He wants to embrace you. We simply need to head home. No matter what you have done, no matter how far you have traveled, you always can return to him. He’s waiting. Come home.
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” – Luke 15:20 [NLT]
While walking Jesus saw a dead son being carried along with the mother of the son and a group who gathered with her. She was a widow. He was her only son. I couldn’t imagine what she was going through suffering yet another loss. As one would expect, she was crying.
Jesus saw her and the Bible says “his heart overflowed with compassion.” He told the widow not to cry. He raised her son. The passage said that Jesus gave him back to his mother. What once was lost she had again.
The Lord’s heart overflows with compassion for each of us. He loves each of us that much. There are moments when I am crying and I can feel this sudden peace. “Don’t cry.” I’m not alone. You’re not alone. His compassion overflows with such a great outpouring to each one of us, so much so that He, the only Son, died and rose again so that we too could rise again, that we can have new life.
“When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. ‘Don’t cry!’ he said.” – Luke 7:13 [NLT]
There was a man and his son standing in line with a group of other people. A lady standing next to the man began talking to the man with typical small talk. The man’s son walked up to the woman he did not know and he smacked the woman. The man immediately grabbed the boy and smacked him again and again. He then said he did not know how his boy learns this behavior because he surely did not learn it from him.
I do not want to get into a discipline discussion. The Bible tells us not to spare the rod. Children need discipline. But I think it is important to make note of our actions because our children learn by example. The boy was not told to apologize. The boy was not told why what he did was wrong. He was not taught a right way to handle the situation. He was hit and then hit again. Perhaps the first hit wasn’t hard enough so it needed to be reinforced.
Today I challenge you to be an example of what you want your children to follow. When they need discipline, discipline them. But be mindful that they will learn from your example. You might not even realize what you are teaching them. The actions speak so much louder than the words. Today’s verse can be seen as one for leaders, for parents, and for anyone. A good example speaks volumes.
“Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.” – 1 Peter 5:3 [NLT]
A child was trying to get a Matchbox Car he wanted by hiding it from his mother for she already said he could not have the toy. He thought he was pretty clever in hiding it underneath some other items on the conveyor belt at the checkout; however, she was onto his tactics. She knew what he was thinking and she was expecting his deceptive actions. Without even having to dig around the barricade to find the hidden toy, she said she did not want to purchase the item underneath. She knew what was there. She knew what he did.
God knows what we do as well. He even knows our heart. There is no way to hide what you are really feeling or what you have done, are considering doing, or will do at some time. He knows all. So why try to hide? Why be one person at one time and then be a different person—the real you—at another time? Why try to “cover up” something you have done, thinking it will remain hidden? God sees. God knows. You cannot hide it from God.
He knows. He knows you. He made you. He formed you together. You can see this in two ways—trying to hide from Him though there’s no way to hide—or trying to seek His will for your life and see the beautiful plan He has designed specifically for you. Why walk in disobedience, trying to hide from a loving Father, when you have the opportunity for so much more? Let us get to know Him better and stop the hiding-and-seek game.
“Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.” – 1 John 3:19-20 [NLT]
The Twelve Fingerprints eBook is now available at various vendors.
This book is not about me. This book is not about my journey so far through life. This book is about my God and some of the fingerprints He allowed to leave a mark on my life. In the end, it all comes down to our relationship with God, and how we react to each fingerprint left on our life is directly related to the person we become. Our reactions to each fingerprint not only show our true colors, but it also is interlinked with our faith. May this book help you to see that every fingerprint can result in a positive reaction if you allow God to have His way in your life. This book was written to cause one to evaluate and question and to seek God and His purpose.
Follow the links for a sneak peek or to purchase: