Watching & Waiting

Eyes on Jesus. Watching His eyes to learn how He loves everyone on whom His gaze rests. Jesus is a Good Shepherd.

Listening to His heart as He blesses, teaches, corrects, and sings with delight over His sheep.

Watching the love and delight in His countenance as He hears the varied and distinctive voices of His beloved ones in worship.

Reading His word back to Him. Singing praise to His name. Grateful to receive the gifts of His hands. Loving the sheep next door.

Waiting at His feet. I choose to calm and quiet myself in peace. I choose to rest. I choose to learn. I choose contentment. Not because I am calm or quiet or content, but because Jesus is.

Eyes on Jesus. Watching. Learning. Choosing. Surrender.

So be it.

Eyes on Jesus and Shine,

~Lisa

Tethered

Day 130. Focus – Jesus. Eyes on Him.  How else can I live in peace?

Unless my heart be tethered to my Lord, I will lose heart. Unless my feet remain within my Good Shepherd’s pasture, I will lose my way. Unless my eyes remain trained on His eyes of love, I will stray for the acceptance of another.

Dear Jesus, thank You for Your unending love and for Your long-suffering devotion to me. You are faithful and good. Your character exemplifies all that I want to become as an image bearer of my Creator Father God.

Yet, You are Higher than my ways. Your perfection and holiness is beyond my comprehension. Your thoughts are greater than my thoughts.

Jesus, passionate Pioneer. Author and Perfector of souls. Teacher. Warrior. Intercessor. Savior. You are my King. My love. My hope. My way. And my peace.

May the fire in Your holy eyes draw me closer and closer. May my devotion to You increase moment by moment. May I not divert my eyes or catch my feet wandering. May my life remain steadfastly anchored in Your love and may I remember that Your name has sealed my heart for eternity.

I’m grateful that I am Yours and You are mine. For Your glory… I pledge my love and allegiance to You. Amen.

Eyes on Jesus and Shine,

~Lisa

Open, Reach, Do It Scared

And he has appointed some with grace to be apostles, and some with grace to be prophets, and some with grace to be evangelists, and some with grace to be pastors, and some with grace to be teachers.  And their calling is to nurture and prepare all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry, and as they do this they will enlarge and build up the body of Christ.  Ephesians 4:11-12

I carry a picture in my heart, which is intended to guide the way I live daily in relationship with people. It’s not a Sunday walk or a special occasion walk. We’re on a lifetime journey toward our eternal home, so this is an everyday walk along the path we’ve been given.

Along our path are many people. Some share my same destination for eternity, and some do not. Yet, we share this earth walk for an appointed time, and in an appointed place by God’s grace.

In this picture, to which I hold dear, one of my hands reaches forward toward someone walking on the path a bit ahead of me, while my other hand reaches for a person walking along behind me. All the while my eyes are focused on Jesus who is the Pioneer and the Perfecter of my earth walk.

Have you ever doubted your ability to influence this world?

Did you read the Scripture at the beginning and say to yourself, “Well, that’s not me. I’ve not been given grace to build the body of Christ because I don’t hold any of those positions or titles. I’m just plain me.”

Did you just disqualify yourself for service?

May I encourage you take another peek at my picture? Remember, the picture is a goal for living – a plan of action. Just like many of my goals, I definitely do not hit the mark all the time or every day. Yet, because I have a picture in mind, and a mark to aim toward, I live this way more often than not.

So , put yourself back in the game with a plan and a goal.

Instead of me, place yourself in the picture. Eyes looking at Jesus. Now, do the next brave thing. As you walk along the path the Lord has marked out for you; ask Him to bring just two names to your mind. Ask Him to highlight the person walking just a little bit further down the faith journey in front of you. Then ask Him to remind you of someone who might be walking right behind you.

So, now that you’ve taken the first step in faith. Hopefully, you’ve written down two names in your Bible or in a journal. The next step is to ask our Good Shepherd to open a door of opportunity with each of these people.

I know. Most of us are actually very scared right now. Some of us are more bold and brave and will message the two people as a reach for a hand. Others of us, are asking Jesus to make the introductions. And a few of us are considering whether they want to ask Jesus to open even a window let alone a full door for relationship.

These grace ministries will function until we all attain oneness in the faith, until we all experience the fullness of what it means to know the Son of God, and finally we become one perfect man with the full dimensions of spiritual maturity and fully developed in the abundance of Christ. Ephesians 4:13

No matter where you find yourself in this spectrum. I ask you to be bold and brave enough – do it scared – and have a conversation with Jesus about everything you are feeling right now. Good Shepherd will take your fears, doubts and all your oppositions (if you will let Him) and strain them through His filter of love. He’ll hold your hand, and my hand, while He shows us in what direction to reach for the hand of flesh.

These hands reaching, and the people on the other side of those hands represent our need for discipleship and encouragement. We’re meant for community. We need each other, which is why we’re struggling so. We’re far too isolated – even within the family of God.

One hand reaching forward to grab hold of a sister’s hand in front of me represents my need to be mentored. This visual reminds me to remain teachable. No matter how old I am nor the number of years I’ve been walking with Jesus, I am not fully sanctified. There’s always more for me to learn about God, His character and who He says I am because I belong to Him.

Additionally, with every turn or dip on the path I’m faced with situations I’ve never yet encountered. Yet, guaranteed, someone in front of me has already traversed a similar rough spot. I want to hold her hand for awhile. How encouraging it is to know I’m not alone! Together, we can look to Jesus for guidance and wisdom because we know He’s overcome every difficulty we could ever experience!

One hand behind me reaching for the hand of a woman behind me represents the responsibility I have to mentor and encourage another person. As I have been loved, there’s someone who needs to be loved. As I have been taught there’s someone coming up behind who needs to be taught. There’s always someone coming up from behind struggling with something for which I can offer encouragement.

And then our immaturity will end! And we will not be easily shaken by trouble, nor led astray by novel teachings or by the false doctrines of deceivers who teach clever lies. But instead we will remain strong and always sincere in our love as we express the truth. All our direction and ministries will flow from Christ and lead us deeper into him, the anointed Head of his body, the church. Ephesians 4:14-15 TPT

Does it sound all too good to be true? Is the concept seemingly unrealistic? Are you just too scared? Are you still disqualifying yourself?

May I take your virtual hand, and encourage you once more. Simply stop. Take a deep breath. Pull out something to write on and with. Do the next brave thing. Turn your eyes to Jesus. Ask Him what He thinks about everything your feeling and thinking right this very minute.

You’ll be so glad you received His perspective on the path. Jesus will lead you. He’ll make you brave enough to do it scared. He might even cause a hand in front of you to reach back so that all you have to do is grab hold.

Come on, sisters, let’s open our hearts, reach out and do it scared!

That’s how I see it. What do you think?

Eyes on Jesus and SHINE,

~Lisa

Five Minute Friday: Turn

It’s Friday.  Turn.  It’s a choice today.  Will I let my eyes fearfully stare at the overwhelming stuff of life?  Will I glare at things I have no power to change?philippians 4.4 fmf.png

Or will I turn my eyes away from what is seen, but not understood with my limited perspective?  It’s a willful choice to make my eyes turn in faith believing God is bigger.

I choose today.   Eyes on Jesus and Shine.  Eyes on Jesus and Shine with His glory.

Eyes on Jesus and shine His Light in this dark world.  Be a reflector of His Light on the physical circumstances all around me.  Let His presence bring Peace and JOY.

Gaze upon Him, join your life with His, and JOY will come.  Your faces will glisten with glory.  You’ll never wear that shame-face again.  Psalm 34:5 tpt

This week Holy Spirit has been teaching me from the book of Philippians.  This is what I have gleaned while I’ve chewed on the words this week…

Rejoice, rejoice and press on…

How does one do this?  I’m honestly asking.  How does a finite person of limited power and ability choose not to look at the circumstances?  What will cause my eyes to turn to things above?

Simply choose Jesus.  Simply call on His name.  Jesus.  Jesus.  Jesus.FMF turn

I can’t do it in my own strength.  I listen for His voice.  The voice of my Shepherd tenderly calling my name.  That’s it.  It’s Him.  I want to look at Him.   My heart can’t help but look up when I hear Him call my name.

When my heart turns, my eyes follow.  I have to turn my eyes to Jesus.  Focus on Him.

Turn away from my circumstances.  And He will make me able.  Then when my eyes and my heart are settled on His presence with me, I rejoice.  And again I will rejoice!

I will press on…and I will fulfill my calling in the name of Jesus.

Finally, as my Shepherd trains my heart and my eyes to remain turned toward Him, I will win the prize.  For Jesus is the prize!

Ponder:

Is there something on which you’ve fixed your eyes?  Is it something in your circumstances over which you have no power to change?

Do you hear Jesus, your Good Shepherd calling your name?  Will you turn your eyes toward Him?

If you don’t think you can do it… ask Him.  He’ll help you.  Bow at His feet.  Let Him cup your chin and lift your gaze.  He’s calling your name.

Eyes on Jesus… you’re shining!

~Lisa

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FMF-Square-Images-Turn

Congratulations, Kate Motaung, on the release of your new book.  Please click here to purchase A Place to Land by Kate Motaung.  You’re going to be so glad you’ve added this book to your reading collection.

Today I am joining Kate and her wonderful community of faith writers for some Five Minute Friday writing fun.  The word prompt for this week is {release}  If you’re in the least bit intrigued by this concept of writing five minutes on one word, come join us for the Five Minute Friday link up

All you have to do is ponder the word prompt, set your timer for 5:00, and start typing. When time’s up, publish and link up.  Really it’s ok that it’s not even Friday anymore.  Jump in with me.  Oh so simple!

 

Lavish Grace & Steadfast Love

Prodigal, what does it really mean?

I’ve pondered long over this English word and its meaning for a number of days now.  Knowing how the word is most often used I felt sure I knew the definition.  So, without looking it up in a dictionary, I wrote out my own definition of the word prodigal.Genesis 3.9 esv BP

From my journal: one who has wandered far from home; one who set out to have his/her own way leaving their upbringing behind; taking one’s belongings and setting out alone.

Wanting to be accurate, however, I decided to consult the Merriam-Webster online dictionary.  Maybe you already know, but I was a bit taken back by the true and actual definition of the word.

prodigal: characterized by profuse or wasteful expenditure: lavish; recklessly spendthrift; yielding abundantly: luxuriant.  synonyms: extravagant, profligate, spendthrift, squandering, thriftless, unthrifty, and wasteful.

My eyes locked onto the word {lavish} and my heart skipped a beat.  Instantly I was reminded of the Lord’s tenderness toward me a few years back as He chose {lavish} to be my one-word focus for that particular year.  I wondered then if the word was actually found in scripture and was delighted to find this precious truth nugget in God’s Word.

In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.  Ephesians 1:7-8 niv

During that year, as I prayed and asked Holy Spirit to be my teacher regarding His idea of lavish, Holy Spirit placed in my heart an acronym for the word based on the truth of our Christ bought identity found in Ephesians 1:1-13.

Loved

Accepted

Victorious

Innocent

Secure

Holy

For the entire year, and still to this very day, the Lord continually reminds me of His lavish grace for me, and the true identity He has given me as an adopted daughter purchased by the blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I myself am the prodigal daughter of the good King.  Additionally, I am the prodigal mother of prodigal sons for whom I pray continuously.  With gratitude and anticipation, I often ask Father for their return home and into their true identity as sons of God, knowing He did this very thing for me.Lavish-ly loved daughter BP

Today though, I continue to ponder the word prodigal with even greater enthusiasm because of the word’s true meaning.  Instead of a focus on leaving or turning away, the true focus of the word is extravagant spending and luxurious gifting.  Who but God is the epitome of extravagance in sending His own Son to be the perfect Sacrificial Lamb in our place?

It is my honor to be a guest writer with Beloved Prodigal today.  Please click here to finish reading my story of Lavish Grace & Steadfast Love with the Beloved Prodigal community of Jesus followers and prayer warriors on behalf of many prodigals.

 

“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
    and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
    and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.  Isaiah 55:6-8