Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Question - We want to hear from you!



What is 1 Bible verse that has been helpful to you lately?  How has it helped you?


Please share in the comments section below!


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

What Are You Building Your Life On? ~ by Amy Vest


"Boom.  Boom, boom."  I partially woke up and then drifted back off to sleep, thinking people were setting of fireworks in our area.  "BOOM!"  I was awake.  No, it wasn't fireworks - it was real thunder, really close.

I checked the weather to see how serious it was.  We were under a flash flood warning for a few hours.  I was grateful as I reflected on how our house should be safe in a flash flood because of the position and construction.

As I sat there in the dark, an illustration Jesus gave came to mind:

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”  Matthew 7:24-27

Our lives are like houses and we will all face storms.  Where we are building is crucial.

Let's ask ourselves, "What are we building our lives on?"

Jesus tells us that if we build our lives on Him and - hearing and doing - His Word, we will stand secure.  But, if we base our lives on other things, we will fall.

The Bible - the Word of God - is 100%, unchanging, and infallible Truth.  This is where He shows us Who He Is, what is Truth, how we can know Him, gives us His promises, guides us in the way He created us to live, and so much more.  When we base our lives on His Word, by His grace, we are unshakable.

I know from personal experience that when I build my life on anything but the Word of God, instability results.  Feelings, circumstances, people, appearance, money, etc. all are fallible and changing.  Jesus and His Word are Truth and steadfast.

Every area that is built on Jesus and His Word will stand secure.

Notice that there are two parts to Jesus' illustration - 1. Hearing, and 2. Doing. First, we must hear God's Word - by reading or listening to the Bible. Secondly, we must act in obedience to what we've heard.
"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."  James 1:22

Imagine you wanted to build something and you just read the instructions but never acted on what you read.  We must read the Bible and receive God's grace to live in it.  

So, if today I read, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding...", I have heard it.  Now I must ask the Lord for help to apply it in my daily life - to put my faith in Him and His Word over my logic or feelings.  The more this takes place by the Lord's power, the stronger the "house" of our lives will become.  

Jesus invites us to hear and build our lives on His Word for His glory and our good!

I want this, don't you?

Let's answer Jesus' call to receive His grace to both hear and do His Word today - and build our lives upon what will last forever!

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Join the conversation!  
We'd love for you to leave a comment below and share:

What is one verse from the Bible that you are building your life on right now?


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

You are Loved ~ by Amy Vest

Dear Sisters,

Sometimes we just need someone to remind us of this truth:

You are loved.

Let's listen to Jesus:

"...I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you." ~ Jeremiah 31:3

"The Lord your God is in your midst, 
a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." ~ Zephaniah 3:17

"
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you." ~ Psalm 86:5

"But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness."  ~ Psalm 86:15

"'I have loved you,” says the Lord." ~ Malachi 1:2

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." ~ John 3:16

"In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." ~ 1 John 4:10

"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." ~ Gal. 2:20

May your day be blessed beyond measure as you soak in His endless love for you!

Grateful to be loved by our Jesus together,
Amy

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Question - We love hearing from you!



What is one thing that distracts or hinders you from your relationship with Jesus?

Please share in the comments section below!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Consider Jesus ~ by Amy Vest

“Consider Jesus…” (Hebrews 3:1)

These words keep ringing in my heart.  As they do, the Lord is applying them in a transforming way that echoes in my life.

Take a moment to let these words sink in.

“Consider” in Greek means = "to observe fully:—behold, consider, discover, perceive."

Picture considering something for purchase.  What do you do?  You look at it, think about it and different aspects of it, and take deep interest in it.

Who does this verse call us to consider?  Jesus!

When you consider Jesus – Who He is, what He said and promised, what He has done and is doing – you begin to see more and more in His Word that His:
- power is limitless
- love is unchanging
- wisdom is perfect
…and so much more!

The reality of who He is colors every other area of your life – and it is life changing.

For example - If I am fixing my eyes on, thinking about, worshiping Him for, and living in faith in His love and control over all things, I will struggle less and less with fear about the future and embrace today more and more as His best for me. 

Can you see how this affects our lives?

Jesus changes everything, and when we fix our eyes on Him, everything begins to change, too.

Isn’t this exciting?

I love analogies and the Bible is full of them.  Hebrews 12 compares our Christian life to a race.  If you have done any kind of running, you will understand the pictures in these verses.

“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 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.~ Hebrews 12:1-3

I was in a race with my brother and some friends and it was a wonderful experience.  I noticed this as I ran – when my focus got too much on my running friends, the weather, or feelings of tiredness – my performance changed.  But, when I focused where I should, I was able to plug along and embrace the race.

It is similar in a much deeper way in our Christian life.

We can love Jesus so much, and yet our mind can slip to spending most of our time considering things other than Jesus.

When I look within or without and consider myself and my weaknesses, circumstances, relationships, or feelings – I grow weary, faint, and discouraged.

But, when I look up and consider Jesus and His strength, His Word, and His work – I am encouraged, strengthened, and spurred on to run with and for Him with all of my heart.

Jesus invites us to lift our eyes from:
- our need to His sufficiency
- our weakness to His strength
- our sin to His grace
- our pain to His comfort…
and then run with patience the race He has for us, knowing He is with us every step.

This is the life that He is calling us to, friends.  Let’s receive His grace to fix our eyes on and consider Jesus.  As we do, our lives will be transformed. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Reminders of Jesus ~ Practical Application ~ by Amy Vest

I love reminders, don't you?

If you are like me, even when you want something so much, it is easy to get distracted and reminders can be so helpful!

When I was growing in my walk with Jesus, I wanted to have something that reminded me of Jesus, His love, and my relationship with Him.  He gave me anything shaped like a heart as a reminder of Him and His love for me.  

It was so amazing to watch as suddenly heart shaped things started appearing everywhere - clouds, a carrot in my salad, a splash of paint on the sidewalk, and so much more!

Often I will see the reminder, smile, and say, "I love You, too, Jesus!"This shifts my whole perspective as my eyes are lifted from my day to the One Who loves me and is my life - and then changes how I live!

Often the Lord will bring it just when I need it - like one time I was cleaning the bathroom and having a harder day.  I looked at the counter as I cleaned and there was a heart shaped puddle of water!  My whole perspective changed as I remembered Jesus and His love for me!

This reminder continues to be so sweet to this day.  (Scattered through this post are a few pictures from the last couple of weeks!)

These reminders can be such a powerful tool in pointing our minds and hearts to Jesus and living more fully with Him as our life!

"For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness."  Psalm 26:3

I have other reminders as well - a ring I wear, things around my room, sunlight sparkling on the water, a loon's call, etc., but the heart-shaped things remain the sweet, practical reminder that Jesus uses again and again to turn my mind to Himself and His love!

Young women I know have chosen all kinds of things - roses, butterflies, stars, the cross, sparkles, etc. - that are special reminders in their walk with the Lord!  

I encourage you to ask the Lord what you can have as a reminder of His love and a tool to point you to living with Him as your life!

It is important to remember that He is always there, He always loves you, and He is always true life whether you are seeing those reminders, or not.  These reminders are just a sweet tool the Lord can use to encourage us in Himself and in living with Him as our life!

I want that, don't you?

May Jesus use these reminders to encourage you in your journey of drawing deeper with Him!

~~~

It's your  turn - we want to hear from you!  What is a reminder you have of Jesus and living with Him as your life? We'd love for you to leave a comment below!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Question - We love hearing from you!



What is one thing that helps you grow in your love for Jesus?


Please share in the comments section below!



Thursday, February 8, 2018

A Journey of Love with Jesus ~ by Amy Vest

Jesus is calling you to Himself. 

He is inviting you on a journey with Him. 

You were created for a journey of love with Jesus. 

This is a journey that is meant to deepen every year you walk with Him - amid all of the happy and hard times - bringing matchless joy to you, glory to Him, and overflowing in blessing to others. 

You were meant for this journey with Jesus, friend. 

Nothing compares. 

Never forget that you were created for Jesus and will not be satisfied anywhere else. 

He IS love and is calling you to a journey of love with Him. 


"I have loved you with an everlasting love; 
Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness." (Jeremiah 31:3)

Let's take a glimpse at 3 elements of this journey of love:

1. Know His love personally and love Him in return.  He pursues and we respond. 
- Know for yourself His love in His Word, Salvation (more on this HERE), and His being present and at work in you every moment by His Spirit. (John 3:16)
- Love Him in return by putting Him first in heart, seeking Him, worshiping Him, and living for Him. (Mark 12:30) 

2. Live in and from His love. 
- Live in His love - soaking in it every day thorough His Word, prayer and fellowship with Him through the day, and remembering His love. (2 Thess. 3:5)
- Live from His love - letting the love that is forever and unchangeably yours in Him motivate and empower all you do vs. trying to live to earn His love that is already yours and cannot be earned. (2 Cor. 5:14)

3. Share His love. 
As you receive His love and love Him in return, allow that love to spill out to others. "We love because he first loved us." (1 John 4:19)

Oh, friend! You have the joy of walking in this relationship of love with Jesus every moment of your life!

It is a relationship. 
It is love. 
It is a journey. 
It is with JESUS! 

There is nothing sweeter in all the world.

And Jesus is calling us to this! 

I want to live each moment with: 
my hand in His hand and my heart in His heart, 
basking in His love and presence, 
soaking in His Word and listening to His voice, 
loving Him with all that I am, 
spilling out His love to others and calling them to know it for themselves...
Following wherever Love leads. 

Do you?

There is no other journey worth taking - and on this journey He guides you to all else He has for you. 

He is pursing you, revealing His love, guiding your steps, teaching you His Truth, giving grace to walk with Him. When you fall, He picks you up, when you disobey, He lovingly disciplines you and draws you close, when you are weak, He strengthens you...He will keep you.


Nothing can separate you from His love.

"...I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

As we embrace this, life - in all of its seasons - becomes an amazing journey of a deepening relationship of love with Jesus - the One who is Love. 

He has so much in store for you, friend. 

Jesus is calling you to this journey of love with Him - will you answer?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Keeping Truth Before Your Eyes ~ Practical Application ~ by Amy Vest

I want transformation by the Truth to be a lifelong quest, don't you? 

In seeking to know Jesus and be transformed by His Truth, one of the ways I have found to be so helpful is to have Truth around, so it is in front of my eyes and helps me fix my mind on it through the day.

 I love to:
1) Surround myself with Truth - to help focus on and bring encouragement in Truth throughout the day.
+
2) Help myself memorize Truth - by keeping the Truth before my eyes.

So let's look at a few ideas:


1) Surrounding yourself with Truth - I have found this to be incredibly helpful.  This way as I look around during my day, God's Word is before my eyes - and my mind, and then soul, are filled with His Truth.


Here are a couple pictures from my room:






2) Memorizing the Word - As I seek to hide His Word in my heart, it is so helpful to keep it before my eyes.

Here is one of my current favorite ways to do this - by putting it on the side of my dresser so it is the first thing I see in the morning:


Writing a verse on a sticky note and placing it somewhere you will see it is also a fabulous help!


There are so many other ideas and ways you can surround yourself with Truth, too.  I encourage you to seek Jesus for ideas - and pick a verse and put it somewhere you will see it often!


Then as you see, think on, memorize, and allow the Holy Spirit to apply the Truth to your heart, you will see Him bring beautiful transformation!


I hope these practical ideas are helpful on your journey with Jesus and being transformed by Truth!  


"...be transformed by the renewal of your mind..." (Romans 12:2) 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Question - We want to hear from you!






What is 1 thing (or more!) that helps you focus on Jesus?

Please share in the comments section below!



Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Jesus: The Focus of Your Life ~ By Amy Vest

Where is your focus?

Stop and think about that, friend.

Where is your mind riveted, heart set, and mind directed?

You see where our focus lies is very
important.

Focus = "a center of activity, attraction, or attention, a point of concentration, directed attention."

You were created to have Jesus as your focus.

When we lift the eyes of our heart to Jesus, our perspective changes - because Jesus changes everything.

Putting our focus on Jesus shows that we know that:
~ He is our only hope.
~ He alone can satisfy.
~ He is worthy of our trust and all that we are.

Listen to this amazing promise:

"Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed."  Psalm 34:5

Oh, friend, can you relate with me?

When I lift the eyes of my heart to Jesus - peace washes my soul, fulfillment floods my heart, and security fortifies my spirit.

This is the beautiful thing:
When our eyes are on Jesus, the rest of our life is colored by the reality of all that He is.

As I walk through my day focused on Jesus and I face an overwhelming situation, I know that He is my help.  If I face weakness, He is my strength.  If I face pain, He is my comfort.  If I experience joy, He is my song.

I want to live a life that is riveted on Jesus, don't you?

I long for our life's cry to be "...our eyes are on You."  2 Chronicles 20:11


If you are like me, you can get distracted.  It is so easy to get our eyes on ourselves, circumstances, people, things... But these things are fleeting, empty, and can never deliver the satisfaction that only Jesus can bring.

I love how Jesus in His love will not allow our focus to drift for long.  He kindly brings reminders - whether in the form of joys or trials - that lift our eyes to Him.  As we regain our focus, His peace washes us once again.


We need to have our eyes fixed on Jesus in all of the seasons of life - because we need Him all of our life.


What are some ways we can fix our eyes on Jesus?
~ Choosing in our heart to direct our mind to Him.
~ Praying and asking for His help.
~ Being in the Word.
~ Memorizing and meditating on Scripture.
~ Worship.
~ Journaling about His faithfulness.
~ Gathering with friends who love Him.
~ Having reminders of His love.
~ and so many more!

The beauty of having our focus on Jesus has been powerfully real for me the past couple of weeks in different areas.  When my focus has been on other things, I found lack of peace.  But, when my eyes have been on Jesus, and considering those things with Him and in light of Him, there is inexpressible peace.

Jesus invites, calls, and equips us to live with Him as our focus, friend.

As He is our focus, our hope is never disappointed, our heart is fulfilled, our perspective is transformed, and our lives are lived differently in light of all that He is.

There is no time like this very second to lift our eyes to Jesus and find the transforming fulfillment of having Him as our focus!

Where is your focus today, friend?

May it be Jesus.

"...let us run with endurance the race before us, looking to Jesus..."  Hebrews 12:1-2

Look to Jesus, friend.  You will find that He is all that you need.  I am looking with you.

Let's look to Jesus as the focus of our lives.

Let us run with endurance...

"...let us run with endurance the race before us, looking to Jesus..."  

~Hebrews 12:1-2