Submit to God

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

God is Adonai. Lord and Master. We might know that intellectually, but have we put that truth into practice?

Will we submit to God?

Being under a Lord or Master is probably foreign to most of us, yet that does not excuse us from submitting our will and our lives to God and Jesus.

In studying the names of God, I discovered the word Lord indicates a relationship. Because God is the Creator and we are the created, he has the right to possess us, and expect our total submission to him.

 

God has the right to expect his children live as he commands us to live. He has the right to expect we follow the example set by his Son. He has the right to expect we treat others with respect and dignity.

There are responsibilities as well as benefits when we submit to God as our Adonai, Lord and Master.

Benefits:

  • God provides refuge and is always with us.
  • God gives the victory in our battles.
  • Jesus redeems us through his blood sacrifice.
  • Christ makes us joint heirs with an inheritance in heaven.
  • God’s loving kindness is everlasting.
  • God supplies what we need to do his will.

 

Responsibilities:

  • If we call Jesus Lord, then we do what he tells us to do.
  • As followers of Christ, we model our lives after his in all things.
  • We respect and honor who God is, and serve him accordingly.
  • We willingly submit to God.
  • We trust God.
  • We obey God.

God and Jesus are Lord and Master. We are the servant who seeks to do Adonai’s will.

How is that evident in our life?

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“Why are you so polite with me, always saying ‘Yes, sir,’ and ‘That’s right, sir,’ but never doing a thing I tell you? These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on.” Luke 6:46 (MSG)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Grace-Trying To Get It Right

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

During a recent conversation, a friend and I discussed how things we were once taught and believed about God don’t necessary hold truth anymore. There were huge gaps between what we were taught and who God truly is.

It seems the more we come to know who God is through studying the Bible, the more we see we missed out on the concept of God’s grace. Grace was not taught. Don’t know why. It just wasn’t. But it sure should have been. So, we’re trying to get it right now.

The Bible is full of examples of God’s grace, love, and mercy. What happened to make ministers think they needed to preach condemnation without showing God’s grace is also part of who he is?

Were they stuck in the Old Testament law given to Moses? Did they not know Christ came to set the captives free?

Unlike the Pharisees, Jesus didn’t demand we sinners fulfill an ever-increasingly long list of requirements to be saved. He replaced the fear of guilt with the motivation to follow him simply because we love him because he first loved us and want to obey him because of that love.

Jesus wants us to claim him as LORD because of what he did for us on the cross. Not because of any checklist we might carry in our back pocket, believing we have to earn our salvation. Salvation through Christ is a gift. It’s grace.

Look at the stories in the Bible … start in Genesis.

Adam and Eve. Kicked out of the Garden, but not abandoned.

David. Welcomed back after he repented.

Israel. Forgiven time and again for their idolatry whenever they returned to God.

Jonah. Rescued and set back on God’s path when he tried to run from God.

The woman caught in adultery. The woman at the well. Saul who met Jesus on the road to Damascus and became Paul …

Look at each and every one of us when we try to get it right; repent, turn from our sins, and fall on the grace of God and Christ Jesus’ blood for our forgiveness.

Grace. Something we don’t earn. Something we don’t deserve. Something Jesus freely gives out of the fullness of his love.

Grace. Something I’m extremely grateful for. How about you?

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And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; and we [actually] saw His glory, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception). John testified [repeatedly] about Him and has cried out [testifying officially for the record, with validity and relevance], “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I and has priority over me, for He existed before me.’”  For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift]. For the Law was given through Moses, but grace [the unearned, undeserved favor of God] and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:14-17 (AMP)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Jesus Is Our Shepherd

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Like many folks when I was young, I memorized Psalm 23; the oft quoted psalm written by the Shepherd-King, David, that we use to compare to Jesus our Good Shepherd. I knew the words by heart, but didn’t fully understand their meaning until I recently began reading Chuck Swindoll’s Living the Psalms. Encouragement for the Daily Grind.

As with many Old Testament words and images, I find our modern understanding of them doesn’t always translate the true intent of Old Testament words clearly without a further explanation.

In his chapter on the psalm which Chuck Swindoll titled, “The Woeful Song of Frightened Sheep” he says:

  • Sheep lack a sense of direction. They get lost easily, even in the familiar environment of their own territory.
  • Sheep are virtually defenseless, awkward, weak, and ignorant.
  • Sheep are by nature unclean.
  • Sheep cannot find food or water. If left to themselves, sheep will eat poisonous weeds and die.
  • The sheep’s wool belongs to the shepherd, not the sheep.

Of course, as he lists the sheep’s qualities he compares them to humans, pointing out how like sheep we truly are.

Although I found Swindoll’s explanation of each of the psalm’s verses very interesting and helpful, the clarity I most discovered came from his explanation of verse 5: He prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies.

The meaning of that verse never quite came into focus for me until now.

He explained how when the shepherd takes the sheep to a new field to graze, he rakes down the grass with his staff and looks for viper holes. When he finds the holes the adders live in, he pours a circle of oil at the top of each hole.

He also spreads oil on the sheep’s heads; anoints them in a way.

When the adders sense the sheep’s presence and attempt to attack, they can’t pass over the slippery oil.

Should they manage to climb out of their hole, the smell of the oil on the sheep’s head drives them away.

The sheep are now free to eat at the table full of fresh grass the shepherd prepared in the presence of the enemy snakes.

What about you? Does that make Psalm 23:5 clearer, or did you already understand its meaning?

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You spread out a table before me, provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies; You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil, filling my cup again and again with Your grace. Psalm 23:5 (VOICE)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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You might think something’s wrong with your speakers from the beginning wobble of this video, but all is well. It’s just Crowder. 🙂

[bctt tweet=”When I was young, I memorized Psalm 23; the psalm showing us Jesus is our Good Shepherd. Yet, I didn’t fully understand the meaning until recently.” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Sunday Scriptures – Jesus Won the Victory

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

On this blessed Resurrection Sunday of Easter we proclaim with the angels in heaven, Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. Jesus won the victory over hell, sin, Satan, and death. He sits at the Father’s right hand as our Advocate, Intercessor, Mediator, and High Priest.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

On Sunday morning while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran to Simon Peter and to Jesus’ favorite disciple and said, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb! We don’t know where they have put him.”

Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. They ran side by side, until the other disciple ran faster than Peter and got there first. He bent over and saw the strips of linen cloth lying inside the tomb, but he did not go in.

When Simon Peter got there, he went into the tomb and saw the strips of cloth. He also saw the piece of cloth that had been used to cover Jesus’ face. It was rolled up and in a place by itself. The disciple who got there first then went into the tomb, and when he saw it, he believed.  At that time Peter and the other disciple did not know that the Scriptures said Jesus would rise to life.  So the two of them went back to the other disciples.

Mary Magdalene stood crying outside the tomb. She was still weeping, when she stooped down and saw two angels inside. They were dressed in white and were sitting where Jesus’ body had been. One was at the head and the other was at the foot. The angels asked Mary, “Why are you crying?”

She answered, “They have taken away my Lord’s body! I don’t know where they have put him.”

As soon as Mary said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there. But she did not know who he was. Jesus asked her, “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”

She thought he was the gardener and said, “Sir, if you have taken his body away, please tell me, so I can go and get him.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Mary!”

She turned and said to him, “Rabboni.” The Aramaic word “Rabboni” means “Teacher.”

Jesus told her, “Don’t hold on to me! I have not yet gone to the Father. But tell my disciples that I am going to the one who is my Father and my God, as well as your Father and your God.” Mary Magdalene then went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord. She also told them what he had said to her.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”On this blessed Easter Sunday we proclaim with the angels, Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. Jesus won the victory over hell, sin, Satan, and death. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Your Servant is Listening

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the book of 1 Samuel in the Old Testament we read the story of a woman who desperately cried out to God for a son. Samuel was the answer to Hannah’s pray. After he was weaned, she took him to the temple of the Lord, and left him in the care of Eli, the priest.

One night when Samuel was a young boy, he woke from his sleep to a voice calling his name. Thinking it was Eli, he went to him and asked what the priest needed, but Eli hadn’t called the boy. This happened three more times before Eli realized God was the one calling Samuel. He told Samuel to lie back down, and if he heard the voice again, to say, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”

In my February 25, 2018 Sunday Scriptures post I referenced Priscilla Shirer’s book, Awaken. 

Today, I’m going back to her book. This time to talk about listening to God’s voice when he speaks to us.

Priscilla told of being on a volleyball team where team members would shout, “I’ve got it!”, then both players stepped aside believing the other player had the play.

When neither stepped up to hit the ball, it dropped and the point was lost.

I’ve seen that happen in sports. Perhaps you have as well.

The point of Priscilla’s devotion, and mine, is to question whether we yell, “I’ve got it!” when presented with a ministry opportunity, only to step back and let the opportunity fall to the ground?

Though a boy, Samuel stepped up and answered God’s call. He was listening.

Priscilla’s final thoughts were these:

If the Father allows you to see a need, and He softens your heart to be tender toward it, this is your opportunity to engage. It’s your invitation to respond and join in His work.

Just as Samuel was willing to be a part of the plan God had for his life, and join in God’s work which included anointing David as king, don’t you think we should respond as Samuel did?

Speak, LORD for your servant is listening.

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Later, the Lord came and stood there, calling out, “Samuel! Samuel!” as he had before.

Samuel said, “Speak, because your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10 (ISV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”Samuel was willing to be a part of the plan God had for his life, don’t you think we should respond as he did? Speak, LORD for your servant is listening.” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

For His Own Sake

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Recently I read a verse in Isaiah which says God forgave us for his own sake, not ours.

That caught me off guard. Does it catch you off guard as well?

When I consider how my salvation was purchased at the cost of God’s son Jesus’ life to declare me forgiven, I don’t think of it being for God’s own sake, but for mine. I’m the one forgiven, after all.

But when I look closer at forgiveness, and the benefits we receive when we forgive, I see how forgiving others is for my sake, not theirs.

When we refuse to forgive the wrongs others do against us, we’re the ones who suffer. Not them.

They aren’t sitting around wringing their hands over what they’ve done to us. They’ve moved on.

When we forgive, we forgive for our own sake. It releases us from falling into Satan’s trap of bitterness. It keeps our hearts from becoming hardened. It allows us to love and trust again.

If we allow unforgiveness to define us, to become our mode of operandi, we’ll be miserable, don’t you think?

Unforgiveness can cut us off from opportunities for joy because we’ve closed ourselves off from potential hurt … and potential love.

Forgiveness is not easy. I know. That’s where God’s Holy Spirit comes in. He is the one who gives us the ability to say, “I forgive for my own sake.”

That is not saying the wrong done to us was right. It says we leave it in God’s hands.

God is the only one who can take away our sins. He is the only one who blots them out through the power of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross of Cavalry. God is the one who tells us we are forgiven, and remembers our sins no more.

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I, yes, I alone am he who blots away your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again. Isaiah 43:25 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=” Recently I read a verse in Isaiah which says God forgave us for his own sake, not ours. That caught me off guard. Does it catch you off guard as well? ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Prepare for Battle

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

If you’ve seen the Last Jedi, perhaps you were impressed with the battle scene between Rey and Kylo Ren. I know I was.

Before the battle, we saw Rey practice, practice, practice. She didn’t just pick up a light saber one day and become an expert the next. Nope. She practiced. Practiced. Practiced. And before the light saber, she became proficient with her staff.

In any battle there is a back and forth. Attack. Block. Attack. Counter. Attack. Dodge. Attack. It all takes practice to prepare for battle.

In spiritual warfare, like Rey, if we want to fight and win the battle Satan wages to control our thoughts, we’ve got to practice. Practice. Practice.

We know Christ defeated Satan through his death and resurrection, but our defeated foe continues the battle to try and take as many of us to hell with him as he can.

There are many ways we can prepare for battle. While this list is not exhaustive, it offers some things we can do to prepare.

 

  • Daily Bible reading. Even a verse or two helps.
  • Read Christian Living books written by people grounded in God’s Word.
  • Read Devotional material either on-line, or in print. (Like Christian Devotions and Inspire a Fire. 🙂 )
  • Write our thoughts and prayers in a journal.
  • Pray.
  • Be involved in a Bible study either at our church, on-line, or in our community.
  • Participate in weekly church service.
  • Never stop growing in our knowledge of who God is.

As with any battle preparation, there are also things we need to avoid.

  • Stay away from toxic people either in person or through social media.
  • Be careful of what we allow into our mind through television, movies, magazines, and books.
  • Be mindful of how we spend our time.
  • When we feel our thoughts going down paths they have no business going down, pull them back and think on what is lovely, praiseworthy, noble, honorable, of good report …

Before Rey and Kylo Ren faced off, their thoughts were manipulated by the Dark Side Supreme Leader, Snoke, to the point neither really knew what was true.

Satan does that to us sometimes too, doesn’t he? Confusion reigns. That’s when we must hang onto God’s truth; and the best way to know his truth is practice, practice, practice.

Is it not?

May the TRUE force, the ONE who fought our battle on Calvary, sent the devil running, and won be with you.

How do you practice to win the battle?

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Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. Never say anything that isn’t true. Have nothing to do with lies and misleading words. Look straight ahead with honest confidence; don’t hang your head in shame … Avoid evil and walk straight ahead. Don’t go one step off the right way. Proverbs 4:23-27 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”In any battle there is a back and forth. Attack. Block. Attack. Counter. Attack. Dodge. Attack. It all takes practice to prepare for battle.” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Keeping Our Focus

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Focus.

How many times do we start off doing one thing, and end up distracted, pulled away, unable to complete what we set out to do? If you’re like me, perhaps this happens more than once in your life.

Sometimes distractions can be a good thing, but often they are not. Distractions might pull us out of the doldrums and lead us on to something meaningful. They might also lead us away from something worthwhile to something useless.

Because Baxter has problems with inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, his trainer has identified him with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. ADHD. As an elementary school educator, I dealt with ADHD children, but never expected I’d have an ADHD dog, although it does make perfect sense.

Baxter tries to focus and follow commands. He really does, but like Pie told me when he was young, he only has so much good in him. Once it’s gone. It’s gone.

 

Several ways we’ve found to help Baxter is to redirect his attention to what he should be doing, give him a time-out where he can compose himself, regain control, and simply rest, or kneel beside him and stroke his head.

In the book of Nehemiah we read of the gigantic task Nehemiah began in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem after the city was destroyed by the Babylonians. He faced opposition, ridicule, planned attacks, calls for special meetings, espionage … numerous distractions all designed to keep him from completing the task the LORD placed on his heart to complete.

Still, Nehemiah was faithful. He kept his eyes and focus on God. He was committed to completing the work set before him. He didn’t let all those outside distractions stop him. It would appear Nehemiah did not have ADHD.

Sometimes when we are called to complete the work God’s given us to complete, we get distracted. We get pulled from the task. We lose our focus. Maybe we have a little ADHD going on. Maybe it’s Satan’s strong pull to keep us from the work God’s called us to. Who knows? Whatever the reason, our loss of focus allows the work to go unfinished.

At those times it may be wise to keep our eyes on Jesus, take a time-out, draw close to the One who has the power to keep us focused and allow him to comfort us. We need to go to God in prayer, compose ourselves, seek his clear direction in what to chase and what not to chase. Then we can ask him what distractions are from him, and which ones are not. After all that, we are able to simply rest in who he is, and who we are in him; his Beloved child who he loves with an everlasting love.

Do you have difficulty completing tasks you set out to complete? If so, how do you overcome that tendency?

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I sent messengers to say to them, “I am doing important work and can’t go down there. I am not going to let the work stop just to go and see you.” Nehemiah 6:3 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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If you wish to use any of my blog posts, please contact me through the comments section for permission first. All written material is copyrighted.

Our Hope is in Jesus

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In studying the Israelite’s exodus from Egypt, I once again marveled at how God protected his people as the Egyptian army chased them to the Red Sea.

During our class discussion of Exodus chapter 4 we joked about the Charlton Heston movie, Ten Commandments.

We discussed the fact if the Israelites hadn’t broken camp when God told them to, trusted God, and walked into the dry sea bed God provided after Moses held his staff over the sea and told them to get moving, they would not have reached the other side.

We talked about God’s provision for his people and the fact he went before them and came behind them to protect them from their enemies.

We agreed that just like us, the Israelites had to do their part before God did his. They had to swallow their fears and take that first step between the walls of water before they reached safety.

We mentioned the fact the Egyptians trusted in their military might and the large numbers of chariots they used to pursue the former slaves, but when the wheels of those mighty chariots caught in the mud and fell off, they realized too late, who they were up against. They cried out, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.”

The Egyptians trusted in their chariots.

Those of us who belong to Jesus trust in him alone. All our hope is in Jesus.

He is the one who breaks the chains of slavery. He is the one who sets us free from our sins. He is the one who fights for us and brings the victory.

Where do you place your trust? In chariots or in the LORD?

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Some trust in chariots, others in horses, but we trust the Lord our God. Psalm 20:7 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my posts is scheduled to appear on Inspire a Fire today, October 3, 2017. Please stop by and check it out.

End of the Year Reflection

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

The end of the year is a time for reflection. Reflection on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are headed. While none of us can say with any degree of certainty what 2017 will bring, we can say with all certainty God is still on his throne. He is in control. Everything and everyone is under him. Nothing happens God did not plan or permit. He is Sovereign. He is God and we are not.

In cleaning up my home office and going through old papers, I discovered several beautiful quotes from poet Maya Angelou I would like to share as we close out 2016.

 

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”

“Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.”

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”

“When you learn, teach, when you get, give.”

“I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.”

“I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.”

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.”

“Living well is an art that can be developed: a love of life and ability to take great pleasure from small offerings and assurance that the world owes you nothing and that every gift is exactly that, a gift.”

“While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation.”

“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”

“We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”

 

Which of Maya Angelou’s quotes resonates with you the most?

Happy New Year, and may 2017 be your best year, yet.

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Shall I look to the mountain gods for help? No! My help is from Jehovah who made the mountains! And the heavens too! He will never let me stumble, slip, or fall. For he is always watching, never sleeping. Jehovah himself is caring for you! He is your defender. Psalm 121:1-5 (TLB)

I wish you well,

Sandy

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