B Moments, remodel

Lent Is the Perfect Time to Remodel Your Prayers

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Colossians 4:2 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today I am out of the studio, but I am still thinking about how Lent is the perfect time to remodel our prayers.

I always see the Lent season as a time to go deeper spiritually, so I’ll often look at how I’ve evolved in some ways and where my work lies in others. It feels like I’m focusing on the before and after. Imagine you’re watching HGTV and you see the before and after images of a house that has been remodeled.

For example, I can remember the days when my prayers were very “me” centered. I would get on my knees and would sometimes even pull out a writing pad to put my prayer requests in writing just in case God missed my verbal request.

I was so absorbed in my own needs when I prayed this way. I spoke my prayer requests as if I was rattling off my Christmas wish list. The tone of these prayers was always “me, me, me.”

While Scriptures, such as Mark 11:24 teach us, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you,” they also teach us that we should continually mature in our spiritual walk.

Therefore, I have since learned the importance of kneeling before God and worshiping who He is before I engage in any type of request. I’ve also learned to pray for things beyond my immediate needs and the needs of my family and friends. Finally, I’ve learned to give thanks before asking.

What is the before and after picture of your prayer life? Can you see how it has evolved over the years? As you think about that, remember these words: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, don’t let your prayers be too “me” centered.

B Moments, happiness

Pray for the Happiness of Those Who Harm You

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Luke 6:35 (NLT)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about when God asks you to do the really difficult.

Recently I was reading in the gospel of Luke when I stumbled upon these words: “Pray for the happiness of those who curse you.” I was immediately drawn to the word “happiness.”

If a person intentionally hurts me, I can pray for their healing because as the saying goes, hurt people end up hurting other people. So, I can pray for their emotional healing and well-being.

Yet in this passage, Jesus takes it a step further. He says to pray for their happiness. This is what prompted me to conclude that sometimes God can ask us to do the really difficult.

To be honest, there have been times when I’ve been in a great season where I send others love whether they like me or not. Then there have been those times when my season was one of being in the desert, where God was pruning me and preparing me. This meant my ability to tolerate any additional pain seemed to be limited.

I’m praying each day for my own happiness and for the happiness of those who love me and support me through my season. Yet praying for the happiness of someone causing me harm? This is a different concept entirely, but Jesus teaches us that this is what it means to act as children of the Most High.

Whose happiness do you need to pray for today? As you think about that, remember these words from Jesus: “Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High.” Luke 6:35 (NLT)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, pray for their happiness.

B Moments, clarity

Expect More Clarity in 2019

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: James 1:12 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about having clarity about life’s purpose.

It is common to seek a deeper understanding of our life’s purpose when we start a new year. In Luke Chapter 4, Jesus gives us a good example of what it looks like to have clarity of purpose. Specifically, he talks to the people in the synagogue and tells them, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has appointed me to preach the good news to the poor.” Luke 4:18 (NLT)

It was a powerful moment. The Scriptures go on to say that everyone in the synagogue just sat there and stared at him intently because he made it very clear who he was and why he was there.

Personally, this passage reminds me of the days when I tried to explain to someone what I believed God was calling me to do. I’d ramble on and on, confusing both myself and the person I was talking to.

One thing I observed in this passage is that prior to Jesus’ appearance in the synagogue, he spent forty days and forty nights in the desert, being tested and being tempted. Clearly, going through a period of testing can bring about great clarity.

What trials have you experienced in the last few years that have been preparing you for 2019? As you think about that, remember these words: “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life…” James 1:12 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, if you were tested last year, clarity may follow this year.

B Moments, tune out

Tune Out the Noise in the Midst of Chaos

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about tuning out the noise.

Recently, we talked about how trust and peace go hand in hand. In other words, when we trust God, a peaceful state will follow. We used Peter’s arrest as an example. Recall that Peter was surrounded by eighteen armed guards, yet he slept.

But sometimes, the need to find peace and to be at rest extends beyond a good night’s sleep. We should also strive for peace in the midst of chaos. This is what David did when he confronted Goliath.

When we read the Scriptures, we learn that the Philistines were on one side of a valley and the Israelites were on the other side as David made his way down to confront Goliath. Reading this, we can imagine there was a massive amount of noise in the valley.

As football season is upon us, I envision a football stadium filled with fans on each side. Yet instead of the fans cheering, they express loud and chaotic cries of fear and worry.

Despite the noise, David was steady as he approached Goliath. He was able to tune out the noise, standing still and strong. We know this to be the case because if his hand was shaking like a leaf, he wouldn’t have been able to strike Goliath with such precision.

David teaches us that standing in the center of our serenity empowers us, even in the midst of chaos. As you think about that, cling to these words: “…Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, tune out the noise.

B Moments, peace

Trust: The Answer to Your Search for Peace

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about how if we genuinely trust God, a peaceful state will follow.

Recently, we talked about what happens to us when we appear to be in a dire situation that presents no way out. We used Peter’s arrest as an example.

King Herod had begun to persecute believers, and Peter was likely next in line. To prevent Peter from escaping, he was guarded by four squads of four soldiers, plus a soldier was chained to his right side and another to his left.

So an unarmed Peter was surrounded by eighteen armed soldiers. To the natural eye, Peter appeared to be in an inescapable situation. Then, an angel of the Lord appeared before Peter and instructed him to wake up, get dressed, and follow him.

Notice the angel’s first words to Peter: wake up. As Peter was surrounded by eighteen soldiers, he slept. As he was set to have a public trial the next morning that would likely result in his own persecution, he slept. Peter did what God wants us to do. He genuinely trusted God and a peaceful state followed.

Sometimes we claim to trust God but struggle to find peace over a situation. Trust and peace go hand in hand. If you say you trust God but you’re anxious and restless, I would say there is an opportunity to trust Him even more.

Let us take a page out of Peter’s book and cling to these words: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation…present your requests to God. And the peace of God…will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, be at peace.

B Moments, first

How Should You Respond to God?

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Matthew 6:33 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how we respond to God’s comfort.

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the ways God can comfort us. We also said that there is no greater comfort than the gift of eternal life.

We even talked about how God gives us instruction as to how we might obtain eternal life in Jesus’ sermon on the mount. In Matthew 5:5, one of the ways is revealed to be that God blesses those who are gentle and lowly for the whole earth will belong to them.

As I think about that passage, I think about one beautiful example of a woman who came into the home where Jesus was having supper. She carried an exquisite jar of perfume and poured it over Jesus’ head to anoint him. In that moment, she prepared his body for burial.

However, the Scriptures say that the disciples were indignant because it was a very expensive bottle of perfume. They believed it was a waste of money and that she should have chosen to use it another way.

Yet notice now how she poured the perfume gently over him anyway. She acted in a lowly way in the sense that her earthly needs and what she could have done with that expensive perfume were secondary to her concern for Jesus.

Let us think about the ways we put God first in our lives so that we might please Him. As you think about that, remember these words: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, let’s exceed God’s expectations on how we put Him first.

B Moments, ultimate sacrifice

The Sacrifice Has Already Been Paid for You

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Romans 6:23 (ESV)

Today, I am reflecting on how the ultimate sacrifice has already been paid for us.

Recently, we talked about engaging in those activities that can separate us from God. Sometimes we can even have the best intentions and still allow something to impact our intimacy with Him. This is what happened to the Israelites as they traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover festivities.

First, the Israelites incurred expense after expense. Therefore, even though they were in a place to worship, their preoccupation with whether they had enough money impacted their worship.

In addition to their financial worries, they also worried whether their animal sacrifice would pass the inspection. The slightest imperfection in their animal meant that it wouldn’t pass the test, meaning they would have to purchase another animal at great expense.

Let us be comforted today that this is the one test that we never have to worry about again. That price has already been paid.

One interesting fact is that a perfect animal sacrifice could never have any broken bones. Even as Christ’s body endured the most horrific beating that it did, he ended up having not one broken bone. He is the ultimate, perfect lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world.

Let us remember these words: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, remind someone else that the ultimate sacrifice has already been paid for them.

B Moments, seek

It’s Never Too Late to Seek Christ

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: John 14:6 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how it’s never too late to seek Christ.

As this is holy week, we’ve been tracing Christ’s path to Calvary. So today, I am reflecting on the story of the good thief.

When Jesus was nailed to the cross, there were two criminals at his side. As he hung there, several of the soldiers mocked Jesus by offering him sour wine and gambling for his clothes. Yet Jesus uttered from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

One of the criminals hanging beside Jesus heard him and said, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself and the two of us while you’re at it.”

The other criminal quickly responded by saying, “Don’t you fear God even when you are dying? We deserve to die for our evil deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then, he looked toward Jesus and said, “Will you remember me when you come into your kingdom?” Jesus told him, “I assure you today you will be in paradise with me.”

This story about the good thief is a perfect example of how it’s never too late to start seeking God for whatever we might need, whether it’s salvation or forgiveness or a deeper connection with Him. As followers of Christ, we know that many among us still do not understand this fact. Who do you know who could benefit from hearing it’s never too late to seek Christ?

As we enter into this Easter weekend, let’s make an extra effort to tap the shoulder of another and share with them these words: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that it’s never too late to seek Him.

B Moments, pivot

Renew Your Strength in God

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Matthew 11:28 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about the need to pivot back to God to renew our strength.

This is exactly how I believe David felt when he and his men returned home after being defeated by Saul. After they experienced such a great loss with Saul, they came home to find their wives and children missing. Imagine taking a trip that does not go well at all, then returning to find that things are even worse at home.

I know personally that when I feel like I’m being hit from all angles, the first thing I need to do is have a good cry. This is exactly what David and his men did. The Scriptures say that David and his men wept until they couldn’t weep anymore.

Yet here’s the key: once David dried his tears, he pivoted back to God for strength and guidance. Shortly thereafter, he gained clarity and wisdom about where to search for the missing women and children.

Furthermore, during his search, even David’s communication with God improved. It is clear that when your strength is restored, you can hear God’s direction for you. By pivoting back to God for strength, David was able to recover everything taken from him.

Sometimes we may see ourselves as weak or incapable when we need to regroup, but that’s a trap. God is waiting with open arms to give you rest and to renew your strength. So remember that as we cling to these words: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, pivot back to God and find your strength in Him.

B Moments, clean

Jesus Knows You Are Clean

B Moments, clean

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Hebrews 8:12 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how God sees us as clean.

Recently, I talked about when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Initially, when he moved to wash their feet, Peter in particular was confused.

He said, “Lord you will never wash my feet.” Yet, Jesus replied, “If I don’t wash you, you won’t belong to me.”

Peter quickly responded, “Well then, Lord, wash my hands and head as well!” Jesus answered Peter by saying, “You are clean, Peter, but that isn’t true for everyone here.” Jesus, of course, was referring to Judas who would later go on to betray him.

Earlier this week, I talked about being the glue, or the one who holds things together for others. Sometimes we feel we have to keep so many balls up in the air at once that we can easily let one drop. We feel as though we fall short.

However, here’s what is significant about the exchange between Peter and Christ. Shortly after Jesus washed Peter’s feet and Jesus proclaimed that he was clean, Peter denied him three times.

In other words, Jesus knew that Peter would subtly betray him, yet he still claimed Peter as clean.

There are times we fall short, or we don’t do something in the moment that would be pleasing to Christ, or we just sin outright. The great news though, is that we’re still clean. It may take our natural mind a moment to reconcile that thought with our spiritual mind, but it is still true.

The next time we need to be reminded that we’re clean, let us cling to these words: “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:12 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, be free in knowing that even when you fall short, you’re still clean.