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B Moments, towdah

Practice Towdah: Praise God for Future Blessings

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

Scripture reference: Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about another way to praise God.

Recently, I learned one of the Hebrew meanings for the word praise. The word towdah means praise for things not yet received. The pastor I heard this from said that heaven looks favorably upon those who demonstrate this type of praise.

When I turn to the Scriptures, I think about Elijah, who surely knew how to thank God for those things not yet received. As we know, Elijah lived through a severe drought, yet he always believed that God would send rain—even when there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

First, Elijah told King Ahab to go and enjoy a good meal because a mighty rainstorm was coming. At this point, Elijah had not seen a drizzle of rain, much less a downpour, but he demonstrated towdah anyway.

Next, Elijah instructed his servant to look toward the sea for rain, but the servant returned only to report that he didn’t see anything. Elijah sent the servant to look again and again, yet each time, he reported no sign of rain.

Finally, on the seventh time, the servant reported a tiny cloud, but still no rain. Elijah took this tiny cloud as a major sign and cautioned all the others that if they didn’t get home before the storm, the rain would stop them.

Soon, the clouds turned black and what Elijah praised God in advance for, came to pass. There was, in fact, a mighty rainstorm.

In what areas of your life do you need to demonstrate towdah? Are you praising God, or are you holding back because you haven’t seen enough yet? As you practice towdah today, cling to these words: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, towdah Him.

B Moments, see

Believe God’s Word, Not What You See

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

Scripture reference: Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how we should proclaim what God told us despite what we see.

Lately, we’ve been studying Elijah’s journey during the severe drought. Despite the drought, which is what he experienced on a daily basis, Elijah focused on what he heard from God and proclaimed that.

First, Elijah told King Ahab to go and enjoy a good meal because a mighty rainstorm was coming. At this point, Elijah had not seen a drizzle of rain, much less a downpour, but he proclaimed it anyway because God had told him.

Next, Elijah instructed his servant to look toward the sea for rain, but the servant returned only to report that he didn’t see anything. Elijah sent the servant to look again and again, yet each time, he reported no sign of rain.

Finally, on the seventh time, the servant reported a tiny cloud, but still no rain. Elijah took this tiny cloud as a major sign and cautioned all the others that if they didn’t get home before the storm, the rain would stop them.

Elijah was a master of proclaiming what he heard from God and ignoring what his eyes didn’t see. Soon, the clouds turned black and what Elijah proclaimed came to pass. There was, in fact, a mighty rainstorm.

Think about what God has told you. Are you proclaiming it proudly, or are you holding off because you don’t see it yet?

As you focus more on what God said and less on what you see, remember these words: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, hold on to what He told you.

 

B Moments, lead

God Will Lead You to Sustenance

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

Scripture reference: Luke 12:24 (NIV)

Today, I am thinking about how God won’t lead you where He won’t feed you.

Recently, we were talking about the fear of scarcity. I talked about the story of the prophet Elijah and the widow. In the story, he asked her for bread, and her response was centered around fear of lack. The widow told him that she only had enough to prepare a last meal for her son and herself, and then she planned to die.

Let’s contrast her approach with Elijah’s. When Elijah started out on his assignment from God, there was a severe drought going on. The Lord told Elijah to go to the Kerith Brook, and he would drink from there. God also commanded the ravens to feed Elijah both in the morning and evening.

Yet sometime thereafter, the brook dried up. Elijah’s response wasn’t to ask God how He could send him to a brook that would dry up. Nor was his response like the widow’s. He didn’t just take one last sip from the brook and resign himself to death.

Instead, Elijah kept his faith that God would not lead him to a place where He would not feed him. Before Elijah could even ask for help, God was leading him to the next part of his journey where, of course, he would continue to be fed.

If you are worrying about your own provisions today, cling to these words: “Consider the ravens: they neither sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable are you than birds!” Luke 12:24 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that God has you.

B Moments, shapes

Sit Back and Receive God’s Myriad Blessings

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

Scripture reference: Isaiah 55:9 (NIV)

Today, I am thinking about how God’s blessings come in many shapes and sizes.

Recently, we talked about how God won’t lead you where He won’t feed you. We also studied parts of the prophet Elijah’s journey during the severe drought. When Elijah started out on his journey, God directed him to the Kerith Brook and told him to drink from the stream. God also commanded the ravens to feed Elijah.

Eventually, the brook dried up, and Elijah could no longer receive his water from the brook nor his food from the ravens. God then sent Elijah to meet a widow and the widow became his source for food and water.

It is clear that ravens in the air and a widow look quite different. That’s because God’s blessings come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes, we can be caught off guard when God’s blessings come from a different source. In other words, we can be guilty of confining God’s blessings to our own understanding.

For example, God used nature—the brook and the birds of the air—to bless Elijah during the first part of his journey. Therefore, the human inclination is to look towards nature again because we believe that if God used nature once, He will use it again. Yet that is not necessarily true.

This is how we can miss our blessings. We are looking for them to come from one way, and they end up coming from another direction and in a different form. However, they are all blessings from the Lord as it all belongs to Him.

The next time God’s actions feel like a Jedi mind trick to you, remember these words: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways.” Isaiah 55:9 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, don’t try to case God’s blessings—just receive them.

B Moments, tomorrow

God’s Comfort Is Never Far Away

Some days are harder than others; in fact, some days, it is tough to just put one foot in front of the other. We might even feel as though no one understands our problem and that we have to go it alone. However, when we find ourselves struggling this way, we simply need to turn to God as He will guide us through. With His help, we can face tomorrow with renewed hope and happiness.

 

Here are 3 ways to find your way when things seem bleak:

  1. Know that with God, there is always a tomorrow. When Elijah visited a widow during the drought, he learned that she was planning to make one last meal for herself and her son, and then she was prepared to die. This mirrors society today as the celebrity suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have highlighted the fact that suicides in the United States have increased by nearly 30% in the last seventeen years. However, it is important to remember that with God, there is always a tomorrow. Simply recall what Elijah told the widow. He said that God desired her to be alive tomorrow and that God Himself would provide for that tomorrow. If you, a loved one, or a stranger is struggling, embrace tomorrow by reaching out to the vast network under God as we are called to: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 (ESV)
  2. Believe in God’s word, not what you see before you. As humans, we have a limited scope and must rely on God’s word to tell us what lies ahead. For example, when suffering from a seemingly endless drought, God told Elijah that a rainstorm was on the way. Instead of dismissing His word since there was not a cloud in the sky, Elijah embraced the good news and proclaimed that the end of the drought was near. Not long after, a cloud appeared, and they were blessed with a miraculous rainstorm. If you are burdened by struggles that seem to be unending, trust God when He tells you that they too will come to an end. Don’t give up hope that you will experience a rainstorm when you least expect it. Until then, cling to these words to remain hopeful: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
  3. Turn to God when your hope shifts to doubt. Even when you have maintained a hopeful attitude one day, you may awake to find it gone and replaced with doubt the next day. Although Elijah remained hopeful for a long time, even giving newfound hope to others, he found himself consumed by doubt when he wandered through the desert. Once he had told a widow that God Himself would provide for her tomorrow, but Elijah discovered that he couldn’t give himself that same comfort when the time came. Instead, he dropped to the ground and told God that he was ready to die. Yet God responded by sending an angel to comfort and feed him. So, if you find yourself doubting, simply turn to God and remember these words: “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

Today, turn your blues to blessings by turning to God in your time of need.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

Psalm 32:8 (ESV)

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B Moments, doubtful

Hopeful One Day, Doubtful the Next

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 (NIV)

Today, I am thinking about how we can be hopeful one day and doubtful the next.

We’re finally wrapping up our series on Elijah, a great prophet and man of God. As a recap, we’ve talked about how Elijah assured a widow who was ready to die that God wanted her to have a tomorrow and that the Lord himself would provide for her tomorrow.

Elijah then went on to have a “drop the mic” moment when he proved to the Israelites that there is only one God Almighty. We also talked about how Elijah was a master at proclaiming what he heard from God instead of what he saw in that moment. He proclaimed that a mighty rainstorm would come even when there was not a dark cloud in the sky.

Yet this same Elijah, this hopeful man of God, eventually became tired and weary. After a long walk through the desert, he sat down under a tree and prayed that he might die. Those same inspiring words that he gave to the widow, he couldn’t offer himself. He simply told the Lord that he had had enough.

Sometimes, when feelings of doubt come upon us, we have the wisdom and foresight to draw near to God. When we don’t, He draws near to us instead. After his request to God, Elijah fell asleep, and God immediately sent one of his angels to feed and comfort him.

As you put your doubts in God’s hands today, remember these words: “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, you know the place to drop off your doubt.

B Moments, rainstorm

A Rainstorm of Blessings Awaits You

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

Scripture reference: Philippians 4:13 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how a rainstorm of blessings awaits you.

Recently, we’ve been talking about remodeling our spiritual life, including remodeling our prayers. We’re all also familiar with what it looks like when we remodel a room. Let’s say you wanted to open a room up so that more light could enter it; you would simply rearrange the furniture, moving those pieces that are obstructing the light.

Sometimes, moving just one piece of furniture can shift the energy of the entire room. The same can be true for our spiritual lives. We have to move out those things that are obstructing our light and that are blocking us from more.

This is what happened to the Israelites when Elijah confronted them. The Israelites had been enduring a severe drought and, during that time, they wavered back and forth between worshiping God and the false god Baal.

When the Israelites ultimately chose God, Elijah knew without a doubt that a shift in their circumstances would soon follow. They would go from a severe drought to a mighty rainstorm.

What is the one action that you need to take to create a shift in your life? Sometimes, we can see the need to repurpose a room, but we continue to walk past the room day after day. The same can be true for our lives. We see the need for a change, but we postpone taking action—all the while, postponing our mighty rainstorm of blessings.

As you think about your next move, remember these words: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, get your umbrella out for your rainstorm of blessings.

B Moments, tomorrow

With God, There’s Always Tomorrow

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

Scripture reference: Galatians 6:2 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how with God, there is always tomorrow.

As you may hear, I am not in the studio as I felt so moved by the recent celebrity suicides of designer Kate Spade and TV host Anthony Bourdain that I just had to record a message.

First, what I find particularly interesting is that suicides over the last seventeen years have increased by nearly 30% in the United States, yet these stats about everyday people don’t make it to the headlines until a celebrity takes his or her life.

However, this wasn’t the case in Elijah’s day. When Elijah began his assignment from God, there was a severe drought going on.

During one part of his journey, God told Elijah to visit a widow. Without hesitation, Elijah went to the widow’s home. When he arrived, he learned that this widow was preparing a last meal for her son and herself as she was planning for them to die.

Elijah first comforted her by being fully present with her and by urging her not to fear. Then, he inspired her with a new perspective, assuring her that God wanted her to have a tomorrow and that God himself would provide for her tomorrow. I’m sure Elijah didn’t know what situation he would be walking into when he got there, but God supplied him with the words.

The lesson is that when God instructed Elijah to visit the widow, he did so without hesitation. When God chooses you to remind someone there’s always a tomorrow with Him, will you respond without hesitation? As you think about that, remember these words: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, be a beacon of hope for someone else.

B Moments, mic

Let God Drop the Mic in Your Life

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

Scripture reference: Psalm 103:19 (NIV)

Today, I am thinking about when God drops the mic.

Recently, we’ve been talking about a fear of lack of provision and the myriad ways God responds to us. Sometimes it is the time when we doubt or need a little proof that God is still in control that He’ll give us that “drop the mic” lesson.

This is what happened to the Israelites at Mount Carmel. The prophet Elijah was terribly frustrated with the Israelites, so he summoned them to Mount Carmel where he asked them how much longer they would waver. He stated that if the Lord is God, they should follow Him; if Baal is God, then they should follow him.

Furthermore, Elijah told them that he was the only prophet standing for God, but Baal had 450 prophets standing for him. So, Elijah asked the others to bring two bulls forward for a little contest. He said that they should choose whichever bull they wished, cut it into pieces, and lay it on the wood of Baal’s altar.

Then, Elijah would choose a bull of his own and lay it on the altar before God. Next, they would call on the name of their god, and Elijah would call on the name of the Lord. The God who answered by setting fire to the wood would be the true God. All of the people agreed.

The people prepared their bull and cried out before Baal. They even began dancing before him, but there was no fire. By this time, Elijah was mocking them, asking if their god was simply asleep.

Yet then Elijah got serious. He went to the Lord and prayed before Him. In an instant, fire flashed down from heaven, and the young bull burned up. That’s what I call a “drop the mic” moment. With that, let us remember these words: “The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.” Psalm 103:19 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, let God drop the mic in your life.

B Moments, enough

God Will Ensure You Have Enough

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

Scripture reference: Psalm 34:4 (NIV)

Today, I am thinking about what it’s like to worry if there will be enough.

In this series, we’ve been talking about the many ways God will comfort you. One way is that God will hear your prayer and respond to it immediately.

But what happens when God’s response is not so immediate, and you’re enduring challenging times? This is what happened to the widow the prophet Elijah visited.

At the time of his visit, there was a serious drought going on. Yet when he initially greeted the widow, he asked her for a cup of water, then nonchalantly added that he also wanted a bite of bread.

The widow did what a logical person would do. She assessed the ingredients she had to make the bread and realized there wasn’t enough.

The widow told Elijah that she only had a handful of flour and a drop of cooking oil left in the bottom of the jug. She went on to say that she had planned to cook this last meal for her son and herself, and then she had planned to die.

Elijah stopped her in her tracks and blessed her with three important words: don’t be afraid. This is key. When we doubt if there will be enough, the next feeling is often fear.

Instead, Elijah told her to cook that last meal, but to bake him a loaf of bread first, saying that the Lord of Israel said there would always be plenty of flour and oil left in her containers until the drought was no more.

As you decontaminate your situation by releasing your fear, remember these words: “I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that you have more than enough.