Infinite Grace Devotional: Who Fights For You?

Infinite Grace Devotional: Who Fights For You?

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2)

 

The kids and I had a week off from homeschooling a few weeks back. I’m learning how important it is to schedule in rest to avoid burnout and not just stop all together. So, the kids and I were all working on different projects. I was working on food prep because you know, baby weight. The oldest four were planning and scheming a way to build the biggest fort ever!  After tons of chopping and dicing, I went into their room to find a fort roof cascading down one side of the bunk bed and all four of the kids packed in like sardines looking at books and giggling. I slipped right in and started asking them what a fort was for? Payton, my nine year old piped up and said “It’s something to hide in and protects us from the enemy”.  It immediately reminded me of the old hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”.

David writes here in Psalm 18 that our God is a fortress. A fort is a strong place that provides protection, where a fortress is a place of strength. Think about that for a minute. Fort: Strong place. Fortress: Place of strength. We can run and hide inside a fort but it will not fight back for us. A fortress is an intricate defense. It’s where the strength is, where the power is. When it says here that God is our fortress, deliverer, God, refuge, shield, salvation and stronghold, He not only provides a place of protection but He IS the source of power and who fights on our behalf.

Moses comforted the Israelites as they feared the Egyptians were after them.  Moses told them in Exodus 14:14 “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” That very same God who parted the Red Sea for the Israelites is the very same God who provides a safe place and fights for you. I’m not sure what battle you are facing today friend, but be faithful in what you know to do and know that our God goes before you!  May you find rest in the solid rock of our salvation.  A Mighty Fortress and Deliverer is our God!

Love, Janell

Infinite Grace Devotional: A Million Little Deaths

Infinite Grace Devotional: A Million Little Deaths

Most of us would say that we would be willing to die for our faith in God, yet we are so unwilling to die a million little deaths to the everyday things for our Savior.

I have been mulling on this thought for a while now. It is amazing to me how easy it is as believers to be “all talk and no action”. It’s easy to say we would die for our faith if it came down to it, but when God convicts us of sin or requires more out of us in the minutes and days that he has so graciously given, we retreat, avoid, or totally flake out!? We are SO like Adam in the garden hiding from the all-knowing God just hoping he doesn’t see us…

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1)

He is SUCH a loving Abba Father, and here in this life He is so good to faithfully use these “deaths” to strengthen our faith and grow us in righteousness. What we don’t realize is that on the other side of the “death” to the sin, and the stripping off of sin, that there is TRUE life and freedom in walking in repentance and obedience. And yet we settle?

It’s like when our little one year old is sitting in her high chair so eager to eat her meal. You prepare her dish and sit down eye to eye with her, ready to fly that spoon right into her mouth. As she starts to eat from your hand, she can taste and see that it is good, but as you go back for another spoonful she starts licking whatever has fallen onto the bib thinking that will sustain her. You come in for another bite. You have a full spoon right in front of her. Sustenance that will carry her on until the next meal, yet she is ignoring your best for her and insists on eating the leftover crumbs and food that have fallen onto her bib because she’s not willing to look up and see what you have for her.

That is SO us at times! Why settle for crumbs right in front of us, when we can look up and have The Bread of Life? A lot of times that involves dying to our selves, our wants, and our abilities and just being willing to look up and move forward in faith trusting that what the Father has for us is far greater than our crummy leftovers.

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:8-10)

Friends, we’ve got a race to run! What is He asking you to put to death or to lay down today? Trust me, you can be confident in knowing that what He has for you is FAR greater than what you are hanging on to. Look up sisters! Say yes, repent, let go, be faithful, and taste and see that the Lord is good!

❤️ Janell

#preachingtomyself #dieamilliondeaths #allbecauseofjesus

Infinite Grace Devotional: Fall into Forgiveness

Infinite Grace Devotional: Fall into Forgiveness

It had been a rough couple of days. I had been confused, angry and frustrated with everyone. I just couldn’t figure out what everyone’s problem was. Parenting seemed exceptionally hard that week and I was having a terrible time considering my Hubby and loving others well. That night, I hastily tucked the kids into bed and ran a steaming hot bath. It was finally ME time. Now I could really think. As I settled into my glorious Calgon moment, God spoke. God convicted.

“So what you’re saying is that ALL this time I was frustrated and annoyed, it had to do with the sin in MY very own heart Lord!?” Humbling… Apparently when chaos ensues on the outside, it is directly related to the chaos going on on the inside. I immediately repented (not always the case just FYI) and sought forgiveness that was already there waiting from my loving Savior. He is so gracious to convict us of sin and to draw us to repentance.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

He graciously reminded me that living for eternity was costly. It costs us something. So expensive in fact that it cost Jesus his very LIFE, so that we might live.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. 1 Peter 2:24a

Here I am just having a 2-year-old temper tantrum about the intentional laying down of my time and the cost of my comforts when Jesus died for that very thing. How incredibly humbling. This calling to be a wife and mother has proven to be incredibly sanctifying. The challenge to love, honor and respect my Husband as we intentionally share the gospel and disciple and train in our very own home has been an exceptional avenue by which God has revealed much of my weakness, sin and great need for my King. I’m learning that there is such freedom in submitting to Christ’s calling as I let go of sin and seek eternal things. This season has also been the very place I have learned about incredible forgiveness and grace.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17

The next morning It was early and the fog was still rolling through as I drove down the winding familiar roads to school. The kids were in the back cackling away…more chipper than necessary at 7:45am. Hues of gold, orange and red had laced the landscape for weeks now as we welcomed November. We came upon a bend in the road near one of our favorite parks, I noticed that this particular week the park trees were much more bare compared to the previous. So bare in fact, that I could actually see clear through them down to the river. I could see clearer now more than ever. I couldn’t help but think of what a beautiful picture that was of our hearts.

The trees are so predictably open to the change God brings with the next season, freely letting go of the dead in anticipation to the new life that is to come.

Often times we want to hang on to the dead things thinking that in those things resides joy and life, but we are so deceived. As we repent and let go of the sin we can then see much clearer. Just like when I could see clear down to the river. Unrepentant Sin only obstructs our vision and suffocates any newness of life to be had.

What is it today that needs to fall away? Seek repentance friend and let it go. I can tell you that real joy and life can only be found through our faithful and loving God who is the giver of forgiveness and LIFE! The forgiveness He so graciously gives is not only just a seasonal Fall forgiveness, but a forever forgiveness. It truly is so lovely to let the dead things go and to see more clearly as God brings forth new life in us.

Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, Acts 3:19-20a

Infinite Grace Devotional: Struck down, but not destroyed!

Infinite Grace Devotional: Struck down, but not destroyed!

Where do you find yourself today friend? Amidst trials? Adversity? Are you in the trenches of life?

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
(2 Corinthians 4:7-9 ESV)

I am in the trenches of Motherhood. Diaper bombs, late nights, sippy cups, whiney kids, and sticky fingers. There are days that Most days I feel afflicted, crushed, perplexed and driven to despair…persecuted, forsaken & struck down. How can I keep up with three kids in diapers? How can I effectively train my five-year old & teach him truth? When will the terrible two’s be over? I just don’t have enough energy or strength to get through…

It’s mucky, it’s hard, and it’s down right NASTY as times…and that is JUST where He wants me. Weak, tired, and at the end of myself to finally see that I am NOT destroyed and that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us!!!

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:8-10 ESV)

Paul continues to show us that God triumphs amid our human weaknesses, which in turn reflects the principle of Christ’s crucifixion. Christ died for our human weakness which is a result of sin, and He TRIUMPHED!!! Thank you Jesus! So if God was able to overcome the whole worlds sin and triumph, then His grace TRULY is SUFFICIENT!!! His power is PERFECTED in our weakness! Did you see that? That Christs POWER rests on US for His sake. And THEN I can be CONTENT with weakness, insults, hardship, persecution & calamities. (Easier said then done…contentment. But just lay it down as Jesus feet every time you are tempted.)

So, I know that my “hardships or calamities” may be nothing compared to a Father who has lost his child, a Mother who has broken fellowship with her sister, or a daughter who has been abused. But I am SO THANKFUL that Gods promises for believers can carry us through, no matter how BIG or small our trials are.

So whatever trench you find yourself in this season of life, may you rest & trust in this promise that the surpassing power belongs to God, BUT that the POWER of Christ may rest upon US! So go boast in your weakness & to God be the glory, for when we are weak…He is STRONG!

Janell