Have you never heard? Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
Isaiah 40:28 NLT
On a good day, we can keep our eyes on Jesus, talk to him during the day and hand our troubles to him before we sleep. When we do, the peace of mind and peace of heart Christ promised to his followers fills us and protects us. (Jn.14:27)
Then, suddenly, something happens to throw us off course. The unthinkable happens. We hear a loved one has passed away. We fall into a pit of desperation because a child or spouse has made a terrible mistake. We find ourselves caught in an impossible situation. And where is God?
That is when, more than ever, we need arm ourselves with verses like Isaiah 40:28-30 to remind us who our God is. Since he chose to adopt us as his own child, he loves us with an everlasting love. The Lord will never change his mind about us. He will always be on our side and be fighting for us in every situation, even when we mess up.
No problem or battle is too big for our God. No sickness terminal unless he allows it. No temptation exists for which he hasn’t provided a way out. Our God is all-powerful, ever present with us, never absent, and knowing everything about us and those we love. God “gets” us, he understands. And he knows what we need.
So, how do we access what God has already promised and provided for us? We choose to trust him. We believe what his Word says about who he is and who we are in Christ. It really is the Good News, and it’s really true. You may have heard it many times, or not at all, but today our loving heavenly Father is asking you to respond to his trust in you, by truly trusting him in all things, not just a few. We are his witnesses, and we witness first by trusting him. Then expect the peace to follow.
Dear friends, allow your heavenly Father to surprise you with his power and grace! Choose to trust him in all things, in every situation, with every relationship. Then be amazed at the peace and love that overflows to wash away the fear and helplessness. Choose to enjoy the Lord’s overwhelming hope and joy today and always. Amen.
Mary Sumner ~ February 27, 2023
He (Christ) canceled the record of the charges
against us and took it away by nailing it
to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual
rulers and authorities. He shamed them
publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
~ Colossians 2:14,15 NLT
The Lenten season is beginning and many of us are asking God how he wants us to prepare to appreciate more the tremendous sacrifice he made of us in order that we be set free from the devil’s grip and be given new life in Christ.
Many years ago, as a young believer, I tried to ignore the Cross. It was where an unthinkable, horrible, cruel act was perpetrated against a loving, gentle, however all-powerful God. That God would make that sacrifice for me, honestly, was unimaginable. My head believed it, but my heart ran from the reality. How about you? Have you come to embrace the truth of Jesus dying for you?
I gradually came to realize that God was asking me to learn to love the Cross. Many decades later, I can look back on the journey the Holy Spirit led me on and I can honestly say that I love the Cross of Christ. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:18 the message of the Cross to those who are being saved is the very power of God.
I learned that a Great Exchange happens at the Cross. When I came to the Cross and chose to trust Jesus as my Savior and Lord, a transfer occurred. I went from headed to a destiny of death, to one of real abundant life. The Holy Spirit grabbed hold of me in that moment and transferred me out of death, despair and hopelessness into God’s glorious presence in Heaven where I am now seated at the feet of Jesus at the right hand of the Father. My perspective completely changed.
I learned that when I come trusting in Jesus’ completed work on the Cross that fear can be exchanged for God’s overcoming love, shame is exchanged for my new identity in Christ, curses nailed there and exchanged for blessings, helplessness for the power of the Holy Spirit who raised Christ from the dead. And so much more! Each time I come to the Cross of Christ by faith I am restored, renewed and made more into the person God created me to be.
Dear friends, be richly blessed as you choose to learn to love the Cross of Christ more during this Lenten season. May the Holy Spirit guide you, strengthen you and protect you as you plunge deeper into the biblical truth of Jesus’ grace and amazing sacrifice for you. May you believe the truth that you are precious to Father God as his beautiful daughter and grow in your confidence of the mission he has called you to as a new creation designed for his Kingdom. Be blessed with overflowing joy! Amen.
Mary Sumner ~ February 13, 2023
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.
For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for.
But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings
that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father
who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying,
for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony
with God’s own will. ~ Romans 8:26,27 NLT
There are moments when the right words, or even the right thoughts fail us, as we call out to God in prayer. These are times when we may be too tired, too sad, too hopeless to express our request. It is especially then that the verses above from Romans 8 should encourage us.
The Holy Spirit, who lives in true believers’ hearts, jumps in to intercede on our behalf. He not only prays when we lack words, but is always interceding for us. And we read he always prays in harmony with the Father’s own perfect will. Why is that important? Because we can be guaranteed that the Father will answer those prayers since they are aligned with his desires, plans and purposes for us.
Just think what that means. The Father knows everything about us, our past, present and future. He knows our hearts, our needs and desires. Our heavenly Father loves us unconditionally and, as a good father, always wants what is best for us, his chosen children. But it seems, for some requests, he waits for us to pray in order for the answer to be released.
We can be assured that Father God is delighted to release good things to us. James 1:16,17 tells us that every good and perfect gift comes down to us from our loving heavenly Father and that we are deceived if we think anything good comes to us from any other source. In other words, everything good comes from God, our good Father. And apparently, he is just waiting for it to be the perfect time, and to be asked.
Confirmation of that truth follows immediately after these two verses in the well-known verse, Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
So, dear one, God is in us. God is with us and for us. God really knows us and desires to give us the good gifts we need to accomplish our purpose for living. So, we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for them. Do you believe that today? I challenge you to take the next 21 days to meditate on Romans 8, considered by most Bible scholars to be the mountain top of the New Testament. Let’s do it together. Who knows what good gifts the Father wants to give us as we meditate and pray into it!
Dear friends, be blessed as you commit to meditate on Romans 8 with us. May you receive fresh revelations of who God is, how much he loves you and the amazing power of the gospel of grace. May you be filled with his peace and overflow with his joy. Amen.
Mary Sumner ~ January 30, 2024