Posts Tagged ‘Sermon’

Growing Weary

Anyone else weary? Anyone else tired of doing good and not reaping a harvest? If you saw my post on instagram you know I have been having a really hard time. A friend sent me this sermon in the middle of my weariness and it encouraged my heart so much. The main point of the message? Do not become weary and miss the harvest.

“Let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

I have had to remind myself that I am closer to my miracle than I think. I can’t imagine the thought of giving up today, knowing tomorrow might be the day I receive my harvest. Does knowing you might be one day away from your harvest motivate you to keep going? I know it isn’t easy when it seems like your waiting season is so long and everyone else around you has what you have been wanting. But, it’s never a good idea to become jealous of others so stop comparing your plowing season to someone else’s harvest season.

Farmers or gardeners have never been able to cherry pick, so we can’t either. They can’t go out to their farm or garden and harvest their fruit if they haven’t planted the seed, pruned the plants, watered the plants, and endured some storms along the way. In the same way, you can’t just show up at harvest time. God didn’t create you to receive your harvest and consume fruit without producing the fruit along the way, so make sure you invest in your field. You might have to invest longer in your field than others do, but whatever you do, don’t give up!

So, what is it that causes the weariness? Why can I (or you) be fine for months, or even years and then all of a sudden feel like I can’t go on another day? The pastor pointed out that weariness happens when our own expectations and reality don’t meet. Those unmet expectations lead to weariness, weariness leads to apathy, and apathy births empty religion. And religion? It tells us that the reason we haven’t reaped our harvest is because we did something wrong and don’t deserve it.

So what can you do when you become weary?

  • Spend time with God. You are not weary because of what you are waiting on or the trial you are facing, but you are weary because you are not with God. Just as those in the bible had to do, it is necessary to spend time with Him. He will bring you strength. Make spending time with Him part of your normal routine and you will be filled up with strength to overcome your weariness.
  • Spend time in community. What happened when the weariness and depression overtook me a few weeks ago? I isolated myself. The enemy loves to bring the feeling of isolation which is why it is important to be in Godly relationships. Allow people to speak life into your situation when you don’t feel you can do so yourself. Weariness is not a battle you can fight on your own. Jesus walked with 12 disciples for a reason, and so should you.
  • Dream about the harvest. Strength is shaped by what you believe, not by what you see. A healthy heart dreams about the harvest, no matter what the field looks like. A farmer can’t stop caring and expect to reap crops. Similarly, when you stop dreaming about the harvest, you stop planting seeds and pulling weeds that are necessary to bring the harvest.

Don’t beat yourself up for growing weary, but do make sure you acknowledge weariness and do something about it. When you start to get weary, spend time with Him, reach out to other believers, and whatever you do, keep dreaming about the harvest!

Do Not Becoming Weary - In Due Time Blog

How have you experienced times of weariness from doing good?

PS. If you listen to this message, I would start it at the 4 minute mark.

PPS. Head over to instagram to enter the One Body Athletic giveaway!

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You Are Closer Than You Think

If you are someone who is waiting on the Lord for breakthrough you could probably agree that if you knew when your wait was going to end your wait wouldn’t be as hard or painful. Whenever Colby and I are in the car, I tend to act like a child with my “How much longer?” question. “How much longer? How much further? I thought by now we would be there.” Can you relate to these thoughts? I thought by now I would have the answer to my prayer. I thought by now my request would be answered. I thought by now I would have my baby or my husband or my house or my job or my healing.

Let me encourage you today that you are closer than you think! This sermon shared from Joshua 6:1-17 on this topic. As Joshua’s army marched around the walls Joshua knew exactly how many laps he would have to take. He knew after 13 times of marching around the walls, the walls would come down. How did He know? Because the Lord told him. However, Joshua didn’t relay that message to the rest of the army. He just told them to march. What if they had quit on the 12th lap? What if they didn’t realize how close they were to their breakthrough and would have given up?

So what do you do when your situation looks impossible and you still haven’t received your promise? In this passage it was easy for Joshua to look up and be intimated by the walls surrounding him. But, when He focused on the task given to Him and marched forward as instructed, the walls came down. How different would your journey be if you stopped looking at the walls and the problem in front of you and started looking at God? God has purpose in your wait so don’t miss out on what He is doing in your life because you are too focused on your problem. Instead, spend time praising Him and turn your focus from your problems to Him.

The walls didn’t come down the first time Joshua marched, but it took 13 times. Despite your faith and obedience you might not receive your results right away either. Just as He did for Joshua, when God gives you a promise He is going to give you a plan, so while outcome is God’s responsibility, obedience to His plan is yours. All Joshua had to do was follow God’s instructions to march and as promised in verse 5, when he did, the Lord would bring the walls down. Even if you have been obedient and seen no changes, keep on marching.

What motivates you to keep marching? Remember, just like Joshua’s prayers were pre-approved, so are yours! In Joshua 6:2, the Lord told Joshua the battle was already over! The confidence that Joshua had when he entered the battle is the same confidence you have access to today! From a human perspective your battle might be impossible, but from God’s perspective the battle has already been won!

So, will you continue to march even when your walls haven’t come down? Will you pray even when your prayers aren’t answered? Just because nothing tangible is happening doesn’t mean nothing is happening in you. Your victory is right around the corner. Don’t give up! You might be on your 1st lap and you might be on your 12th lap, but no matter what you are closer than you think. The walls WILL come down!

You Are Closer Than You Think - In Due Time Blog

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What are you asking the Lord for? Are you waiting on Him to answer your prayers? Do you realize that He acts on the behalf of every prayer you have every prayed? Not only that, but your prayers are pre-approved!

The story of Daniel, which is also shared in this sermon, shares a biblical explanation to this truth. In Daniel 9:2-3 he prayed, fasted, confessed, and pleaded for God to bring the return of his people, just as the Lord had promised. Daniel spent time observing what the scripture said, put His focus on the Lord, and expected to hear back from Him. Several verses later in Daniel 9:20-27 the angel Gabriel showed up to help him understand.

“As soon as you began to make your request, a reply was sent.” Daniel 9:23

God then sent a messenger in Daniel 10:12, which says, “He told me, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. God has heard everything that you said ever since the first day you decided to humble yourself in front of your God so that you could learn to understand things. I have come in response to your prayer.” Daniel was told that from the first day he set his heart on the Lord, his words were heard. The minute he prayed the prayer, the command was given and the Lord showed up in response to his request.

Although the Lord answered immediately, Daniel didn’t receive His answer right away. I can relate to the delay Daniel faced between asking and receiving. His wait before receiving His answer was only 3 weeks, not 3 years like ours, but the delay was due to something we all face now; a battle going on in the spiritual realm. Daniel faced unseen obstacles just like you and I do every day. Satan will attempt to attack, distract, and intervene to prevent what the Lord wants to do which is why you have to be prepared to fight back. It’s up to you to stand firm on God’s truth and promises and believe that the Lord will bring the answer.

Does this story of Daniel speak to you? Does it make you realize that all your prayers are pre-approved? He answered everything the day He died on the cross for you and because of this the minute your request is sent, the Lord replies back. When you are a righteous person praying according to the word it doesn’t take long for God to answer your prayer. In fact, He does it right away!

Start thanking God for pre-approving your requests. Continue to pray for what you want, but praise Him at the same time. Rest in the finished work of the cross. Let His supernatural peace and joy overwhelm you while you wait for your answer to be granted. When you face delay and recognize that there is a spiritual battle that is all around you, continue to press into the Lord. Don’t stop praying just because you haven’t seen the manifestation of your prayers come through, but continue praying and praising until you see your breakthrough. Expect to receive your answer soon!

Pre-Approved - In Due Time Blog

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Jealousy and Envy

Have you ever had a jealous thought? Whether you want to admit to it or not, I would think most people, including me, would respond with “yes”. It doesn’t take long in this culture to recognize that everyone around you has what you want, and on top of that, it has come very easy for them.

Bill Johnson talked about the topic of jealousy and envy in a recent sermon and it was so good and so convicting. While I am sharing some of my thoughts too, the text below is ALL God speaking through Bill, so make sure to go and listen. He spoke from Matthew 19:30 which says, “many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”

Why does God promote people who least deserve it before the people, like you, who have prayed, obeyed, and believed? You know, the newbie Christian who one month into their relationship with Christ asks for what they want and gets it? Meanwhile, you have been waiting 5 years and have asked and asked and asked again, but have not seen your prayer answered. Why have there been 20 babies from my local MITM group – the group I started – yet I have received nothing? Nothing! This is a reality that every person has faced whether it’s a baby, that dream job you have worked so hard for, that husband you have longed for, that financial breakthrough….. Others around you are getting what YOU want. You have been faithful. You have been obedient. You have trusted God, but instead of you receiving breakthrough the person next to you has it instead.

Before we move on, it’s important to remember that everything that has been given to you is through God’s grace. Grace. Grace. Grace. Not works. Not faith. Not obedience, but His grace. There is nothing you can do to earn what you want from Him. You can’t work your way into a new job or make yourself pregnant. Every good gift is from Him and it’s given to you because of His love and His grace.

Jealousy and envy block what the Lord wants to do for you. Both of them will leave you in bondage and keep you from moving forward in His kingdom. God wants to promote you and bless you. He wants to give you the desires of your heart. But, when you ask Him for something, sometimes before receiving it, the Lord takes you the long way around. He requires that you are tested to make sure that you are capable of receiving what He wants to give you.

So what is your initial reaction when you see that new pregnancy announcement, engagement, or dream house? How do you handle those moments? Do you rejoice with those who rejoice or do you instead let envy and jealous rise up within? Are you aware that the choice is yours? Yes, it is true! You have the authority to shut out all bitterness and jealousy. You can choose to partner with God and walk in the Spiritual realm to celebrate those victories around you or you can enter the natural realm and let bitterness and jealousy overwhelm you.

Do you think that if you can’t rejoice with someone else’s victory, then you are qualified to have the victory for yourself? Remember the Lord brings trials for a reason. He tests the waters on how you handle the promotions, breakthroughs, and increases of others. He wants to see you pass the test, but jealousy and envy will block your progress into the realms of God that you have asked for. The best way to deal with jealousy and envy is to acknowledge what it is, confess it, and invite God in to take care of it. If you choose to carry the burden yourself, then there is nothing He can do to help, but if you choose to confess it He takes care of it for you.

Jealousy and envy will stop when you learn to celebrate someone else’s victory, especially when it’s the exact victory that you need. Join others in celebrating as though it were your own victory! Choose to pray blessings over the people who have what you want. The next time you see or hear another person receive what you have been asking for, thank the Lord. Celebrate life just as God wants you too – after all HE is the creator of all good things.

Do you think that if you can't rejoice with

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Be Unoffendable

You know those sermons that REALLY convict you? The message given is what you need to hear, but you don’t want to hear it because it makes you feel so guilty. One of our pastors recently shared a sermon on how to handle offense. We have all become offended. It’s so easy to do. Whether it’s a situation with your spouse, a co-worker, or let’s be honest even a complete stranger – we are so quick to jump to an offensive state.

I learned so much from this sermon, including that when we become offended we enter the natural realm (leaving the spiritual realm) and it hinders us from walking in the Spirit.  The enemy loves when offenses take place because they immediately separate us from one another. When we are walking in offenses and unforgiveness, we can’t be walking in love and unity.

Below are some of the main points from this sermon answering several questions including ‘What is an offense’, ‘Why do we get offended’, and ‘How we should respond to an offense’.

What is an offense? 

An offense is defined as ‘an annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one’s standards or principles’. It is a breach of law or an illegal act that takes place. It’s inevitable that offenses are going to happen. Jesus said so in Luke 17:1, which says, “then he said to his disciples, “It is impossible that no offense should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!”

“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.  Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:10–14

Why do we get offended?

We get offended when we don’t deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus fully. There are a lot of things that can cause us to become offended including putting expectations on other people. The more we expect, the greater the potential offense. If I expect Colby to greet me at the door when I come home, and he doesn’t, then I immediately enter an offensive state. This is a very simple example, but I believe just as important. What happens when an offense takes place is it then has a domino effect as we try to communicate with the people who offended us. But, when we remove expectations, then the offense won’t take place.

Another reason we get offended is because we are prideful and selfish. We want things our way and as humans, we are afraid to admit that we are wrong. Pride causes us to view ourselves as victims. Our attitude becomes, “I was mistreated and misjudged; therefore, I am justified in my behavior.” It keeps us from seeing personal character flaws because the blame is deferred to someone other than ourselves. We immediately think there is nothing wrong with us and put all faults on the offender. When we humble ourselves before others and Jesus, then we prevent any offense to take place.

How are we to respond to offenses when they come?

Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” John 5:19

Offenses determine where we are spiritually and reveal the condition of our heart. The more mature we are in Christ and have a heart like His, the more likely we are to follow the leading of the Spirit of God, and the less offended we will become. Instead of responding with emotions, we will be able to respond with grace and love.

We must be prepared and armed for offenses, so we can act just like Jesus would. We have one of two reactions when offenses come: we can deal with it before the Lord, or we can destroy others. The choice is up to you! How are you going to respond next time when an offense comes? Let’s all be aware of how we have offended others, repent, and seek to become unoffendable.

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The Long Way Around

Whew. I love that God’s word is alive and active as it continues to minister to me. If you have been following this blog for a while you know a few things I love is good worship music and a good sermon. This sermon has spoken to my heart so much. Not only is it a good teaching, but the pastor’s story involves her long journey with infertility. I have listened to it 5 or 6 times now and will continue to listen to it, especially on the hard days.

It’s so hard to understand why some people get what we want. You know, those people who tell me, “we looked at each other and got pregnant”. Why are there so many people who have received their ‘instant’ while we have been waiting 3+ years? Why are some people on their second kid who started trying after us? Why do some of my friends already have 3 kids while I am just asking for one? Lord, why?

The reality is that some people get instants and some people have to go the long way around, which is what this whole sermon is about. The good news is there is always purpose in the ‘long way around’. Sometimes God doesn’t change things because He wants to change the way you see things. He wants to teach you. He wants to refine you. He wants to give you strength. He is working on 10,000 things while you are waiting for your 1 thing.

Luke 7:11-17 is a story of a women who gets her instant. As if she hasn’t already lost enough (her husband), now a widow, she is burying her son. But, Jesus gave them an instant miracle. Her son was instantly healed, sat up, and talked. While there are a long list of miracles in the bible, there are also plenty of ‘long way around’ stories in the bible, like the story of Lazarus in John 11. When Lazarus got sick, Martha and Mary told Jesus and asked Him to help. I love Jesus’ response in John 11:4, “when Jesus got the message, he said, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.” Seriously – wow.

This will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s son.

Your long way around and my long way around stories are the same as this story in John 11. God will be glorified. When Jesus said this, Lazarus was dead, but He knew what the end result would be – which was His glory. There is a reason He gives some people instants and some people have to go the long way around. God’s perspective and ours are way different. What is most important, is that we give Him ALL glory when we receive what we are waiting for.

As the story goes on, in John 11:15 Jesus says, “You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him.” The Lord is giving you, and me, new grounds for believing. Sometimes He let’s our situations, which look like death, hit rock bottom so that our faith can grow. While they thought Lazarus was dead, the Lord was teaching them faith. One version of this verse says, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe.” Jesus could be glad, because He knew the outcome. While we can’t see the big picture when we are on the long way around, we can trust that we too can be glad because God will carry us through.

After this verse, Mary and Martha encounter many, like Thomas and others who came to see what the fuss was all about. Because of their long way around journey they met people they would have never met otherwise. That is so true for our story. I think of ALL the women I have met – and it’s just one more reason I am thankful for the long way around. There is someone on your long way around that God is including in your miracle.

If John 11:4 and John 11:15 don’t rock your world, then hopefully John 11:26 will, “and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Jesus challenged Mary and Martha to believe. When we are waiting for something is when faith is built up in us. It’s easy to believe God when you get in an instant, but what about when you have to take the long way around? Do you believe? You might say it, but down in your heart – do you believe? Do you believe God is who He says He is and will do what He says He can do?

Look at the path you are on and the company traveling with you. Recognize all the good things He is doing in your life. Let Him teach you while you are on the journey. Let your faith grow. Start believing. You might not get an instant, but there is purpose in the ‘long way around’ journeys. Rejoice over it, don’t resent it. God will choose when to deliver you, but it’s up to you to seek Him while waiting. And, just as John 11:40 says, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

John 11 - In Due Time - Believe

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