No Other Option

Is God

just one of your options

as you scramble to find solutions?

 

Do you pray to Him

and then leave your options open?

 

Do you forget

His sovereign hand

in your life?

 

He is not meant to be

an option

 

Plan A

Plan B

C

or D

 

He is meant to be

THE Plan

 

May we put away the

just-in-case-He-doesn’t-answer

mentality

 

He is the Final Word

the Sure Foundation

the Answer

the LORD

 

all falls beneath

His title

His hand

His authority

His Love

 

So next time you pray to Him,

resist formulating Plan B in your head

 

as if He may not

come through

 

Trust

Wait

Praise

Worship

 

Your all-knowing God

 

Faith says

there is no Plan B

 

– Susie Stewart

 

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get His help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

– James 1:5-8 (MSG)

 

Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said He would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God Himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!”

– Romans 4:18 (MSG)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

 

Prayer & Trust

When you don’t get the answer you want

from God,

what is your response?

 

Is it anger?

Self-pity?

Turning away from Him?

 

Or do you Trust?

 

Trust that He is God?

 

Before you had this trial

you knew

 

that sometimes God says

“Yes”

 

sometimes

“No”

 

sometimes

“Later”

 

sometimes

“I have something better”

 

But does your trust in Him

reflect that?

 

Do you still praise and bless Him

when the answer is “wait”?

 

or “No”?

 

Or do you stomp your foot

as a demanding child?

 

You either have confidence in God’s sovereignty

or you doubt it

 

Prayer and trust

go hand in hand

 

It

is

Faith

In God who knows best

 

Don’t fall into the trap

of faithfulness to Him

only when the answer

is “Yes”

 

– Susie Stewart

 

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

– 1 John 5:14 (NIV)

 

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called—His holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance.

– Ephesians 1:18 (NLT)

 

Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. 

– Romans 12:11,12 (MSG)

 

Photo by Wade Callison

Live Like It

Lord Jesus,

May those of us who know You

as the Way

the Truth

and

the Life

 

Live like it

 

May those of us who know Your

freedom

hope

and

unconditional love

 

Live like it

 

May those of us who know Your

peace

joy

and

kindness

 

Live like it

 

The difference You’ve made,

Jesus,

should be detectable

by those we interact with

 

What we believe

should permeate how we live

 

The difference should be

beautifully plain to see

 

The gospel of peace

in its power

spills over

into all our interactions

 

for a life poured out

 

A revolutionary faith

will not be ignored

 

– Susie Stewart

 

 

Every time your name comes up in my prayers, I say, “Oh, thank you, God!” I keep hearing of the love and faith you have for the Master Jesus, which brims over to other believers. And I keep praying that this faith we hold in common keeps showing up in the good things we do, and that people recognize Christ in all of it. Friend, you have no idea how good your love makes me feel, doubly so when I see your hospitality to fellow believers.

– Philemon 4-7 (MSG)

 

Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good?  But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way…

– 1 Peter 3:14-16 (NLT)

 

Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.

– 2 Corinthians 2:15 (NLT)

 

The hallmark of Christians in the first century was not their wealth.  They had none.  It was not their theology either.  Their beliefs were so odd, religious people couldn’t understand them.  What gave them leverage was their inexplicable compassion and generosity.  They had little, but they gave.   They received little compassion, but they were willing to extend what they had to other people.  They were hard to ignore.

– Andy Stanley

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

Solid

I don’t want

a circumstantial faith

 

I want a solid faith

 

Up & Down

Up & Down

Down & Up

 

That wavering

is a rollercoaster

I don’t want to be on

 

Jesus, help me

keep my eyes on You

and on Your promises

 

In the storm

In the desert

In the fire

In the parties

of life

 

And let my confidence

be unshaken

 

For circumstances

don’t change who You are

 

You

are

my

Rock

 

– Susie Stewart

 

If our definition of success is solely based on outcome, we’ll live like we’re on a never-ending bungee jump.  We’re up.  We’re down.  We’re swayed by failure or buoyed by success.  We’re left hanging until someone reels us in with a word of praise.

– Suzanne Eller

 

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

– Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

 

…for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.

– Proverbs 3:26 (NLT)

 

But the Master, God, has something to say to this: “Watch closely. I’m laying a foundation in Zion, a solid granite foundation, squared and true. And this is the meaning of the stone: A TRUSTING LIFE WON’T TOPPLE.

I’ll make justice the measuring stick and righteousness the plumb line for the building. A hailstorm will knock down the shantytown of lies, and a flash flood will wash out the rubble.

– Isaiah 28:16,17 (MSG)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

 

Beautiful Love

The colored sunsets and starry heavens, the beautiful mountains and the shining seas, the fragrant woods and painted flowers, are not half so beautiful as a soul that is serving Jesus out of love, in the wear and tear of common, unpoetic life.

– Faber

 

Be sure to fear the Lord and faithfully serve Him. Think of all the wonderful things He has done for you.
– 1 Samuel 12:24 (NLT)

 

…What is important is faith expressing itself in love.

– Galatians 5:6 (NLT)

 

 

Photo taken by Susie Stewart

Faith Work Out

I recently read an article about the fattest people on earth, people weighing well over a thousand pounds, people who are eating themselves to death.  At a certain point, they lost the ability to walk.  Eventually, they were bedridden and depended on others feeding them because they could no longer even feed themselves.

It reminded me of a lot of people I find in the church.   They are fed more and more knowledge every week.  They attend church services, join small group Bible studies, read Christian books, listen to podcasts – and are convinced they still need more knowledge.  Truth is, their biggest need is to do something.  They don’t need another feast on doctrine.  They need to exercise.  They need to work off what they’ve already consumed.  Some have become so used to consuming the Word without applying it that you wonder if they can.  These are the spiritually bedridden, resigned to spending the rest of their lives studying the Word without ever making disciples or tangibly caring for others.

– Francis Chan

 

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?

James 2:14 (NLT)

 

How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

– James 2:20 (NLT)

 

…Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.

– Philippians 2:12 (NLT)

 

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.  For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.  You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.  But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

– James 1:22-25 (NLT)

Photo taken by Susie Stewart