Bible Verses about Guidance and Direction

  • Exodus 33:12-16 NASB
    Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people!’ But You Yourself have not let me know whom You will send with me. Moreover, You have said, ‘I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.” 14 And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. 16 For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?”
  • Psalm 5:8 NIV
    Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies—
    make your way straight before me.
  • Psalm 25:4-5 NASB
    Make me know Your ways, O Lord;
    Teach me Your paths.
    Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
    For You are the God of my salvation;
    For You I wait all the day.
  • Psalm 25:9 NIV
    He guides the humble in what is right
    and teaches them his way.
  • Psalm 25:12 NIV
    Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
    He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
  • Psalm 31:3
    Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
  • Psalm 32:8 NASB
    I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
    I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
  • Psalm 43:3 NASB
    O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me;
    Let them bring me to Your holy hill
    And to Your dwelling places.
  • Psalm 86:11
    Teach me Your way, O Lord;
    I will walk in Your truth;
    Unite my heart to fear Your name.
  • Psalm 119:35 NASB
    Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
    For I delight in it.
  • Psalm 119:105 NASB
    Your word is a lamp to my feet
    And a light to my path.
  • Psalm 139:23-24 NASB
    Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
    And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
    And lead me in the everlasting way.
  • Psalm 143:8 NASB
    Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning;
    For I trust in You;
    Teach me the way in which I should walk;
    For to You I lift up my soul.
  • Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
    Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
    In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
  • Proverbs 16:9 NASB
    The mind of man plans his way,
    But the Lord directs his steps.
  • Isaiah 30:21 NIV
    Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
  • John 10:3-4 NASB
    To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
  • John 16:13 NIV
    But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
  • James 1:5-6 NIV
     If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
  • Romans 12:2 NASB
    And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Bible Verses about Seasons

  • Genesis 1:14 CSB
    Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night. They will serve as signs for seasons and for days and years.
  • Genesis 8:22 CSB
    As long as the earth endures,
    seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
    summer and winter, and day and night
    will not cease.”
  • Deuteronomy 11:14 ESV
    (A promise to Israel)
     He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil.
  • Psalm 1:3 ESV
    He is like a tree
        planted by streams of water
    that yields its fruit in its season,
        and its leaf does not wither.
    In all that he does, he prospers.
  • Psalm  74:17 CSB
    You set all the boundaries of the earth;
    you made summer and winter.
  • Psalm  104:19 ESV
    He made the moon to mark the seasons
        the sun knows its time for setting.
  • Psalm 145:15 ESV
    The eyes of all look to you,
        and you give them their food in due season.
  • Proverbs 15:23 ESV
    To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,
        and a word in season, how good it is!
  • Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV

    For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
    a time to be born, and a time to die;
    a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
    a time to kill, and a time to heal;
    a time to break down, and a time to build up;
    a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
    a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
    5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
    a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
    a time to seek, and a time to lose;
    a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
    a time to tear, and a time to sew;
    a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
    a time to love, and a time to hate;
    a time for war, and a time for peace.

  • Song of Solomon 2:11-13 CSB
    For now the winter is past;
    the rain has ended and gone away.
    12 The blossoms appear in the countryside.
    The time of singing[a] has come,
    and the turtledove’s cooing is heard in our land.
    13 The fig tree ripens its figs;
    the blossoming vines give off their fragrance.
    Arise, my darling.
    Come away, my beautiful one.
  • Isaiah 55:10-11 CSB
    For just as rain and snow fall from heaven
    and do not return there
    without saturating the earth
    and making it germinate and sprout,
    and providing seed to sow
    and food to eat,
    11 so my word that comes from my mouth
    will not return to me empty,
    but it will accomplish what I please
    and will prosper in what I send it to do.”
  • Ezekiel 34:26 ESV
     And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing.
  • Daniel 2:21 CSB
    He changes the times and seasons;
    he removes kings and establishes kings.
    He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to those
    who have understanding.
  • Zechariah 10:1 CSB
    Ask the Lord for rain
    in the season of spring rain.
    The Lord makes the rain clouds,
    and he will give them showers of rain
    and crops in the field for everyone.
  • Matthew 24:32 CSB
    Learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near.
  • Acts 1:7-8 CSB
    He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
  • Acts 14:17 ESV
    Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”
  • Galatians 6:9 CSB
    Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2
    About the times and the seasons: Brothers and sisters, you do not need anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.
  • 2 Timothy 4:2 CSB
     Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.

From Here to Eternity

I announced  it was time to go and my son and his friend scrambled into clean-up mode and prepared to say their goodbyes.

When I opened the door, my little guy turned to call out one final farewell.  That’s when his friend ran to the door and they both leaned over for a sideways hug.  My son then made what he considers the ultimate, laid-in-cement gesture of friendship.  He yelled, “I’ll invite you to my birthday party!”

It’s August.

My son’s birthday is in October.

In the parking lot, I ask him how he enjoyed his time with his “best bud,” and he quickly corrects me.  He likes to call him, “my favorite friend.”

I’ve been thinking  as I watch all my kids, in their various stages of friendship and maturity, about what it really means to connect and belong, to love, to show grace, to stand strong and maybe even stand alone, and how God can bind us together with others in community.

After all, my son doesn’t just  think about his friend now, or about inviting his friend to a party in October.  He thinks about when they’re in middle school  together and then about high school.  He’s got long-term plans for friendship. This is sweet and cute and so “5-years-old,” but what if this is also for me as an adult, too?

In his book, Practice Resurrection, Eugene Peterson says this about  the Church,

The Holy Spirit formed it (the church) to be a colony of  heaven in a country of  death.

This image captivates me.  “A colony of  heaven.”  We can’t be heaven, of course.  We live in sin-brokenness and we are so clearly imperfect.  After all, that’s why we’re part of the Church—because we need a Savior!  Because we’re sinners!  We step on each other’s toes and we invade each other’s spaces at times.  We all battle Death;  it surrounds us in this death-bound world.  The church is constantly battered from without and beaten within by the impact of that brokenness.

Still, we have life.  We who follow Jesus already possess eternal life.  This is what ties us together as believers.  We’re not just in this together for the temporary, or even for a decade.  We’re in this together for eternity, and the great news is that our eternity has already begun.

It’s not “once upon a time.”  Our Kingdom life, our heavenly journey, begins the moment we follow Christ.

How can that change my perspective on loving others?

I feel less pressured, for one thing.  I remember that God has an eternal work in mind.  He brings people into my life and then He moves them on in a new season, and I can let Him direct my steps.  When to cling?  When to let go?  He knows, and  I can trust Him.

When God was preparing to  take Elijah up to heaven, his sidekick, right-hand man, and apprentice (Elisha) knew Elijah was about to leave.

In 2 Kings 2, Elijah told Elisha three different times, “You stay here.  God wants me to go to  another place—Bethel, Jericho, the Jordan.”  He tried to get Elisha to stay behind.

But every time Elisha said, “As Adonai lives and as you live, I will  not leave you” (2 Kings 2:6).  Elisha remained steadfastly by Elijah’s side and ultimately received a double-portion of the Lord’s anointing when he sees Elijah taken up to heaven.

Then Elijah was gone.   God removed Elijah and led Elisha into a new season of ministry without his mentor there any longer.

I remember this also: that eternity has begun for us, but none of us are perfect in the here and now.  I need the perspective of grace and of growth for me and for others: that we’re transforming—we haven’t already transformed.

Paul writes:

And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,  equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness (Ephesians 4:11-13 CSB).

We’re in that place now of building  and equipping one another, and we’re in this together UNTILUntil Christ comes.  Until we’ve achieved 100% unity in faith and knowing Jesus.  Until we’ve fully matured into Christ-likeness.

We’re not there yet.  In the meantime, we equip each other.  We build each other up.  We help each other become more like Jesus.  We serve and we minister as He’s called and equipped us for the benefit of the whole Church because we’re in this together for now and for eternity.

 

Bible Verses about Abiding in Jesus

  • John 8:31 ESV
    So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,
  • John 14:17 ESV
    that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
  • John 15:4-10  ESV
    Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
  • Colossians 2:6 ESV
    Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
  • 1 John 2:6 ESV
    whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
  • 1 John 2:24 ESV
    Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.
  • 1 John 2:27 ESV
     As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, [a]you abide in Him.
  • 1 John 2:28 ESV
    And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.
  • 1 John 3:6 ESV
    No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or [a]knows Him.
  • 1 John 3:24 ESV
    Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
  • 1 John 4:13 ESV
    By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
  • 2 John 1:9 ESV
    Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

Not the same anymore

When my son was a baby, I  gave away his infant swing because he hated it.  He was the fourth baby in our line of babies to swing in that very same swing.  Others had loved it, just not him.  So I  gave the swing away and saved space in our living room.  It was a win-win.

Now here  we are five years later and this same kid spent at least 30 minutes swinging non-stop at the playground today.  He shooed me away when I tried  to push him because, “I know how to pump my legs all  by myself now, mom.

So, I sat on the nearby bench in the shade and watched as he lifted himself higher and higher.

This is the same boy.

Sometimes you don’t really catch all the signs that your kids are growing up .  Then there’s a moment when you’re sitting on a wooden bench alongside a playground and it hits you all at once: How big he really is.  How he’s about to start kindergarten.  How he’s changed so much.

And that’s the thing that I’ve been  weighing this afternoon, the changing.  A former baby-swing-hater now loves to swing.

I’ve had changes all  around me in the past year or two, and I have changes before me in this next year once again.

A “baby” starting kindergarten.  My oldest starting high school.   A brand new season where, for  the first time in 15 years, I don’t have a little one at home with me.

I do not love change.  I do not seek it out and I do not enjoy it. I push against change all the time, clinging tight-fisted to whatever reality I know in fear of whatever is unknown.

But here I am in a season of  change, a long  season of frequent and significant changes at that.

So I wonder as I  watch my son swinging away today whether God wants to  do more than just transition and transform the environment around me.  Could it be that He wants to do the same work of transition and transformation inside me?

What can He change within me that maybe I’ve thought could never change?   A habit?  A weakness?  A stubbornness?  A sinful attitude?  A prejudice or judgment?  A fear?

When the Old Testament prophet, Samuel, poured anointing oil over a man named Saul and announced he would be the first king  of Israel, it wasn’t because Saul was already equipped for the job.  Scripture says:

Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and all those signs came about on that day (1 Samuel 10:9 NASB). 

God changed Saul’s heart in that very moment.

Not that Saul was perfect, mind you.  Far from it.  We know his failures as a king and spiritual leader of Israel.

Still, in that moment, God changed Saul’s heart because God had a plan for Saul.

What if I offered up my heart for the Spirit’s work, invited the Lord to do the renovation that needs to  be done?

Joy where there is not joy.  Peace where there is fear. Love for others who are hard to love.  Humility in the places pride has dug down deep.  Compassion in hard ground.   Repentance when my heart hasn’t been soft enough to see the sin.

Change my heart, Lord.  Change my mind and thought processes and attitudes so that I reflect your heart and your mind.

My struggle sometimes is that I don’t want change.   Other times my struggle is that I long for something to  give way and change, but  change feels impossible.  Stuck.  Hopeless.

What then?

Warren Wiersbe reminds us that:

God is not limited by the past.  No matter how many disappointments and failures we may have had in the past, when Jesus Christ comes on the scene, everything has to change….Nothing paralyzes our lives like the attitude that things can never change.  We need to remind ourselves that God can change things!  God can forgive sin and put new power into lives that seem to be utter failures.  God can send revival to a church that everybody thinks is dead.   God can move into a difficult situation and turn seeming failure into victory.  God makes the difference!” (The Bumps are What You Climb On).

Christ’s presence means everything has to  change.

So I settle my heart, I yield, I invite Him in and I invite Him to  make Himself at home.  May He change what needs to be changed in my life, in my circumstances, in my relationships, and in my heart and mind.

Bible Verses about Restoration

  • Job 42:10 NASB
    The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.
  • Psalm 14:7 CSB
    Oh, that Israel’s deliverance would come from Zion!
    When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
    let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.
  • Psalm 23:3 NASB
    He restores my soul;
    He guides me in the paths of righteousness
    For His name’s sake.
  • Psalm 51:12 CSB
    Restore the joy of your salvation to me,
    and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit.
  • Psalm 71:20-21 NIV
    Though you have made me see troubles,
        many and bitter,
        you will restore my life again;
    from the depths of the earth
        you will again bring me up.
    21 You will increase my honor
        and comfort me once more.
  • Hosea 6:1 CSB
    Come, let us return to the Lord.
    For he has torn us,
    and he will heal us;
    he has wounded us,
    and he will bind up our wounds.
  • Jeremiah 30:17 NASB  (About Israel and Judah)
    ‘For I will restore you to health
    And I will heal you of your wounds,’ declares the Lord,
    ‘Because they have called you an outcast, saying:
    “It is Zion; no one  cares for her.”’
  • Joel 2:25-26 CSB
    I will repay you for the years
    that the swarming locust ate,
    the young locust, the destroying locust,
    and the devouring locust—
    my great army that I sent against you.
    26 You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied.
    You will praise the name of the Lord your God,
    who has dealt wondrously with you.
    My people will never again be put to shame.
  • Amos 9:14  CSB
    I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel.[a]
    They will rebuild and occupy ruined cities,
    plant vineyards and drink their wine,
    make gardens and eat their produce.
  • Zechariah 9:12 CSB
    Return to a stronghold,
    you prisoners who have hope;
    today I declare that I will restore double to you.
  • Acts 3:19-21 CSB
    Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out,20 that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send Jesus, who has been appointed for you as the Messiah. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time of the restoration of all things, which God spoke about through his holy prophets from the beginning.
  • 2 Corinthians 13:11 ESV
     Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another,[b]agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
  • Galatians 6:1 CSB
    Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle spirit,[a] watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted.
  • 1 Peter 5:10 CSB
     The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while

My Lord and My God

“Where’s my girl?”

My son was about three years old when he gave his sister this nickname.

He’d pad out of his bedroom following naptime, his hair still a mess of bed-head, rubbing his eyes with the blanket still in his fist.  He’d ask right away to find, “My girl.”

“Your girl?” I’d ask.

“Where’s my girl?  Where’s Catherine?”

“Can I go see my girl at the school?”

“Can I sit next to my girl in the van?”

“I want to paint a picture for my girl.”

He even went so far as to proclaim that Catherine was “My best girl ever in the world.”

Catherine, of course, loved all the affection.

He staked his own little personal claim on his sister by calling her “my girl,” and I wonder what that could change in me?

What would it  look like for me to stake some claims of my own by getting possessive about my faith, my position in Christ and my relationship with Him?

I don’t mean claiming some exclusivity with Jesus that others can’t enjoy.   That’s not it.

I mean letting my faith seep down into the nittiest grittiest details of my every interaction and my every response and my every thought and feeling because it’s so deeply personal to me, it’s the very essence and core of who I am.

It reminds me of the disciple Thomas who stood in a room with the other apostles and announced he’d believe that Jesus raised from the dead when he saw it with his own two eyes.

And then he did see Jesus.  Not only that, Jesus invited him to touch the scars in his palms and feel the scar along his side.

Jesus said:

“Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:27-28  ESV).

I love Thomas’s answer.

MY LORD AND MY GOD.

In the Matthew Henry Commentary, it says,

He spoke with affection, as one that took hold of Christ with all his might; My Lord and my God.

And Matthew Poole’s Commentary says:

My Lord, to whom I wholly yield and give up my self; and my God, in whom I believe. It is observed, that this is the first time that in the Gospel the name of Godis given to Christ.

This apostle we call “Doubting Thomas” was the very first one in the gospels to give Jesus the name of God.  This was a declaration of deity.  This was worship.

It was also Thomas’s personal statement of affection and personal confession of belief.

I want to be that personal.

I want to be that bold.

I want to “take hold of Christ with all my might.”

He isn’t just Lord and God, a deity over all, a divine overseer who loves all of humanity in one encompassing feeling of committed affection.

He is MY Lord and MY God.

He is this for you, also.

And that should change some things.

This week I’ve been swatting away worries like pesky flies.

I’ve been duking it out with that kind of tension that just eases down on your shoulders and won’t go away, the kind that wakes you up at 3 a.m. and doesn’t let you slip  back to sleep.

But Jesus is MY Lord and MY God.

I know He is able.  He is Mighty.  He can do the impossible.  He can overcome anything I face.

There is nothing that happens to me that surprises Him and nothing that interrupts or destroys His plans for me.

And He loves me.  It’s personal.  He has set His affection on me and He cares about what happens to me.  He doesn’t forget about my need or turn His back on me and let me down.

MY Lord and MY God is trustworthy and capable, compassionate and powerful, full of loyal love for me.

So slip your hand into His hand.  Save Him a seat next to you in the minivan.  Make Him the first person you seek when you wake up from naptime (if  you are blessed enough to have a naptime!).

Pour your affection on Jesus and put all your faith in Him.  Make it personal, deep-down real.  And let that wildly abandoned faith change everything.

Managing Expectations

Last year, we bought a new minivan while my daughters were away at summer camp.

We hauled all their luggage out to the parking lot on pickup day, and they stood there scanning the rows of vehicles wondering where in the world I parked.

Even when I opened the back door of our new van and told them to load up, they still didn’t understand. One of them asked if I had rented a van just to come pick them up.

It  was quite the surprise.

But now that one surprise has destroyed my kids’ abilities to gauge how excited they should be for any of my surprises.

Sometimes,  by “surprise” I just mean it’s National Doughnut Day and we’re going to Krispy Kreme for some hot doughnuts.  That’s a wonderful treat—-unless you’re expecting something more along the lines of a new car…or Disney World…or something like that

This year when I picked my girls up from  camp, my youngest daughter asked me if  I’d bought a new car again while they were away?  Or maybe a dog?

So, the ice cream cookie sandwiches I had actually bought didn’t quite measure up.

We’re not really a family that loves surprises of any kind.  (Actually, I hate surprises. So, why should I expect my kids to love them?)  But I am slowly learning that if we do have a surprise  we should package it with some expectation boundaries.

Something like:  Okay,  we have  a surprise for you.  It’s not a Disney World surprise, more like a local, nice surprise that you haven’t tried before and also it’s not  a puppy or a car.

We’re managing expectations with birthdays a bit, too.  It goes  like this:

Mom:  What would you like to  put on your birthday  wish list?

Child:  Well, there is one thing….

Mom:  Something that isn’t a dog.

Child:   Oh.  Right.  Well, how about a camera and some craft supplies?

Mom:  I’ll write those down.

I’m getting better at expectation management and expectation clarity with my kids.

Today, though, I was thinking about how my kids can slip into expecting so much, but I seem to slip into expecting so little of God.

I  read again today the account of Thomas the disciple, who needed to  see Jesus’s scars in order  to believe He was alive following t he crucifixion.

But there’s another moment  with Thomas in the Gospels that I love.  Before Jesus died,  just as tensions were rising and the disciples sensed the growing enmity of the religious leaders,  Jesus announced he was going to Judea again–right into the thick of the conflict and the trouble.

Lazarus had died,  and Jesus intended to be with the family.  The  disciples didn’t understand why Jesus would put himself  in danger, but we know why:  His purpose was resurrection for the glory of God.

So, Thomas  said to his fellow disciples: “Let’s go too so that we may die with him” (John 11:16 CSB).

I love how Thomas was ready to die for Jesus.

Beth Moore wrote,

“What a strange mix of loyalty and pessimism. Oddly enough, Thomas never doubted Christ would die. He doubted the most important part of all–that He would rise from the  dead and live again!” (Living Beyond Yourself).

Thomas expected Jesus to die.   He had no trouble expecting the worst.

But He didn’t expect Jesus’s resurrection.

Isn’t that me sometimes? 

In a season of loss, I can begin to expect more loss.  I expect to barely scrape through and survive the mess or the famine.

When there is bad news, I begin to expect more bad news.  More sadness.

Like Thomas, I have no trouble expecting the worst, but I so rarely expect and anticipate the resurrection Christ brings and that  is what needs  to change.  Instead of expecting the worst,  can I learn to  anticipate God’s glory?

I’m so deeply grateful that God is a God of abundance. he does so much more than meet my meager, miserly expectations.

I can never expect Jesus to  give me everything I want or ask for.  He loves me too much for that.

But I can expect this:

His goodness in all things.

His lovingkindness.

His sweetness in the midst of the best and worst of times.

His presence with me at all times.

His provision.

His strength.

His resurrection work, making things new, making things beautiful, filling the things that seem so dead with new life.

This resurrection work is what He is doing now, and it will be His ultimate work in creation,  building an eternal kingdom with no sin or death or pain, transforming all that is dead in this world into the perfection of eternal heaven.

Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new.”  (Revelation 21:5 CSB).

Bible Verses about Remembering

WE REMEMBER THE LORD AND HIS COVENANT LOVE

  • Exodus 20:8 ESV
    “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  • Deuteronomy 6:12 ESV
    then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
  • Deuteronomy 7:17-18 ESV
    If you say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I. How can I dispossess them?’ 18 you shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the Lordyour God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt,
  • Deuteronomy 8:2 ESV
    And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.
  • 1 Chronicles 16:12 ESV
    Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
        his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
  • 1 Chronicles 16:15 ESV
    Remember his covenant forever,
        the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
  • Psalm 42:5-6 ESV

    Why are you cast down, O my soul,
        and why are you in turmoil within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
        my salvation[a] and my God.

    My soul is cast down within me;
        therefore I remember you
    from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
        from Mount Mizar.

  • Psalm 45:17 ESV
    I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations;
        therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.
  • Psalm 63:6 ESV
    when I remember you upon my bed,
        and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
  • Psalm 77:11 ESV
    I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
        yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
  • Psalm 78:35 ESV
    They remembered that God was their rock,
        the Most High God their redeemer.
  • Psalm 98:3 ESV
    He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
        to the house of Israel.
    All the ends of the earth have seen
        the salvation of our God.
  • Psalm 106:4 ESV
    Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people; help me when you save them,
  • Psalm 111:4 ESV
    He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
        the Lord is gracious and merciful.
  • Psalm 119:55 ESV
    I remember your name in the night, O Lord,

        and keep your law.
  • Psalm 136:23 ESV
    It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
        for his steadfast love endures forever;
  • Proverbs 10:7 ESV
    The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
        but the name of the wicked will rot.
  • Isaiah 46:9 ESV
        remember the former things of old;
    for I am God, and there is no other;
        I am God, and there is none like me,
  • Jonah 2:7 ESV
    When my life was fainting away,
        I remembered the Lord,
    and my prayer came to you,
        into your holy temple.
  • Luke 22:19 ESV
    And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
  • John 14:26 ESV
     But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
  • 1 Corinthians 11:24 ESV
    and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for[a] you. Do this in remembrance of me.
  • 2 Timothy 2:8 ESV
    Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel,

THE LORD REMEMBERS HIS PEOPLE AND HIS COVENANT WITH THEM

  • Genesis 8:1 ESV
     But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.
  • Exodus 2:23-25 ESV
    During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.
  • Psalm 105:8 ESV
    He remembers his covenant forever,
        the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
  • Psalm 111:5 ESV
    He provides food for those who fear him;
        he remembers his covenant forever.
  • Isaiah 40:15-16 ESV
    “Can a woman forget her nursing child,
        that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
    Even these may forget,
        yet I will not forget you.
    16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
        your walls are continually before me.

THE LORD CHOOSES TO FORGET OUR PAST SINS

  • Psalm 25:6-7 ESV
    Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
        for they have been from of old.
    Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
        according to your steadfast love remember me,
        for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!
  • Psalm 79:8 ESV
    Do not remember against us our former iniquities;[a]
        let your compassion come speedily to meet us,
        for we are brought very low.
  • Isaiah 43:25-26 ESV
    “I, I am he
        who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,
        and I will not remember your sins.
  • Isaiah 65:17 ESV
    “For behold, I create new heavens
        and a new earth,
    and the former things shall not be remembered
        or come into mind.

Bible Verses on Freedom

  •  Psalm 118:5 NLT
    In my distress I prayed to the Lord,
        and the Lord answered me and set me free.
  • Psalm 119:45 NIV
    I will walk about in freedom,
        for I have sought out your precepts.
  • Isaiah 61:1 NIV
    The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
        because the Lord has anointed me
        to proclaim good news to the poor.
    He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
        to proclaim freedom for the captives
        and release from darkness for the prisoners,
  • John 8:36 NASB
    So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed
  • Romans 6:22 NIV
     But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
  • Romans 8:1-2 NIV
    Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
  • Romans 8:20-21 NIVFor the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
  • 2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV
    Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom
  • Galatians 5:1 NIV
    It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
  • Galatians 5:13-14 NLT
    For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
  • Ephesians 3:12 NIV
    In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
  • 1 Peter 2:16 NIV
     Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.

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