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4 Mar – Don’t Quit (Pt 2)

Most things that are worth doing will push and stretch us out of our comfort zones, and sometimes this effort will cause us to feel weary and even tempted to quit.

This weariness is especially noticeable when it looks like we’ve failed because failure is what many people are afraid of. However, I believe any of our so called failures are not the end of the world, and mistakes we make as we seek to fulfil our goals are proof that we are choosing to move forward and hopefully learning along the way.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fail.”

I’ve had my share of failures and subsequent weariness, from feeling like I could have done better with our kids, other relationships, leadership, ideas I’ve worked on and just life in general. But I’ve also learnt a lot of lessons on how to keep going and not quit!

Don’t Quit….

1.Learn to rest, not to quit. Seek balance – work hard, but remember to have fun, rest, recharge, and prosper your soul. Discover what brings you joy and refreshing. Jesus set this example for us when He encouraged His disciples to come away from the needy crowds so they could all rest awhile. (Mark 6:31)

2.Stop looking at the problems. Jesus said there would be problems, but He also said He had overcome them. Don’t keep looking at the problem or what everyone else is doing or saying – look at Jesus and believe Him! “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

3.Stand firm –be persistent, tenacious, act and think upon who God says you are and what you are capable of in Him. Sometimes we have to dig deep into who we are, and God’s strength in us, and stand firm!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” ((Philippians 4:13),

If God is for us who can be against us.” (Romans 8:31)

Put on the full armour of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

4.Choose your words – Having six babies, I know what it is to be so tired I felt physically ill. I’d say, “I’m so tired” all the time. But then God started to tell me to stop saying I’m tired and to speak positive, energising words. It worked! I’ve endeavoured to remember to speak only what He said about my body, my situation, my future, family, nation, and His plan for my life. “He says, “Let the weak say they are strong” (Joel 3:10).

Our bodies listen to what we say, and all of creation responds to faith-filled words. Discipline yourself to speak the promises in God’s word because “He is watching over his word to perform it! (Jeremiah 1:12)

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” (Proverbs 13:3)

5.Choose friends well – when fighting weariness, we need to have friends who will be there alongside us; who will listen, be willing to reach out to help, pray with faith, encourage and spur us on so that we will not give up! “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labour, for if they fall, one will lift up his companion.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

God is faithful and promises to give strength to the weary and help us keep going so that we will reap a harvest in due time.

“He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, those who wait for LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles; They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”(Isaiah 40:20-30)

Are you feeling weary or a failure today? Then look up, learn from your mistakes, take a rest and prosper your soul, turn to Jesus for strength and help, and keep going; and don’t you quit!

“Let’s do it – full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. God always keeps His Word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshipping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23-25 The Message Bible)

See also blog https://daylekinney.com/2021/03/03/3-mar-how-not-to-quit-pt-1/

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you give and renew my strength. Help me to remember to look to you, to rest when needed and to keep going. In Jesus name Amen.

3 Mar – How Not To Quit (Pt 1)

When we have been doing something for a long time with no noticeable results, we can become weary. It can happen to all of us, and these feelings of weariness can sap our strength, motivation, joy and faith.

We can also become weary because of relationship problems, financial pressures, negative people, sickness, and other forms of attack that the devil may think up. But life is not a short sprint; it is a long-distance race, so it’s important not to give in to the temptation to quit when we face setbacks, trials or have been faithfully working at something for a long, long time.

God’s Word encourages us to “not get tired of doing what is good. For at just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Don’t grow weary in doing good.” (Galatians 6:9 NLT)

I’ve discovered some keys to protecting and strengthening myself against weariness and giving up. Here are some things I have learnt:

1. Make up your mind that quitting is not an option! We may have to change tact, get some more help, and even tweak our vision and strategy, but that doesn’t mean we quit – we get smarter and more resourceful with what we have in our hand.

2. Learn to see from heaven’s perspective. God sees the end from the beginning and everything in between. But we can look too often with our natural eyes when if we saw with the perspective of heaven, we would see that God is at work on our behalf. He works behind the scenes, and the biggest mistake we can make is to underestimate what He is doing in answer to our prayers.

3. Get some faith muscles. Your physical body responds to training and strengthening to carry weight and increase your endurance. Likewise, we can also strengthen ourselves spiritually, mentally and emotionally. We can do this by spending quality time with Jesus, reading and acting upon His Word, and activating our faith muscles to carry us through whatever we may face. If we feel weary, we need to ascertain why we need strengthening and then choose to do something about it.

4. Put patience to work – By faith and patience, we inherit the promises of God” (Hebrews 6:12.) Patience is a powerful tool to enable us to last the distance. Let patience have its perfect work as we believe in faith, we also need patience to hold us steady when it seems it’s taking a while. Patience is trusting in God’s goodness and that He will fulfil that which He has promised. The more we practice patience, the better we get at it.

5. Be aware and on guard – opposition and problems may arise to distract and pull our attention off what God says and what He has called us to do. They create an opportunity for us to become weary and quit. Take the offensive so you don’t get “sideswiped” by opposition and attack. Be aware and be on guard! “For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Weariness can sneak up on you so it’s wise to understand what is working against you to undermine and sap your strength and to counteract that with what lifts and encourages you to keep going.

Today don’t allow yourself to grow weary in following the dreams, vision and directives God has placed in your heart. Strengthen yourself and know that God promises you will reap a harvest of blessing when you keep believing and moving forward, if you don’t quit.

Prayer: Lord, would you please strengthen me today and help me to put my trust in you and your goodness. Please show me if there is anything in my life designed to sap my strength. Thank you that I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength. In Jesus name Amen.

2 Mar – Facing Opposition

Sometimes when I go for my run I strike a head wind, and need to lean into it to keep going. I don’t particularly enjoy facing a head wind because it makes everything harder and increases the output of energy required to get to where I’m going.

However running into a head wind does have it’s benefits and a life lesson, in choosing to not give up when it gets hard. When we instead aim to lean in and keep going regardless of the opposition, we will eventually turn a corner and no longer face the wind. Often that same wind becomes a tail wind, which pushes and almost propels us forward to our destination.

The same can be said for our lives and those seasons when we’re facing a struggle or pressure, resembling a “headwind”. Sometimes the “headwind” of circumstances is so strong we can feel overpowered, but it’s also those winds I’ve discovered that are the ones I’ve learnt to lean in on Jesus for. It’s those headwinds that have helped me understand that “when I am weak He is strong in me” and that as long as I keep moving in a forward direction, I will be okay.

 But he answered me, My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-11)

If, as on my run, we refuse to give in to the “headwind,”  then the very things which previously pressured and even appeared as disappointments or heartache will end up being (once we turn “the corner) that which propels us forward, just like a “tailwind”. That disappointment, broken heart, failed relationship, financial difficulty or battle with sickness or loss – all these are like a headwind. But when we overcome them, we are so much stronger, wiser and able to stand and go higher and further in life.

Today if you are facing a “headwind of opposition”, I encourage you to keep going. Don’t give up, but lean in on Jesus and receive His strength, knowing that the very thing which you feel pressured or discouraged about now will more than likely be that which God uses and works in you to propel you forward into your destiny.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)

“Yet even in the midst of all these things, we triumph over them all, for God has made us to be more than conquerors, and his demonstrated love is our glorious victory over everything! So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that his love will triumph over death, life’s troubles,[c] fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken his love. There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!” (Romans 8:37-39 TPT)

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you make everything work out for my good and that many times the things which cause me trouble will be the very things which, when I stick with you, will cause me to triumph and overcome. Today, help me remember that when I face “headwinds” to lean into you and keep moving forward until I “turn that corner”. In Jesus name Amen.

1 March – God Cares and Is Watching Over You

Yesterday I visited a market known for its variety of stalls and array of goods for sale. I was drawn to a particular stall which sold decorative bracelets made in Europe from recycled watch straps. As I was standing admiring all the different designs and patterns, I felt God give me an internal nudge and point out a particular design with almond blossoms. My husband never misses an opportunity to buy me anything I show the slightest interest in and promptly organized to buy it for me.

As I came home, I decided to research why I  might have been drawn to the design of almonds blossoms so much and what they symbolized. I’ve learnt that God is often sneaky and loves to hide things a little so that we will search them out. (Prov 25:2) Perhaps we value what he reveals and wants to tell us more that way.

Almond in Hebrew is shaked’, which comes from the root word to “watch” or “wake” (shakad). It signifies divine favour, purity and approval. The Almond trees are the first to awaken from their winter sleep and are known for their beauty when in blossom. In scripture, there is a play on words regarding the use of Almond and God’s watchfulness (i.e. faithfulness). Jeremiah 1:11-12 says, “And the Word of the Lord came to me, “What do you see and I said, “I see an almond branch” And then the Lord said, “You have seen well. I am watching over My Word to perform it.”  

God wanted me to know specifically in buying the bracelet that He is faithful to his Word and watching over me. He will do as He promised. God loves and see every part of our lives. He directed us to a market stall to reveal that, “He is watching me so much He’ll put a reminder of His watchful faithfulness and favour (almond blossoms) onto a watch strap and then lead me to the right place to find it.

God loves you and will go out of His way to let you know how much. It may be in the simple everyday things or in the hidden meaning or significance of an event, object or situation you are in. The bible says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” (Proverbs 25:2 NKJV) We are called Kings and priests so He expects us to search for both the obvious and the hidden things that He might speak to us. (1 Peter 2:9; Rev 1:6)

Today, look for God in both the obvious expressions of his care and love for you as well as in the more hidden secret things that He wants you to take the time to search out. If you seek Him, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart. He is watching over you andis faithful to His promises.

“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found “ by you, declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your faithfulness and that you watch over your Word to perform it. Please help me stay focused on your promises and be aware of how and when you speak to me today. I want to know the hidden things. In Jesus name Amen.

28 Feb – Get Out Of Your Bubble

Let’s face it, we can live in a little microcosm or bubble of our own making most of the time, and unless we lift our heads and eyes up will miss what is going around us and start to believe things are more significant and stressful than they are.

One of the best things we can do when we find ourselves in a mental fog or fixating on our problems is to step back, breath, and take action to gain some perspective. God who holds all things together is far bigger and more powerful than any problem, issue, or even our individual goals and dreams.

There is an incredible, fantastic universe God made that He wants us to enjoy and impact for good. But to do that effectively will require us to keep looking up and staying connected with Him and the bigger picture.

Today I recommend getting out of your bubble. Put any concerns or issues firmly into God’s hands and determine to speak what He promises over your life. Cast all your cares upon Him – He cares about them and you. (1 Peter 5:7)

Go Exploring 

1. Be Inspired – Regularly connect with people and atmospheres that inspire and encourage you to step out of your immediate circumstances and to see the bigger picture. Nothing is so difficult God can’t handle it, and His grace is sufficient for all you face and every need you have today.  

2. Change up your habits; get out if you can, research or explore a new place, listen to different music, eat new food, breathe.

3. God is faithful Remind yourself you still have a heartbeat and, therefore, a purpose. God is faithful to finish what He has started in you.

4. Be Grateful. It’s a great way to gain perspective, enjoy the day more and value what’s important in your life.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6 NIV)

He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32 Berean Bible)

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17 NIV)

Prayer: Lord, please help me today to get outside my little bubble and point of view so that I can see all that you have created and where you are at work. Please give me some perspective today as I lift my eyes to you and all that you have done. In Jesus name Amen.

27 Feb – What’s So Amazing About Grace

I love doing word studies, going back to the original language, and studying more deeply what things mean.
One particular passage I have learnt alot from doing this says,“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”. (2 Cor 12:9)

Grace is the free unmerited favour of God. It is favour shown to the unworthy and is an undeserved blessing and gift.

It also means privilege, pardon, and where God raises us from debasement to dignity and dishonour to honour; placing His likeness within us.

The word grace comes from the same root word as joy, or to rejoice. Grace causes rejoicing and describe God’s supernatural ability to work miracles, answer prayer, heal the sick, and bring deliverance.

I think grace is like a buried treasure; you experience more as you dig deeper and deeper into it. No matter how we have or continue to mess up, fail, disappoint ourselves or feel unworthy, God’s grace is sufficient. Sufficient means to be possessed of unfailing strength; to defend, ward off and be satisfied and contented. Grace enables us to exchange our feelings of unworthiness for God’s acceptance, our failures for His supernatural ability to work miracles and answer prayer, and our weakness for His strength

Whatever God asks of us, He promises His grace is sufficient and more than enough for the task. His grace is always available to sustain us.

What’s so amazing grace is that you can’t and don’t have to earn it. Grace is extended towards us, because Jesus bought and paid for it. As we find and experience more and more of God’s grace, it enables us to live free as we take hold of this gift and let it work in us.

.If you are feeling tired, worried, weak, unworthy or unaccepted, then you are a perfect candidate to experience God’s grace in your life today.

God’s Grace Is Enough for you!

Prayer: Lord, I need to experience your grace today. Thank you that your grace gives me supernatural strength and ability and that when I am weak, you are strong in me. I receive your grace right now. In Jesus name amen.

26 Feb – Make Time To Listen

There is a story of a man who lost a valuable watch while working in an ice house. He searched carefully for hours, raking through the sawdust on the floor, but failed to find it. Others helped him search, but they also were unable to find the watch.

A few days later, a small boy quietly went into the ice house during his lunch break. After a few minutes, he came out with the watch in his hand. Amazed, everyone asked how he found it. “It was simple,” the boy replied. “I just closed the door, lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking.”

Being still and listening is something most of us either don’t give much time for or find challenging. Instead, we live in a constant state of motion and activity, and even when we do stop it’s difficult to still our hearts and minds. Like the men searching for the watch, we fail to hear much of what is going on inside and around us because we aren’t taking a moment to be quiet and listen? Or we only listen for the things we want to hear and choose to ignore anything we don’t want to accept or deal with. If we are trying to listen, the noise of everything and everyone else can be so loud that we can’t hear our hearts or the voice of God even if we want to.

But to remain healthy and consistently make wise decisions, it’s vital to schedule in a disciplined time of quietness, reflection and rest. When we can sit and listen to our hearts, assess our progress and care for our inner world. To have opportunity to bring our concerns to Him. so that together with we can formulate a plan and strategy to move forward.

Today, I encourage you to prioritise in your schedule, space to rest, dream and refocus. Time to sit and seek God’s guidance and receive from His strength. To read His Word and have some downtime where you can enjoy being, rather than doing. Just as the young boy in the story closed his eyes and lay on the floor quietly and, as a result, discovered the whereabouts of the lost watch, you too will be amazed by the clarity, peace and priceless treasures you will find.

This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength (Isaiah 30:15).

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Prayer: Lord, help me stop, rest and listen in your presence so that you can direct and guide my steps today. In Jesus Name, Amen.

25 Feb – Light For The Way Ahead

Walking or driving in the dark has its challenges in that torches or headlights are limited in how far ahead they can illuminate the way forward.  Even when your car headlights are on high beam, you can only see a short distance and the only way to proceed is to move forward a little at a time, trusting the light to guide you.

God describes His Word as a lamp that lights the way, leading us in the way to go.  However, a lamp casts it’s light only for that part of the path we are on and immediately approaching. It’s only as we come to the next stage of our journey that the light will reveal where and how to go next.

It’s why God refers to his Word as a lamp. He lights the way, but in following Him, it will take trust as the plan and direction is only fully visible as we need it. There will always be an element of trust and faith in God when we choose to follow Him.

When we stray away from the light or choose to race ahead into the darkness, we can risk running into trouble and miss dealing with and learning what we require for the journey ahead.

God promises to guide us as we spend time with Him and become familiar with His Words. He reveals His plan and strategy step by step, guides us through our day, directs us away from harm and gives us wisdom on how to relate to others and fulfil our purpose.

Today take some time to allow God to shed light on your path and the way forward. Ask Him to reveal the plan and strategy He has for your success, as you spend time with Him and reading His Words for, “The entrance of His words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130)

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your Word and presence today, which lights the way forward for me step by step. I trust you to lead and guide me. In Jesus name Amen.

24 Feb – How To Be Great At Something

Every gift and ability we have can become a skill if we choose to develop the specific knowledge and techniques to become proficient. As we repeatedly practice and apply these new skills we will achieve success.

However, when we don’t take the time to harness these abilities and choose instead to take short cuts, not make the effort or give up, we’ll end up not learning the lessons needed to achieve success and will be forced to settle for less in life.

Watch old footage of an athlete earlier on in their career compared to their performance at the height of their game and you can see what applying the right techniques, training, and work can do. Consistency of purpose and honing your skills helps you go from strength to strength and enables you to achieve your goals.

God will do far more in and through you if you determine to become accomplished and proficient with what’s in your hand. His plans exceed what you can imagine, but they also still depend on whether you will partner with Him and choose to use what you have been given and increase it. (Ephesians 3:20)

Many people’s success stories stem from the fact that they took what they had and chose to be diligent, consistent and keep the vision before them. With God’s help, you, too, can become someone who walks in your destiny and inspires others to do the same. 

Today, I want to encourage you to take what you have and determine to be great at it. 

It doesn’t matter what it is; but in you deciding to move forward as you ask God to empower and strengthen you to develop your gifts and abilities until they become a sought after skill and source of blessing to both you and those around you.

Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.” (Prov 22:29)

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

“Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.” (Habakkuk 2:2 NKJV)

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the gifts you have given me. I may not be great at anything yet, but I ask that you help me take what I have and continue to grow and develop my skills to make the greatest impact and be all you created me to be. In Jesus name Amen

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