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.

B Moments, right

Forgiveness Is Better Than Being Right

B Moments, right

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

Scripture reference: 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about that insatiable desire to be right.

I had this thought as I was reading about the heated exchange between Moses and a group of the Levites. The Levites were frustrated because they were not in the Promised Land yet, and they didn’t feel as though Moses was leading them correctly.

They looked at their current life in the wilderness and thought that they would be far better off in Egypt.

At one point, there was a confrontation between the Levites and Moses, and Moses was insulted because he was receiving his instructions directly from God. He was doing the very best he could in that moment, yet the Levites didn’t trust him to lead.

The amazing thing though, is that in the middle of the heated exchange, Moses fell to the ground and began to pray for the Levites.

This really caught my attention because when I think about how divided our country is, including all the political dialogue and bitter exchanges, I realize how important Moses’s actions are today.

In that moment of contention, we should just take a step back and do what Moses did—pray for the healing of the other person whether we believe we’re right or wrong. In fact, that is where some of my work lies.

The words that I will cling to when I need to let go of my desire to be right are: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control” 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, if you are having an exchange with another, let go of the need to be right, take a step back, and pray for that other person.

B Moment, fast

Fortify Yourself Through Fasting

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

Scripture reference: Ezra 8:23 (NIV)

Today is the first day of Lent, and synonymous with the Lenten season for me is, of course, fasting. Because of this, I have been thinking a lot about the power of fasting.

Quite honestly, it was not until recently that fasting became a practice for me. It had always been something that I watched others do, rather than seriously participating myself.

There were occasions when I fasted with a group of ladies during the Lenten season, but if I am to be totally honest, my actions were more about furthering my intimacy with the group, rather than my relationship with God.

However, I have learned quite a bit about fasting recently–in particular, I have discovered three key takeaways.

The first takeaway is that fasting helps me surrender my situation. When I fast, I find myself turning matters over to God rather than attempting to control them myself. This helps both my spiritual and mental states.

Second, fasting guides my actions. There are many times when I am not fasting that I know I need to take an action, but I am unclear as to the specifics. Fasting gives me a greater clarity about the actions I need to take. It also gives me the confidence to follow through with those actions. In short, fasting calms and fortifies me.

Finally, I have learned that I do not need to simply limit my forbearance to food and drink. Fasting from TV, radio, and whatever else is necessary to be in deeper communion with God, cleanses my soul.

The words that I use to inspire me through the challenges of fasting are, “So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and He answered our prayer.” Ezra 8:23 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, reset your spiritual button, and embrace the power of fasting.

B Moment, sun

Appreciating God’s Sunshine

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

Scripture reference: Genesis 1:3-4 (NLT)

Today, I am thinking about appreciating God’s sunshine. I mean this both literally as well as figuratively because, while we should celebrate the sun, we should also cherish everything from God that gives us sustenance.

Personally, I have some very demanding goals for 2017, and trying to accomplish all of them, plus the work in my everyday life, is tough. A lot of times, it feels like a rat race where I’m running, running, running through a maze of responsibilities. I run to the office; I run a few errands; I run to get my coffee. On some Sundays, I am even guilty of running to church!

It is because of this “running” mindset that we forget to take in the sustenance that God has provided for us. He has given us food and water and sunshine specifically to sustain us. When we are constantly running though, we don’t take the time to appreciate this sustenance, and our metaphorical engines run empty, rather than with the fullness of all His gifts.

I have personally experienced how difficult it is to take a break from the rat race because it often feels like a setback. However, it is so important to appreciate what God has bestowed upon us.

So, when I can, I go on “God walks.” This means I just go outside and simply appreciate nature–no music, no work, no distractions. I know it can be cold outside at times, but His sunshine blesses and energizes me in a way that nothing else can.

If you, too, need to take a moment to appreciate the sunshine, go back to what He said in the beginning and cling to these words: “Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good.” Genesis 1:3-4 (NLT)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, take a walk in His sunshine.