Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 18, 2019

A Crown of Betrayal

“When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Matthew 27:29 (NKJV)

The scene is hard to imagine. Jesus, the Son of God, the One who had lived amongst His people teaching them, healing them, and delivering them from spiritual bondage has just been betrayed by one of His trusted ministry partners. What a disappointment! What great pain from such betrayal!

Jesus, being who He was – and is – could have made a choice to not go through physical torture and death on the cross. It was the most humiliating and painful type of death an innocent man could endure, but He did not defend Himself to anyone. He didn’t point fingers at anyone. And He didn’t curse anyone. He remained silent, instead. I can only imagine the turmoil in His head, knowing what was coming to Him and not getting out of it even though He had the power to do so.

The Son of God was mocked by the very people He defended. And what did He do when He was betrayed and mocked by those people? He endured. He allowed His Father’s plan to unveil.

And thank God that He did! Because Jesus willingly took upon Himself our sins on that cross, we can have hope of eternity in heaven with Him.

“Lord, so much pain and sorrow came to You before the world saw You fulfill Your Father’s plan for You and mankind. Still this day we suffer with betrayal and mockery, but through You we overcome the pain they cause us. Thank You for the cross. Thank you for the blood that was shed for us.”

For His Glory

Luska Natali
TRBC Women’s Life

Advertisements
Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 17, 2019

Beyond Fear

“He (God) will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.” Isaiah 33:6 (NIV)

Four letters packed with power – f – e – a –r , but not the kind of power we’re looking for. Fear has the power to derail our dreams and sabotage our future. Fear has the power to keep us safe, predictable and far from taking faith steps that will transform our lives. Instead fear lands us on the sidelines watching everyone else moving forward. It fuels regret because we long for what we are afraid to seize.

I glimpsed this first-hand in the life of a friend. Her life had been characterized by bouts of fear that kept her captive looking out the window yet bound within the safety of her self-imposed prison. How did she land in this place? Fear was a trait her mother taught her well. Every opportunity for something new turned into a list of don’ts because of a tragedy that “could” happen. To this day she still hides behind the drawn blinds of what “could” happen. Disillusioned and unsatisfied, her life is drenched in regret of what “could” have been.

Sadly, too often we exchange the all consuming peace that God offers for generational fears that leave us locked into safe rather than victorious. God’s formula for power leaves no room for the chains that fear generates. Instead, He offers us the opportunity to trust Him in all things – even the unsettled, unpredictable, and at times risky moves of transformational belief.

Are we allowing fear to dominate our response to God’s instructions? Are we imprisoned by what “could” happen rather than capitalizing on the “fear nots” that God promises? Real empowerment only comes when we trust and believe that God is the ordainer of our days.

“Father, trusting You will always position us to move past fear into victory.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 16, 2019

Aligned With God’s Divine Will

“My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.” Matt. 26:39 (NLT)

Hours before Jesus’ crucifixion, He was in “a place of pressing,” an olive grove called Gethsemane praying. This was the place where His human will would come into alignment with divine will.

As Jesus’ fate drew near, He was on His knees crying out to God… praying…in so much distress that He prayed the same prayer over and over. He was crushed with grief, pressed above measure, beyond strength and at the breaking point. He was under pressure, dealing with agony and the emotions leading to the final stage of a difficult death. His surrendered will became His power. His power to be beaten beyond human recognition, carrying His cross up a hill, nailed with spikes, mocked, lifted high, stretched wide, pierced in His side and die a criminals death. Dead…carried away to be buried in a borrowed tomb.

Darkness fell across the earth. Jesus uttered “it is finished!” The veil tore from top to bottom in the temple that separated the Holy of Holies. All the earth shook, rocks split apart and tombs opened. The only sound was all hell rejoicing. Demons clapped and danced with glee. The devil was in a state of euphoria shouting a victory chorus.

One day, two days…then on the third day early Sunday morning! The earth quaked with a hallelujah shout…arise My Love, an angel descended from heaven and rolled the stone away. The guards shook in fear and fainted. Hell could not hold our King. Death has been defeated. Jesus folded His grave clothes as a sign He would return again one day. He stepped out of the tomb as demons watched their victory fade while the keys of death were snatched from the devil’s grip.

God’s power and promise underlined Jesus’ resurrection. Death lost its sting and the grave its victory. God had conquered the sin of the world once and for all. Standing triumphant His arms stretch out as Savior of the world.

“Father, thank you Jesus has risen from the dead and the tomb is empty!

For His Glory

Kim Lacey Schock(www.kimlaceyschock.com)
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 15, 2019

When Reactions Don’t Serve Us Well

“Some time later when King Ahasuerus’s rage had cooled down, he remembered Vashti, what she had done and what was decided against her.” Esther 2:1 (HCSB)

It’s party time and King Ahasuerus was having quite a royal one! Nothing was held back – the best of everything. And if that wasn’t enough – the royal wine flowed freely – no restraint in place. In this pivotal party mode, the King makes a rash and questionable decision. He summons Queen Vashti so he can show off her beauty to his male guests. Now that is ego at its height. Long story short – she refuses and he removes her as Queen. The one who had it all and didn’t need to impress allowed his beautiful Queen to be dethroned at the advice of poor counselors and in a moment of drunken rage. We never hear anymore about Queen Vashti -she’s simply gone and then the King when he is sober realizes what he has done, but his decision can’t be reversed.

Haven’t we all been tempted to make unwise choices in the midst of anger, hurt, woundedness, bitterness, impatience and pride? I know I certainly have. And listening to the wrong advice in those moments can definitely derail us. Ahasuerus’ counselors were concerned that Vashti’s unwillingness to comply with the king’s request would make a statement to other women who would then disrespect their husbands. Sounds like they had their own best interest at stake. (Note to self – you can’t demand respect or honor – it is earned.) Giving the king sound advice and helping him make the right decision wasn’t on the table.

How many times have we made a rash decision to defend our point of view or in response to a trigger from our current or past fears and it didn’t work well? Not all decisions can be reversed – words spoken leave our mouths and can’t be retracted. Careless actions can result in devastating circumstances with a high price tag. So what’s the take away – let’s not allow our emotions, fears or frustrations to win over God’s wisdom. Let’s make sure our closest circle, the one’s we lock arms with, are seeking God’s agenda and not their own. And if we are tempted to give into a flood of emotions….let’s pause, pray, call a friend and choose a better way that will serve us better when we cool down.

“Father, You are our wisdom, our daily guide…we can trust You to lead us in the right direction.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 12, 2019

When You Feel Left Behind – Hold On Tight To Him

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 3:13-14 (ESV)

I’m not the best gardener. Watering my flowers gets pushed further down my list than I would dare admit. Wilting in the hot, humid air describes them most days because I just simply get distracted and forget to water them. But despite my neglect, they somehow survive. And to my great surprise, I found a new flowering plant springing up amongst the weeds of an old window box. Not really sure what it is and I’m positive I didn’t water, nurture or plant it. It simply appeared in mid-summer – a beautiful shade of bright pink – my sweet late bloomer.

Wonder how many times we shortchange growth for our “late bloomer” moments? Ever stifled the gifts, callings and purposes God has for us because we should have done it sooner? It’s so easy to think we should have achieved, accomplished or surpassed where we are. We glimpse those around us running full speed ahead and become overwhelmed at our lack of progress. Sadly those words settle in and deprive us of moving forward, stretching and reaching. Lingering in the land of what ifs never serves us well.

Wouldn’t you rather bloom late than never bloom at all? Even if we appear behind schedule to others watching our arrival, wouldn’t we rather keep pressing toward the prize. God is more impressed with our obedience than He is with someone else’s time table. His plans are unique and strategic. He knows the paths our life will take and the story that will unfold from start to finish. Unlike me, He is the Master Gardener who won’t neglect His late bloomers.

So sweet friend in case you’re feeling left behind or cast aside – hold on tight to the One who knows exactly the moment for His glory to shine through. Don’t give up or step aside. Don’t listen to the voice of defeat or regret. Instead lean in close and wait for His timing. And just when we may think we’ve missed the mark, God will burst forth our greatest growth if we stay in step with Him.

“Father, You are forever cheering us on – not zeroing in on where we might have been – but completely in awe of where we are going with You.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 11, 2019

Simply Beautiful

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

My grandsons Jayden, 5, and A.J., 4, were shopping with their mom Liz on the day before her birthday. The little lads were informing every person in the store that it was their mama’s birthday and they needed to tell her she was beautiful. Their actions were making Liz blush as complete strangers walked up to her and told her she was beautiful and wished her a happy birthday. At the same time, it made her feel very special, because it was an action started by her children, out of their love for her.

I recently read in TRBC’s Family Time devotional that “friends of God tell their friends about God,” (p. 13). When I read that, I tried to imagine how God must feel when He receives the praise and worship of His children, which originate out of their love for Him!

After God parted the waters for the Israelites to cross the Red Sea, Moses and the Israelites sang to the Lord. Prophetess Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand and led the women in music and dancing (Exodus 15). King David praised God with his harp since the time he was a boy. When he was really excited about a victory, he and the entire company of Israel were in a parade, singing at the top of their lungs, and playing mandolins, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals! (2 Samuel 6)

We mustn’t forget that others are always watching us. Our God is awesome; He is still in the miracle business, and He loves His children. The question for us, then, is, “how are we showing others His love?”
The little incident with Liz and the boys has reminded me of Jesus’ words, “from the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.” (Matthew 21:16). In their own way, my grandsons knew how to brighten their mama’s day. I hope that my words and actions will do the same for my Lord Jesus.

“Lord, You are beautiful and more precious than silver or gold. Your love is unconditional and never-ending. My lips praise Your name.”

For His Glory

Luska Natali
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 10, 2019

Best Promise Ever

“Behold, I (God) establish my covenant with you (Noah) and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth.” Genesis 9:9-10 (ESV)

I’ve often wondered what it must have been like to rock in a big boat rain pouring down that they’d never seen before. Probably was scary to hear the screams of those drowning and the waters rising. Can’t say I haven’t tried to figure out what it was like with all those animals sharing a confined space. I imagine it got pretty loud, smelly and bothersome at times. Dare I mention my thoughts of needing solitude amongst so many. And where was God in the midst of this all – over 40 days of pure silence. Regardless of the challenges, cramped quarters, questions and doubts rising to the surface, Noah and his family were safe.

Love the way God sends the wind and dries up the earth. At just the right moment, He finally speaks, “Go out of the ark.” Don’t know about you but my feet would have been moving fast. Fresh air never felt so good. Bright skies were never sunnier. Firm land felt good to shaky feet. Yet Noah didn’t absorb the beauty around him without first building an altar to his God. “The Lord smelled a soothing aroma” – words pouring out of scripture for Noah’s sweet offering.

Despite my fascination and intrigue gotta admit my fave part of this amazing truth. Wonder what it was like gazing up in wonder as God splashed vibrant colors across the sky – first rainbow ever. Promises from God of a perfect covenant. Never again would there be a flood to destroy the whole earth, His people and every living creature. A promise we still see filling up the sky. A promise we can cling to even in the midst of our own drenching downpours. A covenant that extended from Noah to us.

Sweet reminder – our God is the keeper of His words. What He promises He will fulfill. What He says will happen. What He claims will come to pass. Jesus, the Son of God, is exactly like His Father. When He promised to come back for us, He meant it every word. He’s preparing a place for those who put their faith and trust in Him. A promise we can count on even on our hardest days.

“Father, life in this world never seems to get easier, so we cling to Your words that one day we will live with You forever – what a glorious day!”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 9, 2019

Gather Around

“One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.” Matthew 5:1-2 (NLT)

We stepped off the bus and the children eyed us with curiosity. As we moved through the neighborhood inviting all to a puppet show, children realized we had what they wanted: candy, small toys, and attention. They gathered around, setting aside their scavenging to see what we were about, these strangers. They followed us down one street and up the next. They held our hands and tried to communicate with us in spite of the language barrier. Surrounded by children whose bellies had never been full, we gave all that we had. We drew a crowd for foodstuffs and toys, but filled their hearts with the grace and love of Jesus as we presented the gospel and handed out Bibles. We applied for passports and visas, raised money for the flights, and spent vacation time for these precious ones.

Our key verses constitute the introduction to the Sermon on the Mount. The crowds gathered because Jesus alone had what they wanted. Had the people heard of Jesus teaching in the synagogues? Had they seen a friend healed of illness or disease? Had rumor spread of the Man who could free a demon-possessed boy? Whatever the reason the crowds gathered, God in the flesh was about to feed His people with the truth that gives life. I just love the simplicity of the verses. They gathered; He taught.

Do we gather? We gather at our kids’ school for meetings and assemblies. We gather at sporting events—professional and amateur. We gather at celebrations: birthday, graduation, anniversary, etc. Do we gather together as believers around Jesus?

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25 (NLT)

Do we desire what Jesus offers enough to set aside our plans? Gathering at churches, small groups, Bible studies, and ministries puts us in a place to hear from God. He alone has what we want. He alone provides all that we need.

Gather around.

“Lord, may we never take advantage of the privilege we have to gather together in prayer, worship, and learning. We desire what only You can provide.”

For His Glory

Tammy Randlett (http://staletoast.com)
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 8, 2019

Tangible Results of A Surrendered Life

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” 2 Peter 1:5-7 (ESV)

If you looked in my cabinets, you would think I had a side business – vitamins and supplements line my shelves. Jokingly I tease my husband about all his nutrients filling up my space. But let’s just keep it real here – our food is so stripped of the nutrients we need, one has to do something. So in the Martin house our something is staring me in the face every time I open my pantry doors. And I have to admit adding supplements to my diet has been very beneficial. I definitely don’t get sick very often (even during flu season) and I feel much better. Laughter aside, my husband has us on the right track.

Absolutely love the way the Apostle Paul emphasizes supplementing our faith with the tangible results of a life surrendered to God. Stacking the building blocks of our faith one upon the other, Paul lays out a plan guaranteed to please our Heavenly Father. Best part – we don’t have to rely on self. God has equipped us and filled us with the Holy Spirit which empowers and strengthens us to walk in excellence.

Sure there will be hiccups along the way; definitely no perfection sealed up here on this earth. We maneuver this world waring within ourselves desiring to do life God’s way and yet giving into our own selfish desires. Paul knew this struggle well, “I have the desire to do what is right but I do the very thing I hate (Romans 7:15-17).” Gotta love his honesty – we’re all there. Probably the exact reason Paul spurs us on to moral excellence (virtue), wisdom (knowledge), self control bridged with unmoveable feet keeping in step with God’s integrity. End result, we pour out deep affection and love for one another clear examples, living proof of the faith within us.

Keeping it real sweet friends; God’s grace covered Paul in those not so good moments and He does the same for us. But it sure does make Jesus smile when we hit the mark. Adding one upon another exemplifying Him in all we do – partakers of God’s divine power – claiming His promise to help us escape the corruption of this world and glorify Him.

“Father, so blessed by your grace and mercy. Forever grateful for endless days when You picked me up, wiped me off and set my feet to dancing. Love you always.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 5, 2019

Trusting Completely

“He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior.” Psalm 24:4-5 (NIV)

Engrained in my mind as a child, I wouldn’t even take a penny off the street unless I was certain it belonged to me. In first grade, I lost my ice cream money at school and when the teacher found a quarter near my desk, I refused to accept it. I was the only one missing out on a delicious treat and tears welled up in my eyes, but I wasn’t convinced it was mine for the taking.

While most of us wouldn’t dare steal something that belongs to someone else – we still may harbor things in our lives. How many times do we steal someone’s joy by sabotaging their victory? How many times do we steal a pen from work – innocently dropping it into our purse? How much time do we waste – stealing from our employer? Have we ever stolen someone’s idea to make us look good? How much time, resources, or talents do we waste in our lives stealing away from the purpose God created for us?

Steal no way – but when we examine these traits, we might find we have hinged on the verge of taking some things that don’t belong to us. Taking what’s not ours is simply saying God hasn’t provided what we need. It screams, “I’m not waiting; I’m taking control.” Not a good thing – never had a moment of my control that served me well. In fact, those times usually end up leaving me wishing I’d waited and demonstrated trust in my God. Stealing definitely cheats us out of God’s best and leaves us wallowing in guilt with dirty hands.

Solution – accept what God has for us, seek His cleansing for wasted moments and lift clean hands in praise to our all Sufficient God. Walk away confident that the One who began a good work in us will complete it. Realize there is nothing we need that our God hasn’t provided and then release our grip on those things we think are ours for the taking. Sounds like a great place to land – faithfully trusting what we can’t see.

“Father, purify our hearts and help us to examine our lives to ensure our trust is firmly planted in You.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

Older Posts »

Categories