Contend Earnestly For The Faith

“preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 3:2-5

There is a call of God for the Word to be taught – for the people of God to be in THE WORD and partaking of the Bread of Life (the way, the truth, and the life, John 6:35; 14:6). We are to be a people of the Word: to know it, live it (do what it says), teach it, and lead others to the Living Water to drink for themselves. 

We don’t have to fully understand everything before we are able to lead others. People need help and have questions. Let’s show them how to find answers and how to study the Word as they ask the Holy Spirit to lead them into all truth (John 16:13). 

“Study to show yourself approved” (2 Tim. 2:15). We think we need so many other things when one thing is needful: to sit at His feet, learn of Him, and know truth so that we can stand. 

Know the truth so that you are able to “contend earnestly” for it (Jude 1:3).

These days have not taken the Lord (who is sovereign over all, Psalm 103:19) by surprise, and He has instructed us how to live. Don’t take the route of least resistance. Stand for biblical truth. Know it. And do not back down. Trust in the one true God and in Him alone. 

Pray and let Him give you the bold confidence you need (Ps. 138:3). Take heart. He is stirring up new things within us, things we won’t see or recognize until we stretch ourselves and try Him out, obeying the quiet promptings of the Holy Spirit. Let us humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God (1 Peter 5:6), submit (James 4:7), be fully surrendered and “all in” and walk in dependent obedience, as we follow His lead. Listen to His word and proclaim it. Stop playing it safe and start “practicing”. Make yourself. Press in. Listen. And obey. Love and bless His people. Let Him minister and lead others to truth through you.  

May our heart’s cry be, “Use me, Lord.” And go. Listen to Him and speak His Word.

“For Ezra had prepared and set his heart to seek the Law of the Lord [to inquire for it and of it, to require and yearn for it], and to do and teach in Israel its statues and its ordinances.” Ezra 7:10 Amplified Bible

What is your plan of action to diligently study, do, and teach the unadulterated word of God? It doesn’t happen without a plan.



Where Are You Going For Help?

“Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help
And rely on horses,
And trust in chariots because they are many
And in horsemen because they are very strong,
But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!”
Isaiah 31:1

There will always be reasons to rely on and trust in “horses, chariots, and horsemen” because they are “many and very strong”. So, if we are living within “reason”, whatever those “chariots and horses” are for us today, it makes perfect sense to trust in them (and in many cases is probably easier as that is what we see most around us doing). 

But this would always be the wrong decision, for “woe to those” who do so, who do not look to the Holy One for help, nor seek the Lord.

“Seek the Lord and His strength; 
Seek His face continually.” Psalm 105:4

Time with the Lord (in His Word and in prayer) is the only way we are going to make it in these “difficult times” in which we live (2 Tim. 3:1-7). We need help, and too many are looking to “man” and what seems “reasonable”, doing what is right in their own eyes (Prov. 21:2), “truth has stumbled in the street” (Is. 59:14), many “will not endure sound doctrine” (2 Tim. 4:3), and though they profess to be wise, they have become fools (Rom. 1:22). 

We MUST rise up and PRAY and KNOW the truth of the Word and walk in obedience to it (not just hear it and delude ourselves, James 1:22), trusting fully in Him and His truth and His ways.

And we must courageously stand for that truth.

So, let us ask ourselves (and allow God to search us and show us): Where do I go for help? In what or whom else am I trusting or relying upon today? Who am I looking to?

And do we realize how many times we make these decisions daily?

“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever,
For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.” Isaiah 26:3

Stand with the Majority

“Look at the proud; his soul is not straight or right within him, but the [rigidly] just and the [uncompromisingly] righteous man shall live by faith and in his faithfulness.” Habakkuk 2:4 AMP 

There will be many decisions. You may not initially recognize them as such, but you’ll have the opportunity to decide daily whose “side” you ARE on. And as you choose to live uncompromisingly righteous, it will certainly “look like” you are choosing with the minority and you’ll feel all alone, but that’s only a “worldly illusion”. When you stand WITH the Creator of the universe and the One who is truth, you are not alone or small or the underdog. You are fully victorious, and you fully overcome. So, keep the finish line in mind. Don’t give into the feelings of the moment. No marathon runner would ever finish if they gave into how they feel at any given moment of the race. Run to win (1 Cor. 9:24). 

“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12

Do not back down and think the pushback means you’ve done something wrong. May we be faithful to our calling and to the Lord’s goals. He desires changed hearts who follow hard after truth even at the risk of their comfort. Because they KNOW and LOVE Him and know His truth, they are ready to “weather any storm”.

Stand with the true majority – the Truth, the Life, and the Way: Jesus.

“. . . discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7b, 8


Hi friend. I pray that you have people around you who are encouraging you on toward love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24) and that you don’t feel all alone today in your pursuit of “righteousness, faith, love and peace” (2 Tim. 2:22). But if you’ve been feeling all alone, I pray that this has been an encouragement to you. Keep moving forward and clinging to His truth. Know the Word. How are you “discipling yourself for the purpose of godliness”? I’d love to hear the instructions the Lord has laid on your heart in these recent months and where you are finding breakthrough. 

You are not alone. Let that fact give you courage to stand firm today and every day. I’m praying for you today. Make it a great one!


What The Lord Can Suddenly Get Done

“Then they were quite willing and glad for Him to come into the boat. And now the boat went at once to the land they had steered toward. [And immediately they reached the shore toward which they had slowly been making their way.]” John 6:21 Amplified Bible

From the Heart of God:

I will take you beyond any current fear or doubt and then beyond the next. Past one “rock” or “boulder” or even “mountain” at a time. Only focus on the faith needed for the next step, and you’ll be amazed at where “WE” (together) suddenly are

Don’t romanticize the way things were and make them out to be something that they were not. Don’t long for what was, as if nothing ahead can be as good. Face the past in truth. And look forward in hope, faith, and trust.

KNOW that I Am a God of the “beyond”, the God of impossibilities. Nothing is too difficult for Me. No, nothing (Ephesians 3:20, Matthew 19:26, Jeremiah 32:17).

“The sea began to be stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. Then, when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened. But He said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’ So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.” John 6:18-21

Some of you may feel like you have been making your way to a desired destination for a long time now. Then “strong winds” have erupted and stirred up circumstances to make your journey even more difficult. I wonder if perhaps this passage may speak to your heart today – if there will be a moment when you take notice, see, and recognize Jesus in the midst of what you are currently working hard to accomplish and will be willing to “receive Him into your boat” and experience what only He can do (even if He shows up in a way that makes you afraid).

He is more than able to handle anything that concerns us today. He is also able to calm the winds and the seas and make them perfectly calm (Matt. 8:26) – even the storms inside our thoughts and emotions. Allow Him.

Take time with the Lord and ask what it looks like for you to “receive Him into your boat” today? Is there a task at hand that you have been working hard at and are in need of His Presence, which changes everything? “I am with you” is the answer to all our fears, doubts, and seemingly impossible tasks.

Take it all to Him in prayer.

(You can read more about His with-ness being the Difference Maker here.)

Will We Give Our Attention to His Word?

May this not be said of us, as it was in Daniel 9:13: “all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our Godby turning from our iniquity and giving our attention to Your truth.” 

Awake, O sleepers, lift up your heads. Look to Him. Follow hard after Him so that you are not swept away by the torrents, that you can weather any storm. Like a life preserver for the soul is “hope in God alone”. May our hope not be in man, government, reputation, country, or money; allow no other thing to be your god, allow no other idol. He is enough and is holy and is to be treated as holy. 

In 1 Samuel 7:3 it says “Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, ‘If you return to the Lord with all your heart, remove the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your hearts to the Lord and serve Him alone; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.”

Consider this: are the steps that need to be taken today so different from these? Could this be what we need to hear and obey to not be overtaken by the enemy (the seen and unseen physical and spiritual enemies):

-Return to the Lord with all your heart. 
-Remove the foreign gods and idols from among you.
-Direct your hearts to the Lord and serve Him alone.

In response to Samuel’s instructions, “the sons of Israel removed the Baals and the Ashtaroth and served the Lord alone”(1 Samuel 7:4) and fasted and said, “‘We have sinned against the Lord.’” (v. 6) Then the sons of Israel said to Samuel, ‘Do not cease to cry to the LORD our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.’ . . . and Samuel cried to the LORD for Israel and the LORD answered him (v. 7-9). And as a result, when the Philistines, whom they feared, drew near to battle against Israel, “the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day and confused them so that they were routed before Israel” (v.10).

As we trust in Him alone, obey and do what He instructs, and pray, God can move in and suddenly take care of all that we fear, in ways that we could never even imagine. He is the God of the impossible. 

May we seek the favor of the Lord OUR God by 1) turning from our iniquity and 2) giving our attention to His truth, the truth of His Word.

Friend, how will you give your attention to His Word? Do you have a plan? I’d love to hear about it.

A form of this post was originally shared in October of 2014 on my old blogspot writing site. The Daniel 9 verse has been on my heart the last few weeks as I have posted, along with Isaiah 30:15 “‘In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.’ But you were not willing . . .” May this also not be said of us, that we were not willing to follow the clear instructions of the Lord. If you would like to read further on repentance (and rest and refreshing and fruit) click here. May you have a blessed week!

with love,


The Answer

Our answer is to return to Him.
This needs to be our message no matter how we feel it will be received. It is still the answer to all our problems, and Jesus always will be. So will we offer the solution (with faith that the gospel and the word of the cross is “the power of God”) or will we be ashamed of the message because it is foolishness to those who are perishing (1 Cor. 1:18, Romans 1:16)? 
What if the feelings of hopelessness of the message of repentance being received is actually just a scheme of the enemy to keep us quiet?
Have we considered that this was Jesus’ message – “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand” – and that He spoke it knowing that it would not be well received even in the religious community? 
The problem and the answer are still the same. Our modern society is not too sophisticated for the solution we have to offer. Jesus is the only way (John 14:6). How about we (the church) offer Him (be workers in this harvest), fast, pray, and expect the gospel to do its work, a work that our world desperately needs!
Look at this example in 2 Chronicles: “‘Now do not stiffen your neck like your fathers, but yield to the LORD . . . and serve the Lord your God, that His burning anger may turn away from you. For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive . . . For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him.’ So the couriers passed from city to city . . . but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them” 2 Chron. 30:8, 9,10.
This response is what we expect and fear, so we keep the solution quiet, but this passage continues: 
“Nevertheless some . . . humbled themselves . . . The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and princes commanded by the word of the Lord.” 2 Chron. 30:11, 12.
Let’s rise up and be bold with the answer of “return to Jesus”, risk the scorn, and leave the response to God. Speak up for the sake of the “some”. He is the one who turns hearts and changes minds; we can’t, but let us speak up and watch what He does with our obedience
“. . . they consecrated themselves faithfully in holiness” 2 Chron. 31:18. 
Jesus opens
eyes– “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him” Luke 24:31.
minds to understand- “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures . . .” Luke 24:45.
hearts to respond- “the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.” Acts 16:14
and gives us understanding to know Him- “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20
Let us fast and pray for these things according to His word and speak forth His truth.
Know the truth of His Word, practice it, and teach it (Ezra 7:10). 
Rejection of the Truth is our world’s problem and Jesus is the solution. The church must not be ashamed or afraid to provide the real answer.
“. . . I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, but kept declaring both to those in Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance” Acts 26:19, 20.
Jesus is the way.
He is THE truth.
HE is the LIFE.

The “Must” of Being in His Word

A.W. Tozer wrote in The Knowledge of the Holy: “The decline of the knowledge of the holy has brought on our troubles. A rediscovery of the majesty of God will go a long way toward curing them. It is impossible to keep moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate. If we would bring back spiritual power to our lives, we must begin to think of God more nearly as He is.”  

May our plans for the new year have time with The Almighty at the top of the list – rediscovering His majesty, holiness, divine power, and His enablement for us to fulfill our calling and to walk in a manner worthy of that calling (Eph. 4:1).

We need the encouragement that is found in daily being in His life-giving, living and active Word. 

The “must” of being in His Word is one of my life messages, and I feel a now more than everwe must dedicate ourselves to know the truth of His Word and to prayer – to pray His Word, to pray according to His Word, to listen to His voice, and to obey. 

And, honestly, all of this just doesn’t happen without a plan!

I have a Bible reading plan I love that you can download here: My Favorite Reading Plan. It can be folded and used as a bookmark to mark off as you go. But I encourage you to use whatever has worked best for you. Just have a plan! I always also read through the NT slowly throughout the year and study deeply somewhere in Scripture. I believe these are all so important for us to know and live the Word. I plan to read a chapter in the NT each day this year which will get me slowly through the NT before getting there in the reading plan in October.

I’m also including a link below to the type of chart we used for the 21 day challenge and the following encouragement from that challenge for the person who is hearing/feeling the resistance of “I don’t want to be legalistic about daily being in the word and checking boxes”.

First, there’s a mindset shift from “I have to” to “I get to”. What a blessing we have to sit and read a book that is like none other! It is living and active, and God-breathed, and through it we experience His love and goodness and our faith is grown in His truth that “with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26).

AND Jesus said that we will not live by bread alone but that we WILL live “‘on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God'” (Matt. 4:4). Oh, to not neglect hearing His words in scripture and listening in prayer! 

And think about this: no one has ever said, “You know, I just don’t want to be legalistic about eating meals every day.” Never would eating be looked as such! And here we have the bread of life!

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.'” (John 6:35) 

May the Word of God become not only a daily nonnegotiable but something we daily consume for our very life sustenance. 

The 31 day chart link can be used to keep tabs on any habit that you would like to establish. I’ll share some of my thoughts on how I’m using mine next week. 
Happy New Year!
With love,

Freeing Up An Army

Is there a step of faith with which God could use you to free up an “army”? Before you dismiss the thought with a “who am I?” please read on.
“Who do you think you are? What do you think you can accomplish?” These “taunts” (from the last post) remind me of Goliath’s (and even David’s brother’s). The “look of impossibility” against the likes of Goliath dismayed and produced great fear in a whole army who heard him take his stand every morning and evening for forty days (1 Sam. 17:11, 16, 24).
David, who had only been sent to take his brothers some food, came upon the scene and saw it for what it was and asked, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” (1 Sam. 17:26) 
And God’s victory through David’s courageous actions FREED A WHOLE ARMY that day, an army that had been distracted and stopped in their tracks for 40 days by “taunts” (by a “taunter”). 
There is a lot of taunting of the “armies of the living God” these days, and how much do we just take at face value, agree with, succumb and surrender to rather than realizing that it is a ridiculous spiritual battle? It’s “ridiculous” because it looks so ominous, BUT in Christ you already own the victory
The question today is “WHEN WILL the army of the living God stop being frightened and RISE UP in His strength and power – to overcome the taunts and save those who have been taken captive by fear?” 
Satan has plans to keep us unproductive and to thwart the work of God in and through our lives, but we are not unaware of his schemes (2 Cor. 2:11). Rather than entertain or bow down to the taunts, we must take them captive (2 Cor. 10:5) and extinguish (Eph. 6:16) them. Satan is always a liar (John 8:44); therefore, we must know the truth of the Word of God! If we are not armed with the Lord’s unadulterated truth directly from His inspired Word (the truth of how we are to live and who we are called to be in Him), Satan’s persuasive lies (Col. 2:4) will be more effective and too easily steal (John 10:10) our courage and perseverance and render us ineffective. 
What is ridiculously taunting you right now? Is it something that is keeping you from a step of obedience that God could use to free up others in some way? 
Prayerfully consider if there is a course of action that God is leading you to that you need to rise up in bold courage and take the next known steps of obedience. Our obedience, or lack thereof, has ramifications for not only ourselves but also unknown others. 
There are consequences to our obedience
“And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant it to Your bond-servants to speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29, 30 
Lord, raise up a bold, courageous army of believers who believe.