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B Moments, show mercy

Show Mercy Rather Than Pass Judgment

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

Scripture reference: Luke 6:36 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about showing mercy versus passing judgment.

Recently, we talked about how the Israelites observed the Sabbath day as a way of following the law and in hopes of pleasing God. However, in the gospel of Matthew, we learn from Jesus that he values showing others mercy more than strictly following the law.

In Matthew 12, we learn that one day Jesus was walking through the grain fields on the Sabbath with his disciples. Some of the disciples became hungry, so they started breaking off the heads of wheat and eating the grain. Several Pharisees observed this and told Jesus that his disciples shouldn’t be doing that as it was against the law to work by harvesting grain on the Sabbath.

Before Jesus gave them his full response, he reminded them of the time when King David and his men were hungry and they went into the house of the Lord and ate the special bread that was reserved only for the priest. He told them that was breaking the law too. But God didn’t love David any less.

Jesus concluded his teaching by reminding them of this verse: “‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!” Matthew 12:7-8 (NLT). This was a resounding rebuke of the Pharisees’ understanding of what really matters to God.

Recently we’ve been talking a lot about being in a new season, and I am certain that there will be people who cross your path in this new season who will need your mercy. As you think about that, remember these few words: “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:36 (ESV).

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, show mercy to others.

B Moments, completely

Here’s How God Reacts When You Trust Him

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 (NIV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about how God reacts when we trust Him completely.

Lately, we’ve been talking about being in a new season and, regardless of what season we’re in, how important it is to keep God first. Now I want to show you how God responds when we keep Him first in our lives and trust in Him completely.

As we know, the Israelites were always instructed to observe the Sabbath day, which is the seventh day of the week when no one works. Yet the Israelites were also expected to recognize the Sabbath of the seventh year.

In the Sabbath year, they were not allowed to farm their land and had to let the land rest instead. In other words, the Israelites had to simply trust that God would provide for them for an entire year.

Here’s what’s significant. Farming their land was how the Israelites ate from day to day as well as how they provided for their families. So picture this. The Israelites walked by their own land every day for an entire year and resisted the urge to farm it, putting all their faith in God to provide for them.

Here’s how God responded. He allowed their land to produce two to three times more in that seventh year than it did any of the other years when their land was actually being farmed.

What situation have you partially turned over to God but now need to turn completely over to Him? As you think about that, remember these words: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, quite simply, trust Him completely.

B Moments, indirect

My Path to the New Season Seems Indirect

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

Scripture reference: Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today, I am reminding us to trust God’s indirect path.

Recently, we’ve been talking about what it feels like to be in a new season and how we need to keep our expectations high. Personally, I’ve also often struggled with what I want in a new season. I sometimes feel like something is missing or I’m not being as useful as I could be.

However, once things become clear to me, I have an expectation that my path in the new season will be direct. In other words, the biggest issue for me is figuring out the right path, but once I have it all figured out, I expect my path to take me directly from point A to point B. I have learned though, that when God is guiding you, His path is rarely direct.

When I turn to the Scriptures, I think about when the Israelites fled Egypt after being enslaved for more than 400 years. God guided them out of Egypt, but He didn’t take them on a logical path from point A to point B.

Instead, He led them on a more scenic route that took them right between the wilderness and the Red Sea. Then, just when it seemed as though they had nowhere else to go, God instructed Moses to hold his staff over the Red Sea, and a path opened up for the Israelites.

Through this story, we see that God’s path for us appears to zigzag sometimes, seemingly without reason. Yet this is only so that His awesome power is revealed in our lives in the end. Let us remember this by reflecting on these words: “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, trust your indirect path.

B Moments, spin

Avoid Putting Your Own Spin on God’s Will

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

Scripture reference: Hebrews 10:36 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how sometimes we can put our own spin on fulfilling God’s will.

In this series, we are talking about embracing God’s will and about how sometimes we can miss the mark. King Saul’s life is a perfect example of this.

One day, Saul was given specific instructions from God to go and destroy the Amalekites. The Amalekites were being killed because of their opposition to the Israelites when they came from Egypt.

Saul was instructed to kill the entire nation, including the cattle, sheep, and donkeys—everything. Yet when Saul mobilized his army of 200,000, he slaughtered the Amalekites but spared the king and kept all the cattle, despite God’s clear instructions.

When Samuel, the prophet, questioned Saul about it, he said that he had obeyed the Lord. In fact, he said that he intended to sacrifice the cattle before the Lord.

However, God didn’t ask Saul to sacrifice; He asked him to obey. Partial obedience is not obedience. Saul fulfilled part of God’s will and put his own spin on the rest.

How often do we do this? We fulfill part of what God is asking us to do and then we try to overcompensate in another area. If that might be you today, let these words inspire you: “…so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” Hebrews 10:36 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, avoid putting your own spin on God’s will and just embrace it.

B Moments, humility

Your Humility Will Be Rewarded

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

Scripture reference: Luke 14:11 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about the rewards of humility.

We started this week by honoring our unsung heroes. We’ve also talked about serving in the shadows. Let us top this series off by reminding ourselves about the power of humility. When I turn to the Scriptures, I recall Gideon’s story. As we know, the Israelites came under attack from the Midianites, and God chose Gideon to save them.

Initially, Gideon was reluctant to take on the assignment, even though an angel of the Lord appeared before him. He doubted his ability to complete the task because he used logic and couldn’t comprehend how he was the best man for the job.

However, as I was reading Gideon’s story, I noticed something he did that I find very instructive. When the angel of the Lord appeared before him, he asked the angel for a sign to prove that it was really the Lord speaking to him.

Yet before he would see the sign, he brought the angel an offering. This was Gideon’s way of expressing a sense of humility and drawing closer to God.

Personally, I think this is what God was ultimately looking for in the man who would save the Israelites. Perhaps a person who was more qualified would have responded with a sense of arrogance. Gideon, on the other hand, responded with a sense of humility and sacrifice throughout the assignment until he ultimately achieved victory.

Therefore, if you’re facing a daunting situation, try embodying a sense of humility and remember these words: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, remember humility wins.

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, behind the scenes

We Serve a Behind the Scenes God

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 2:13 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how we serve a “behind the scenes” God.

Recently, we talked about the depths of a mother’s love. We spoke about how some of her sacrifices are obvious, but other sacrifices can go unseen and unspoken.

The same is true for God’s love. Sometimes His hand can appear front and center. Other times, He is busy at work behind the scenes. This is when we might think not much is happening on our behalf, but that could not be farther from the truth. This is what the Israelites had to learn.

Balak, the king of Moab, was desperately trying to save himself and his people, so he hired Balaam to curse Israel. However, as we know, God is always in control. Because of this, God actually used Balaam to bless the Israelites, rather than to harm them.

Here are the two key takeaways from the story. First, as Balaam approached the Israelites, they had no idea they were in danger. In other words, God saved them from something that they had no idea posed a threat to them. In this way, it is clear that God is helping us, working behind the scenes even when we are unaware of His work.

The second piece of the story is that the Israelites were not in the best standing with God. They had been complaining continuously because they were not in the Promised Land.

I was encouraged by this, and you should be too. God is working behind the scenes, both when we are faithful and even when we are not. Let us cling to these words: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful–for he cannot deny himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, God is working behind the scenes for you.

B Moments, exhale

Exhale in the Arms of God

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

Scripture reference: Mark 11:23 (NLT)

Today I am imagining myself exhaling in the arms of God and remembering His promises.

Sometimes, after all of the praying and fasting and journaling and helping, we need to just take a breath and be reminded of God’s promises. Occasionally, we may forget to do this and may end up talking ourselves out of believing that God’s promises will ever materialize. This is exactly what happened to the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land.

God instructed Moses to send twelve tribal leaders to explore Canaan, otherwise known as the Promised Land. The Scriptures say that after these twelve leaders explored the land for forty days, they came back to give Moses a report. They told him the land was magnificent and was truly overflowing with milk and honey.

However, the leaders were also overwhelmingly frightened by the residents of the land. They thought it was an advanced, well-fortified city with giant, strong people, so they couldn’t wrap their minds around how they would end up conquering the land.

Because of their fear, the leaders began to doubt God’s ability to fulfill His promise and wanted to return to Egypt. This situation is striking because God had just parted the Red Sea for them. They didn’t take a moment to exhale and to remember God’s promises, to remember what He had already done.

So the next time you are trusting in God’s word but see something that causes doubt to creep in, imagine yourself exhaling in His arms, renewing your faith, and remembering His promises. In the meantime, cling to these words: “All that’s required is that you really believe and do not doubt in your heart.” Mark 11:23 (NLT)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, exhale.

B Moments, between

What Should You Do between God’s Blessings?

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

Scripture reference: Psalm 77:11 (ESV)

Today, I am asking a question: what do we do in between God’s blessings?

In this series we’re focusing on our blessings and our relationship to them. When I think about this question, I realize that the key is to remember that if He did it for us before, He can and will do it for us again.

When I think about this topic, I reflect on the Israelites. We recall how God performed an amazing miracle when the Israelites appeared to be trapped between the wilderness and the Red Sea.

However, even after He parted the sea and created a dry path for the Israelites to cross on, they immediately became preoccupied with what was next. For them, that was worrying about what they were going to eat and drink.

Although they didn’t necessarily panic like they did when Pharaoh was charging toward them, they definitely began to fret. I think that is common. When God delivers one blessing and we’re waiting on Him to answer the next, we may experience a sense of anxiety.

The best way to calm yourself while you’re waiting on God to answer is to go back and reflect on a time when the circumstances seemed impossible, but God saw you through to the other side.

What situation are you waiting for God to deliver on for you? Think about that and remember these words: “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.” Psalm 77:11 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, remember that what He did before, He can and will do again.

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.