Looking to Jesus (July)

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by Allison N.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
{Hebrews 12:1-2}

I love these verses, and I think they capture so well the goal of the Christian life. We have heard them so often however, that sometimes we glaze over them as something we’ve already heard, and is already familiar, and therefore can hold no new meaning to our lives. But I’d like you to read them again, this time out loud, and slowly.

We must lay aside every weight, everything that binds us to this earth. Wealth, power, reputation, television, computer, phones—anything that chains us to the ground on which we stand and prevents us from running towards Christ—this must be laid aside so that we can run to Jesus. Remember that this world is not our home, and we are only passing through.

Just like a traveler would not invest millions of dollars into a hotel room that he will only be staying in for a few nights before returning to his home, so we must not invest and tie ourselves to this world. We are but poor travelers, headed for the kingdom. Trophies and earthly rewards will pass away. Good health and a fit body will too pass away. We must invest in things that will not pass away—our relationship with the Lord and our investment in His kingdom.

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We must run with endurance the race that is set before us. My friends, I know this may seem like a long race, I know it seems like we are constantly falling, but keep running! Keep going and never give up. The world will try to pull you down, but keep running. “Toward what?” you ask. The next part of the verses reveal the answer.

Toward Jesus! When we run toward Him, keeping our eyes upon Him, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, He will give us the strength and endurance we need to run. When we look to Him, we can do it! Remember, as Peter was walking out on water towards Jesus, when he was looking at Jesus, he remained steadfast, and could actually walk on water, but as soon as he took his eyes off his destination, he started to sink. It is the same for us. As long as we look to Jesus Christ, we will be upheld, but the minute we take our eyes off the prize, we will begin to sink.

Moses took this concept to heart as well. He looked to Jesus. “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27). He forsook Egypt—recognizing that it was only his temporary homeland. So must we embrace this idea and live with our real home in mind. He endured as seeing Him Who is invisible. His sights were always set on God. He was meditating on the Scriptures. He constantly communed with his Creator.

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This is what I challenge you to do today. Look to Jesus. Meditate on His greatness as outlined in the last part of this verse: “the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” How amazing is our God! How worthy of our praise and adoration! He has run the race, He has endured the cross, He has finished well! He will help us do the same.

There’s a song I love that says

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

The song is so simple, yet so full of meaning. This is my challenge for you today. Leave this world behind and turn your eyes upon our beautiful and glorious Savior, Jesus.

Allison is a 16-year-old daughter of the King.  Her aim in life is to be pleasing and honoring to Him.  She has a passion for God’s Word and has begun a ministry dedicated to encouraging others in its pursuit.

This Month’s Desktop Wallpaper:


Nothing Between Our Savior (June)

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by Ruth K.

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

We are to love the Lord Jesus with all of our heart. Christ wants our undivided love. These past few months, the Lord has been pointing this out to me, along with how He looks at my future, even when I do not understand. His thoughts are higher than mine!

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, saith the L
ORD.” (Isaiah 55:8)

At a church my family attended last year, I began noticing a young man who seemed to stand out from the others. He seemed so sincere about his faith. As the Sundays progressed, I became more and more fond of him. I convinced myself that I would soon stop feeling the way I did. I told the Lord that my heart had strange new thoughts and emotions. As the weeks flew by, I struggled more and more with controlling my emotions. One Sunday morning, we sang a hymn I had never heard before, “Nothing Between.”

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As I sang the words from the hymnal, I felt as if the Lord began to tell me, “I don’t want anything or anyone to come between your love for me.” I felt very convicted the rest of the morning. That night, I read the hymn again and I wanted that song to become a reality for me.

I prayed that the Lord would help me overcome and that my life song would be:

“Nothing Between My Soul and the Savior,
so that His blessed face may be seen,
nothing preventing the least of His favor.
Keep the way clear, let nothing between!”

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I wish I could say that after this, the struggle was over, but it wasn’t. Though my commitment was heartfelt and true, I still struggled with this. One day I went to my favorite quiet place and on my knees, begged my Heavenly Father to forgive me for my sinful thoughts; I prayed that Jesus would bring me back to desiring to love only Him and that I would leave my future in His hands.

Within weeks of my prayer, my parents decided that the Lord was leading our family away from the church. I felt my heart ache in ways I never felt, and I felt like the world had fallen on top of me.

I finally came to the place of surrender and called out to my Savior. I asked the Prince of Peace to fill me with His peace and His joy again. That was the best day I had in a long time. I still didn’t understand why things happened the way they did, but Jesus opened my eyes and I realized that He did hear my prayer: He led me away from someone who was occupying my thoughts where the Lord should have been. He wanted Nothing Between my heart’s love for Him.

“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;
and uphold me with thy free spirit.” (Psalm 51:12)

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So, while I do not understand all the “whys,” I do know that the Lord wants our undivided love, and He will do anything to draw us back to Him. He used a donkey to talk to Balaam. (Numbers 22:21) He use a giant fish to swallow Jonah! ( Jonah 1:16, 2:1-10) The Lord used this hymn to speak to me and lead through my parents. He will continue to show His great love in the days to come. He wants me to love Him wholeheartedly and to trust in His love (Psalm 143:8).

Nothing between, like pride or station;
Self-life or friends shall not intervene;
Though it may cost me much tribulation,
I am resolved; there’s nothing between.

Nothing between, e’en many hard trials,
Though the whole world against me convene;
Watching with prayer and much self-denial,
I’ll triumph at last, with nothing between.

My sisters, be careful not to let things creep into/between your love for Jesus. Remember that our Heavenly Father has the perfect plan for your life and He has already drawn the “blue prints”! Follow Him and seek to love Him with all of your heart no matter what.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Ruth K. (15) is the oldest of three siblings and her passion is to know her Savior more.

This Month’s Desktop Wallpaper:


How Should Christians Respond to Change? (May)

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By Charity S.

Change—it is an event that we either love or shrink from, either facing it with excitement or fright. Nothing else can turn our lives upside down like change can and nothing can better our lives like change does.

Yet still, many of us fear it and even hide from it.

But is that really a reasonable response?

People who look at my life may wonder why I think I have a right to talk about change. I’ve grown up in a Godly, homeschooling family all my life and I’ve lived in the same house for ten years. We stick with a daily schedule, and go to church every Sunday. In short, I have a very structured life, one that some people might consider monotonous.

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But recently, a change has entered my life. I saw it coming, thought I was prepared; but now that it’s happened, I’m not so sure I really was.

Three days ago my older sister, who has been here for all eighteen years of my life, got married. I’m so happy for her and her husband; they truly are a perfect couple. But now I have to adjust to no longer having her in the house. There’s one less person at the table for meals and only three sisters sharing a bedroom. It feels somewhat lonely. Yet it is still a joyous change, one that I wouldn’t undo; but it is change nonetheless.

Before something like this happens, I am often excited. I like new experiences and I look forward to seeing what will happen; but this time, now that the change has come, my enthusiasm has dwindled and even though I am truly joyful over what has happened, a secret part of me wishes that things were the same. But is that really what God would have me do? Do we as Christians have any reason to be sad at change?

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If I was just going to be practical about this, I’d say no and perhaps quote the familiar saying, “There’s no use crying over spilled milk.” What’s done is done and must stay as it is. But I guarantee you that if you said this to someone struggling with recent change, they would consider you insensitive and rude. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t appreciate it very much.

But what if you maybe quoted words that are a little more lasting, such as “For I am the LORD, I change not” (Malachi 3:6)?

Those words are so substantial that I don’t know that a Christian would really need any other comfort besides that. It’s as though God is saying, “Things and people may change around you, but I am forever, always unchanging.” In the midst of chaos, He is there, the only clear image in a blur of uncertainty. His love is always just as abundant; His forgiveness is always extended towards us. In short, everything changes except for God and so nothing really matters except for God.

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“His love is always just as abundant; His forgiveness is always extended towards us. In short, everything changes except for God and so nothing really matters except for God.”

Another possible comfort for change is one that I often remind myself of. I like to say that seasons of life come and go but they just keep getting better. If this change is God’s will, it must be better than the old season of life. If we could rebel and keep things the same, we would be fighting against God’s will which would be sin; and obviously, not sinning against God is best. He promises:

 “All things work together for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
(Romans 8:28)
“He which hath begun a good work in you will
perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

(Philippians 1:6)

I believe that God’s got a special plan for each of our lives and because He is a loving and all-knowing God, He will always lead us up a path that is best for us. He is leading us forward to the next stage of life because the old stage is worn out and it is time for something new; but if we keep holding onto the past, it’s really rebellion against God.

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Life, and the change that comes hand in hand with it, can be frightening and saddening at times. But it doesn’t have to be; it doesn’t need to be. The Christian life is based on change:

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Change is only God’s way of making our lives better, by keeping us on the path that He made us for. And so, when change enters your life, there’s no sense in being sadly reminiscent. The only reasonable response is excitement to see what God’s got in store.

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”
(Psalm 37:4-5)

By Charity 
who lives with her parents and sisters. She enjoys writing, teaching her sisters writing, and making music.

This Month’s Desktop Wallpaper:


How’s Your Thought Life?

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Follow-Up from Sarah Hayne’s Session at the
Joyful Daughters Conference

What Are You Thinking?

by Mrs. Sarah Haynes

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (II Corinthians 10:3-5)

Every day, countless thoughts pass through our minds. It has been said that thoughts are like a steering wheel. You would be surprised at the sins you will land in if you don’t pay attention to the steering wheel!

The principle of sowing and reaping is true in our thought-life. If we sow thoughts that are pleasing to the Lord, then we will reap a life that is pleasing to Him as well.

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The enemy’s desire is to conquer and control your thought life, and then make it a citadel from which he can war against God. But, when God saved you, He gave you the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

We are constantly facing a battle of the mind. We must wage this war with the sword of God’s Word. Temptations and lies are ever at our mind’s door.

If you are not thinking something right, you are probably thinking something wrong!

Lie

Truth

I am alone Hebrews 13:5
I am worth more if… Zephaniah 3:17
God is holding out on me Romans 8:28
God should fix my problems 2 Corinthians 12:9
I have my rights Galatians 2:20, Romans 12:1-2
My security is found in __________ Isaiah 40:8, John 6:27
I’m worried about my future John 6:25
I should not have to live with unfulfilled longings Colossians 3:2
I can’t control emotions Proverbs 16:32
I am a loser Romans 8:1
Put OFF Lies 

Put ON God’s Truth!
Be a faithful steward of your mind!
So what are our weapons in this warfare?
  • Be in the Word so that when a sinful thought enters our mind (a temptation), we will be able to recognize it for what it is and know what course to take.
  • Memorize the Word. If we are aware of a certain area of constant temptation (worry, lust, anger, etc.), we need to study and memorize key passages that deal with those issues.
  • Meditate on the Lord and His Word.
  • Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matt. 26:41)

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Session Follow up: Practical Application

Take a minute right now and evaluate how your thought life has been this past week. What have most of your thoughts been centered around? Is it God’s truth and His Word – or something else?

You will find it very helpful to take a week long fast/break from social media, books, or anything else that may be a distraction or even temptation for your thought life. During this week, set aside more time to spend with the Lord and immerse your mind in His truth.

Memorize the suggested verses below and study Philippians 4:8 in depth. What exactly does it mean when it says think on things that are pure, lovely, virtuous, true? And how can this apply to you personally?

As you study this passage, you will learn to more quickly recognize a thought that is not in accordance with God’s will for you. When you recognize a sinful thought, then take it captive immediately!

Then turn your mind to things above!

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3)

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Scriptures to Ponder and Memorize

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (II Corinthians 10:3-5)

Personal Evaluative Questions

  • What fills the majority of my thoughts? Social media, a friend, an event, a temptation, etc.?
  • Is there something I am doing or listening to that is feeding fleshly or impure thoughts in my mind?
  • Did I spend time with the Lord today in His Word?
  • Have I noticed a particular time of the day – or month, or year – that I struggle more with maintaining pure thoughts? How can I prepare myself for this time of weakness? Are there Scriptures I can memorize to be ready for the battle?
  • Am I guarding my eyes and what I am putting into my mind?
  • Have I asked the Lord to help me guard my mind, that my life would be pleasing to Him?
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)

Did you miss it?

Audio recordings of the conference sessions are now available!JD Conference Play Album

Join us this month in seeking the Lord!

Key Qualities of Being a Godly Sister

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Follow-Up from Rebekah’s Session
at the Joyful Daughters Conference

Four Key Qualities of Being a Godly Sister

by Rebekah Parish

 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.
(1 Peter 3:8)

No matter what, we are going to influence our siblings–either towards the Lord and His ways, or away from Him. As sisters, we have the exciting opportunity to deeply and eternally impact our siblings’ walk with the Lord . . . and bear MUCH fruit to His glory!

However, trying to do anything for the Lord on our own will only end in failure.  All our strength and ability to love our brothers and sisters must come from Christ, our Source.  It is HE Who works in us both to will and to do His good pleasure (paraphrased from Phil. 2:13)! It takes daily investment in our relationship with Jesus for us to be able to invest Jesus into our sibling relationships.

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The “Four Be’s” are four character qualities of a sister who has a wide, Godly influence.  We talked about the importance and beauty of these four qualities in our daily interactions with our siblings:

  • Be Sensitive

Have a quick and delicate understanding of others’ feelings. Being glad for good things they experience or grieve/hurt with them. Try to be all there. Put their interests above our own. Little siblings are little people in progress. Look deep in their eyes, really listen to them. Think of when I was their age. Recognize differences as God’s intent and purpose. Affirm different experiences/interests. Also quiet. Brothers – respect space, let them work through things. Be creative. Not adding to spiritual struggles – on their side. Be willing to give up freedoms so they can grow. Pray for wisdom. Serve together.

  • Be Humble

…that others might see Jesus in us, more than the fact that we are “right.” Quietly search our heart and have perfect quietness there – expect nothing, be at peace. Jesus is the perfect example of flawless humility. Jesus’ perfection, only ambition, concerned about Father’s will. 

  • Be Uplifting

They too have battles/decisions up against them. Be messengers of His love and truth. Selflessly set our own needs & interests aside. Live each day joyfully. Support them. Bring needs to the Lord in prayer. Enthusiastically cheer them on in the gifts He’s given them. 1) Stayed in constant fellowship with Father, 2) let go of own needs/desires/interests. Younger siblings: little things, praise. Notice them and be aware of their needs. Sisters: don’t belittle them, treat like our own age, be open and available with them. Brothers: respect them and give them more and more responsibility. Don’t crush their confidence. Choose encouragement more than criticism.

  • Be Faithful

Opportunities are going to arise. Hypocrisy ruins. Are we doing things we tell them not to do? Our siblings see the real us. Do I talk about the Lord in everyday settings? God’s love is unconditional. The Lord’s purpose is in the process. It isn’t about making no mistakes, but letting the Lord fill us with His strength.

This is how we model Christ!

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Session Follow up: Practical Application

Take a moment to CONSIDER each of your siblings’ hearts, and IDENTIFY what they most need today.

  • Maybe it’s encouragement,
  • a listening ear,
  • respect,
  • humble repentance or forgiveness from you,
  • praise,
  • a few minutes of your full attention,
  • or loving prayers for their growth in Jesus.

Then ask the Lord to help you every day to be sensitive to His voice laying your siblings’ needs on your heart . . . and be obedient to it!

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Scripture to Ponder and Memorize

“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3)

Personal Evaluative Questions

  • Am I driven by a deep desire to plant many seeds of Jesus’ love and truth in my brothers’ and sisters’ hearts?
  • What are some of the rewards of being humble in my interactions with my brothers and sisters?
  • If one of my siblings were to describe me to someone else based on the words that come out of my mouth on a daily basis, would he/she say I was an uplifting sister, or a negative, sour one?
  • Am I valuing my time, a hobby or an activity I enjoy above my brothers and sisters, or is it clear to them that I treasure them above my other interests?
  • How could I be a better example to them of Jesus’ faithful obedience to the Father?

If you would like to hear Rebekah’s entire session,
it is now available for download.

Did you miss it?

Audio recordings of the conference sessions are now available for download!

JD Conference Play Album

Pictures of KBR’s Joyful Daughters Conference are now online. We will continue to post follow-up notes from conference sessions in coming weeks on this forum—stay tuned!

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Join us this month in seeking the Lord: