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Updated: Dec 10, 2018

#eternity #connection #setapart #restored #god #jesus #seasons #intentional #devotions #restoredglobal

Once we have experienced a revelation of God's eternal presence during seasons of earthly loneliness, desire Him above all else, and intentionally redirect our thoughts to the beauty we can share being eternally connected to Jesus, we will start to experience restoration in each area of our lives. It doesn’t all happen at once, and it may not come in the way we expect, but when we choose to see our earthly journey through the lens of Heaven, we can experience eternal transformations that will bring peace, joy and the restoration our hearts longs for.

As we face the trials of this life and the sting that comes from the pain we experience in our present lives, as we intentionally fix our eyes on Jesus and the eternity to come, we can trust and believe that 1) what we are facing on this earth is only for a season. 2) we can trust that God is with us turning every hard time around for His good 3) we can stay connected to him 24/7 through prayer, His Word and praying in the Holy Spirit and 4) that we can live a life of abundance as our desires, goals and action align with God’s perfect will and plan for our lives.

Here are nine passages to encourage and remind believers of the benefits of intentionally living singled out and set apart for God:

1) Intentionally determine in your heart that the trials you are facing right now are only for a season.

God shows us that on this earth everyone will experience ups and downs. We were not guaranteed that our earthly lives would be pain-free because we live in an imperfect world. However, we must stay encouraged in the promise that this is only for a season. “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot 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; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to gain, 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 of war, and a time of peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 MEV)

2) Intentionally hold on to the eternal promises of God.

God knows the beginning from the end, and we do not. The longing we feel right now will not be satisfied with anything the world offers. That the eternal hope God placed in our hearts is only found in Jesus. “What benefit does the worker have in his toil? I have seen the task that God has given to sons of men to be concerned with. He has made everything beautiful in its appropriate time. He has also put obscurity (eternity) in their hearts so that no one comes to know the work that God has done from the beginning to the end. I experienced that there is nothing better for them than to be glad and do good in their life. And also, that everyone should eat and drink and experience good in all their labor. This is a gift of God. I have perceived that everything that God has done will be lasting. And to this there is nothing to be added, and from it there is nothing to be taken away. (Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 MEV).

3) Intentionally reflect on how Jesus stayed eternally connected to God.

Before Jesus left this earth, he was about to face the ultimate rejection from those He came to save. He was about to experience what we felt without the presence of God. However, He knew that the pain he was about to experience was for a moment--a life changing moment that would change history. “Do you now believe? Listen, the hour is coming. Yes, it has now come that you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with Me. I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” ( John 16:31-33 MEV).

4) Intentionally know that you have an eternal Savior living inside of you!

Jesus overcame so we could overcome. Without Him, all hope was lost. We may experience a “good and peaceful” life on this earth, but it will not make any difference because without Jesus, we are guaranteed an eternity in hell. However, through the sacrificial love of Jesus, we all can experience eternal life. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 MEV).

5) Intentionally remain in Jesus.

Knowing about eternal life through Jesus is a start in the right direction, but it isn’t enough. Jesus told us that we need to intentionally stay connected to His Holy Spirit to fulfill our eternal destinies. “Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, neither can you, unless you remain in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit. For without Me you can do nothing. As we remain in Him and He remains in us, we are empowered to do what He called us to do in this earth.” (John 15:4-5 MEV).

6) Intentionally see past your earthly roles.

We may have many roles in our earthly lives. We may have the role of parent, pastor, caretaker, teacher, manager, spouse, leader, student, etc., but that is not who we are. We are the hands and feet of Jesus living inside of us to reach a lost and dying world! Every earthly role we play is temporary and will be forgotten, but what we do as Christ’s ambassadors last forever. “For I create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.” (Isaiah 65:17 MEV).

7) Intentionally align your earthly desires with God’s eternal plan.

Our lives are not wasted and meaningless! Our lives aren’t over because we didn’t get everything we expected or wanted. At the end of this age, our lives are just about to begin! When we desire the eternal riches of God, it is worth more than we will ever gain on earth. “The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yes, an inheritance is beautiful for me. I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my affections also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be moved. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in security. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol [pit, abyss, destruction], nor will You suffer Your godly one to see corruption. You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:5-11 MEV).

8) Intentionally believe that through Jesus, there is eternal transformation!

We must think about how much Jesus has done for us already and will continue to do if we trust Him in every season. “We also were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various desires and pleasures, living in evil and envy, filled with hatred and hating each other. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward mankind appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of rebirth and the renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, being justified by His grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7 MEV).

9) Intentionally live eternally restored!

God promised that those who are in Christ will be made new. Receive it, believe it and live it!

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs: heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified with Him.” (Romans 8:16-17 MEV).

No matter who or what hurt us in this life, restoration begins when we see, believe and act upon the fact that God is preparing us for Kingdom eternity and using us to bring others into Kingdom eternity. If we live our lives knowing that this our only purpose for being here, and that our purpose is vital to the Kingdom of God, then we will see our lives in a whole new way!

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#solitude #purpose #god #pain #restoration #seasons #hope #devotions #bible #jesus

Throughout the Christian walk, people often experience great earthly loneliness. The enemy uses rejection, unrealistic expectations, and abandonment from others to convince God’s children that have been forgotten and that God caused the pain to somehow punish them. As believers, we are living in the last days and in critical times. Satan is deceiving Christians to doubt God during times of suffering. During the great falling away of the Church, people are turning away from God and trying to fill their loneliness with the temporary pleasures of this world. Christians young and old are trying to find love and acceptance through pornography, partnering in unequally-yoked relationships and filling their voids with addiction and self-harm.

Some have left the Church because they suffered unexpected losses of relationships or deaths of loved ones and have blamed God. Some have isolated themselves from God and others and have taken roots of bitterness, hatred and revenge on others who have hurt or abused them. Some have become angry with God because they did not yet receive their healing, get married, get the job they wanted or have children the way they thought they would.

After suffering the pain of being raped, going through two painful divorces, losing my home, suffering financially as a single mom and experience great pain, rejection in friendships, ministry and working relationships, I understand earthly loneliness. I often thought my solitude was a punishment from God. There were times I questioned the purpose for the pain. If I loved others with the love of Christ, why did they reject and abuse me? If I was faithful in my relationships, why were they unfaithful back? If I tithed and gave to God, why did I struggle to make ends meet? If I was loyal at work, why was I isolated and falsely accused?

At the end of all of the questions and the tears, I had decisions to make--Was I going to believe in the goodness of God? Was God’s Word true? Did Jesus exchange my earthly loneliness and pain at the cross for eternal joy and peace?

After isolating myself, trying things in my own strength, experiencing rejection and loneliness from others, and buying into the lies of the enemy, I needed to wake, up, repent, take my stand, trust that I was connected to God no matter how lonely I felt. Because Jesus took my pain on the cross, my temporary earthly pain would be exchanged for eternal joy. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us” Romans 8:18 (MEV). God has turned around and is continuing to restore all of pain I experienced. From those seasons of pain my ministry and calling were birthed to those around the world needing hope of His restoration.

The very gifts of freedom, peace and joy that Jesus died to give are willfully being exchanged for doubt, fear and resentment. It’s time to wake up to the enemy’s scheme!

Here are 4 ways to transform that earthly pain and loneliness into Kingdom purpose:

1. Remember that Jesus understands all of our pain and suffering. He experienced every pain we have and will face. “He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from him; he was despised, and we did not esteem him” Isaiah 53:3 (MEV). If we think we are alone in our pain and loneliness we are reminded that Jesus experienced great earthly loneliness and rejection from his family, His followers and those who He suffered and died for then and now.

2. It’s time to stand up and get rude with the devil! Jesus gave us the gift of salvation. We need to stop exchanging our gift to a thief! Satan is the one who robs us and brings destruction. It’s time to stop fighting God and others, and put the enemy in his place, which is under our feet! “Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” Ephesians 6:10-13 (MEV).

3. Thank God for replacing the pain with His purpose. As we remember God’s goodness, trust that He is doing a great work inside of each of us during these lonely times. God did not cause your pain, but He will use it. He can use it to strengthen our faith, build character, protect us from world influences and refine us when sin is exposed. He brings healing to our hearts when we connect with Him, and sometimes everything else falls apart or withers away until we are face-to-face with our heavenly father who is the only One who can fill the void. The pain we feel now will be turned around for His good. We were never promised a life without pain, but were promised that God will walk us through it. He will take that pain, help us overcome and then use it as testimonies to others who are experiencing the same suffering and loneliness. “Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (MEV).

4. Remember that the pain and loss we experience in this life is temporary. Those in Christ who stand with Him and His Word until the end are promised that one day all pain and loneliness will be gone, and limitless joy, peace and belonging abounds for eternity! But after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory through Christ Jesus, will restore, support, strengthen, and establish you” 1 Peter 5:10 (MEV).

Our earthly pain and solitude are only for a season. Take heart, take a stand and connect to the One who will bring you victory, restoration and hope. Jesus understands our pain, but he died and rose again to exchange it for our beautiful testimonies and eternities of everlasting joy and acceptance!

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#rejection #value #worth #eternity #God #Jesus #restoredwomen #devotions #christians

Do you feel devalued by the world? Do you feel that God loves you less because of your past mistakes and hurts? Have you bought into the lies of the enemy and through others who have rejected you and told you that you are unworthy? If you have said yes to even one of these things, then it’s time to back to the basics. The words “devalued” and “unworthy” in the same sentence describing a “Christian” is an oxymoron!

If you have allowed the enemy into your mind, emotions and soul with any doubt of you worth, here are six questions to ask yourself.

1. Does God have attributes of unworthiness?

When God created you, He created you in His image! Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness” Genesis 1:26. We were created in the image of God, in the likeness of His Son Jesus, and the regenerated Holy Spirit of God living inside of us. The enemy hates that we were designed in God’s image, so since the beginning of time, he has questioned your worth to God and others. However, God has promised that his love for His children are everlasting. “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” Jeremiah 31:3. This is a gift that we cannot take for granted. Your Father God who created and designed you for such a time as this has given and will always look at you with value and worth. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” James 1:17.

2. Didn’t God choose to greatly use those who the world rejected?

Every major character in God’s Word was rejected by others! David wasn’t even recognized by his own family as worthy enough to be king! Joseph was rejected in the pit and neglected in the prison. The women at the well who was rejected by everyone became a powerful evangelist for Jesus. Many of the disciples were uneducated and unqualified by the world’s standards. What made the difference? They were able to do great things for God because they understood that they are the clay and God is the Potter. Today, we are called to do great things for God no matter how rejected we are by others. He took us and designed us into valuable and worthy vessels to be poured into and poured out to others.But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that the extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us “2 Corinthians 4:7.

3. If Jesus died for everyone in this entire world, wasn’t that enough to prove your worth?

Your loving Savior came in human form, humbled himself and was rejected and despised by those He came to save. If Jesus relied on his human emotions or what others thought of Him, He would not have been able to endure the cross. Rather, He knew who He was and what we were to Him, His precious children who were like lambs going to the slaughter. He became that lamb willingly so that we could live eternally with Him. He thought you were valuable enough when He hung on the cross. “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth” Isaiah 53:7. God chose you before you ever stepped into this world, and Jesus chose you when He died and rose again because you were and are worth it. “For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him in love.” Ephesians 1:4. If you are holy and blameless before God, then you have immeasurable value! But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ … that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” Ephesians 2:4–7.

4. Why do you put stock in what the world thinks, when Jesus came to save us from it?

Jesus warned us that the world would hate us. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:18-19. Those who did the greatest things for Christ no longer looked to the world for approval, acceptance or self-worth. They saw eternal value that Satan and the world could never take away, tarnish or diminish. They realized that they were in but not of this world! If we base our worth on what others think of us, then we need to repent and fix our eyes on the one who always calls us worthy because time is running out! “Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” Ephesians 5:15-16.

5. How can you win the lost for Christ if you do not feel valued or worthy?

This world is not our home. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” Philippians 3:20. As citizens of Heaven, we should not be sulking or worrying about what others think! As citizens of Heaven we should emulate the beauty, value and worth that God placed inside of us for the world to see! God loves you and has perfectly equipped you! “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” 2 Timothy 2:15. The lost needs know that they too have worth, but they cannot do if we as Christians can’t.

6. Are you ready to live out your eternal value and worth no matter who reject you on earth?

If you have given the enemy a foothold because of what others have said or done to you, or you have diminished perception of your worth because of a sin you committed, it’s time to repent, renew, and refocus! God’s plan for you and the value you are in his eyes are unchanging. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” Ephesians 2:8-10. Everything in this world, and everyone’s opinion about ourselves will one day all burn. All that will remain is Jesus. As believers, we need to live out the remainder of our days for the only things that matters, the value and worth of Jesus, which is eternal and immeasurable. “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done” 1 Corinthians 3:11–13. Remember who you are and Who you belong to! “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” 1 Peter 2:9.

Determine today that you will block out the voice of the enemy and rejection from this world, and will remain unshakable in knowing your eternal value and worth!

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