A Noble Heart

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:23 NIV
 
Matthew tells us that the one who produces a good crop from his life is the one who hears the word and understands it. Jesus identified the soil of the heart as important in spiritual growth. If the soil is rocky or filled with weeds the seed of the Word of God cannot spring up and bear fruit. But if the soil is good then we bring forth an abundant crop of spiritual fruit. It is our job as Christians to make sure the soil of our heart is good soil and prepared to receive our Father’s teachings. 
 
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12
 
Without perseverance a farmer would only produce a very limited crop from any sowing of seed. Farming requires diligent attention to the conditions in which the seed is sowing so that it will grow successfully. Then it needs protecting and caring for throughout the growing period until the time of harvest. Perseverance is an essential requirement for fruitfulness. And so it is in with us. God sows many seeds in our lives. Seeds that He wants us to nurture and bring to harvest so that others will know the love of our Father through us. 
 
“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” Luke 8:15 NIV
 
How do you cultivate a heart on good soil? Repent of any bitterness, unforgivness, anger, or any other sin that is hardening your heart! Seek the power of God to search your heart thoroughly and completely to root out all the weeds that hinder cultivating good soil. Cultivating good soil is a daily task; weeds spring up out of nowhere to hinder our growth. Satan throws everything he can in our way to ruin and contaminate our soil. Work tirelessly to keep the weeds away from your soil. God calls us to cultivate the soul of our spiritual garden and to follow it through to completion to harvest time. Cultivate your life in Him and He will produce His fruit through you!
 
Father, Thank you for the seeds you have sown in our lives. Help us to press through to completion so the crops from our life will bear good fruit for Your glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.
 
Sweet Blessings

His Presence In The Darkness

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
 
Do you need to know that the Lord has not forgotten about you? Are you desperate for a glimmer of hope in a world that seems to be falling apart? Are you in need of a light at the end of the tunnel? There is a world full of people who long for the safety and presence of Jesus but they need a beacon to guide them. God’s love shines constantly upon us, an ever-faithful Presence. When your faith walk seems dark and God feels far away, when darkness and pain arrive, the ability to recognize God’s presence makes an immense difference. The peace and presence of Jesus in your heart banishes fear, restores faith and lifts spirits.
 
“For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.” Psalms 118:28 NIV
 
Think about the difference between light and darkness and its relationship to God’s presence in our lives. While in darkness, we walk carefully. In the light, we walk in confidence. While the darkness gives us fear, light gives us security. Knowing that Christ is with us in struggle and darkness is one of the only reasons we don’t completely surrender to our fears and stop moving forward. There will come a time that you may find yourself sitting in the dark, remember that living in the light requires time in God’s Word and time in His Presence. Though the future looks bleak and the outcomes uncertain, there is peace in resting in the light of the Lord. It is in His light that we can find courage and strength to face tomorrow.
 
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” 1 John 1:5-6 NIV
 
Though the world may look bleak and the situations in your own life may be dark, remember that Jesus came to this world to bring hope where there was despair. Our Savior will come and bring light and cheer to our heavy heart. One of the greatest blessings we have to look forward to in Christ is the ability to dwell in a new heaven and earth with Him as our light. A place where we will no longer feel darkness surrounding us filled with pain, sadness and sin. We will see clearly because of the bright Presence of our Lord. When you find yourself in darknesss and at your lowest and you need hope, think of some other beautiful things accomplished in the dark: a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb…the Cross. 
 
Father, give us the faith to help us in our weakness. Help us trust in Your Presence when we face situations that overwhelm us. Help us to remember that You are here with us as our shield. In Your Precious Name.  Amen
 
Sweet Blessings

A Gift Of Age

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“I will be your God throughout your lifetime–until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” Isaiah 46:4
 
In our culture, aging is often viewed as some kind of disease that, if we ignore it and don’t talk about it might go away. Like we can somehow push back the edges of mortality. Growing old graciously should be one of your life’s goals. You don’t need to fear aging, or try to gloss over your uneasiness about approaching it. There is a reason we want to grow old gracefully: so that younger generations can observe the gracefulness in our lives which speaks of God’s power at work in us.
 
“Now also when I am old and grey headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” Psalm 71:18
 
What does age really represent? Days and nights spent living your life, coming through a myriad of experiences that sometimes seems so monotonous, only to be interrupted by life-altering surprises and unforeseen tragedies. Your age reflects years of collected wisdom. Your age also represents wonderful experiences. You’ve exchanged some of the energy of youth for them, but the older you become the more wealth you have in your treasure trove of memories.
 
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27 NIV
 
Mother Nature and Father Time may have brought you backaches, baldness and bifocals and probably a wrinkle or two. Your hair is changing color and your body is not quite so nimble. None of these things give you any less value! Time is the one resource that cannot be renewed. Life zooms by, so why carelessly waste your time worrying about the perils of aging? If you are still alive, God kept you around for a reason. Find out what it is, and then pour every day and every ounce of energy you have left into it. You can be ‘old’ at twenty-five and ‘young’ at eighty-five. Any measure of health and happiness enjoyed at any age is a gift from God. The memories you’ve made along the way are precious and priceless. Thank God for every year he’s given you. Live and love every moment of your life until He calls you home. It is called “A gift of age.” 
 
Father, thank you for all the years that you have gifted me with on your beautiful earth. I pray that my life has shown your goodness and love to others. I pray that my children will be blessed by my journey. Give me the grace to finish the race. In your precious Name. Amen
 
Sweet Blessings

Joy Comes In The Morning

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalms 5:3

One of the most valuable spiritual habits that I am cultivating in my life is morning prayers. I have to admit that in the beginning it wasn’t so easy. While my spirit was wiling, my flesh was not! Once I made the commitment to talk to God each morning I quickly realized that He was already waiting for me for our special time together. I would wonder ‘How do I pray? What should I ask for? I realized that everything that God wanted me to pray for was suddenly present in my mind. There’s something about morning prayers that are different then other times of the day. Prayers don’t have to be eloquent or perfect in any way. It’s simply a conversation about what’s in your heart. Begin with praising God. You will be amazed how easy and rewarding this can be.

“Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” Psalms 95:2 NIV

There is only one problem with this commitment to Morning Prayer. You know that you’re going to get Satan’s attention when you wake up talking to the Lord everyday and he is going to do everything in his power to interrupt your prayers. Prayers are a conversation between your Heavenly Father and You and believe me when Satan is involved ‘three’s a crowd,’ you know when you are talking to your children and you tell them “Now, look at me” you know, with the two fingers pointing at your eyes? This is a time for talking to God without distractions.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 KJV

Make a commitment to pray every day; start by establishing a specific time. Mornings are great; that’s what David chose, but choose any time that will work for you. Keep at it even if you miss a few times in the beginning. We are told that doing any activity for three straight weeks makes it a habit. The prayer habit is a very good one to have. Just think; God is already in the habit of listening for you. Shouldn’t you be in the habit of giving him something to listen to? Who doesn’t have a multitude of things to pray for? There is a beautiful promise in scripture that “whatever you ask of the Father in My name (Jesus speaking), He may give to you.” John 15:16. Wake up having a conversation with God each morning; it will fill your heart with joy and make a monumental difference in your life.

Father, thank you that your mercies are new every morning. Implant Your word in my heart. Let it take root and grow. Let it flourish and thrive. Let it change my desires and my thoughts from the inside out. Let it be alive and active, guiding my steps and directing my path. In Your name Lord, Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Battling Spiritual Warfare

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

To often in our lives we find ourselves being attacked by the enemy of this world. The enemy knows that he cannot steal our salvation; but what he tries to do is hold us captive by having control over certain aspects of our lives such as our emotions and fears to name a few. Many Christians wonder about the struggles they have in their lives, their personal spiritual warfare. Why are things so hard? What are they doing wrong? Is there some particular prayer technique or spiritual discipline that will make things work?

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Today we live in a perpetual battlefield and God is our only safety net. Spiritual warfare is resisting, overcoming and defeating the enemy’s lies that he sends our way. God rescued us from the power and bondage of the world, the flesh, the devil, and supernaturally empowered us with the light of His truth, love, and Holy Spirit. Through the Word of God and the power of prayer we, as believers, have the legal authority to tell the enemy that he has no power in our lives.

“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17

Praise God that we are not alone. At those times, when we are called to do something far beyond our own physical and emotional ability, we learn a deeper dependence on Christ. He has promised not to leave us unequipped and alone in the struggle against Satan and sin. We can resist the schemes of Satan and remain firm in our faith through His promises. Claim hold of the truths of God with confidence, knowing that no attack of Satan can ever overcome the power of our God!

Father, I stand on Your Word, which says that “We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.” I rest in You, my Father. Amen.

Sweet Blessings

RSVP Heaven


By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:9

Some of the happiest moments of our lives are spent around a banquet table. Milestones are celebrated there, friendships grow deeper, and relationships are renewed. Could this be why Jesus so frequently used this image to describe heaven? God is planning the ultimate party called the Bridal Feast of the Lamb. It’s the celebration of the union of Jesus Christ and the church, everyone who have believed in Jesus while on earth. It has been a longtime in the planning and the experience of it will be unequaled!

“Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, ‘What a privilege it would be to have a share in the Kingdom of God!” Luke 14:15

If you have been putting off your response, your RSVP, or if you presume that you can enter heaven without responding to Christ’s invitation, one day you will deeply regret it. You need to turn away from all your offenses so that sin will not be your downfall. Take responsibility for your sin and commit to change those wrong actions and attitudes because the Lord has set a day to judge all people. The joy and happiness of that banquet are worth the sacrifice of any worldly priority. Have you said yes to Christ’s invitation to join Him at the wedding feast and spend eternity with Him in His House? If so, you have reason to rejoice, Heaven’s Gates will be opened to you.

“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them, they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be there God.” Revelation 21:3

Heaven is a real place. It’s where Jesus lives and waits for those He loves to come to Him. It’s a place of joy and love and hope, a place where all of God’s children, young and old, will stay and be happy forever. Our Lord is preparing a resurrection feast, celebrating the conquering of Satan, sin, death and hell, through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the cross. The invitation to come into our Father’s House has been extended to everyone through Jesus Christ at the Cross. If you refuse, the door to Heaven will be closed. Have you ‘RSVP’ your invitation yet?

“Oh God, Thank You for inviting us to a share in Your Kingdom. Give us the courage to say ‘yes’ to Your Invitation and ‘no’ to excuses that would hinder us from the feast You’ve prepared for us. Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

With everything around us constantly changing, we have the comfort of knowing that our Heavenly Father never changes. He is the only constant in our lives. His love and faithfulness are the solid foundation that we can build our lives on. People and circumstances change but his love and compassion for us never change. No matter how dark or discouraging our circumstances may appear, our Father’s hand is guiding and gives wise direction to every decision and problem that comes our way. We are greeted daily with His mercies…How great His faithfulness.

“He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” Deuteronomy 32:4

Are you in the valley or are you praising Him on the mountain top? Do you see the glass half empty or half full? Have faith and believe He will see you through. Our Father delights in our trust in Him. His word is fresh everyday! His Presence is always with us no matter how alone or lonely we are! When we study and meditate upon His word, it fills us with hope and uplifts and encourages our wounded and broken heart. Through the Holy Spirit we have a future of hope and eternal reward. His word reveals this truth again and again. Open his word today and allow it to minister to what’s going on in your life.

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.” Psalm 34:7

If you are feeling alone and pursued by your enemies, turn to the One who is our salvation, our rock, and our redeemer…Hold on! He will see you through. God is still faithful. His word reveals this truth again and again. We are surrounded by amazing beauty and wonders that bear witness to His great faithfulness, mercy and love. We cannot help but give praise and thanksgiving to our loving, faithful and unchanging Heavenly Father. How great is His faithfulness!

Heavenly Father, thank you so much! No matter how difficult things are for us, You are always there. You do not change and Your compassions do not fail. Your faithfulness is great and your mercies endure forever. I praise Your name! Amen.

Sweet Blessings

It’s Just Stuff!

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world…” Psalm 19:1-4

Why do we always want more? Why can’t we ever be satisfied with all that we have? Why do we always feel the need for bigger, better, prettier, wealthier? No matter the cost we are always wanting and working for more. More things that cost us so dearly, often robbing us of our precious time and energy. Things that have very little value…Just ‘stuff’.

Oh! But look what all we are blessed with; We have tree’s taller than buildings, houses that are warm and cozy, food to fill up plates and have seconds to spare. We can go barefoot in the lush green grass in summer and play on snowcap mountains in winter. We have kittens and puppies who curl up in our laps with contentment. We have stars that twinkle and sunsets that paint the sky rainbows of colors. We have melodic sounds of birds singing and the wonderful smells of lavander, jasmine and honeysuckle. There are deep echoing canyons and babbling brooks and the ocean with all its wonders. We have family and friends to love and enjoy. We have eyes that crinkle at the edges from lifetimes of smiling and laughter…We have beautiful, priceless laughter!

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal:” Mathew 6:19

God gave us all that we could ever need to be wealthy, healthy, happy and whole. We simply need to stop living for the ‘stuff’ in our lives long enough to realize that He gave us so much more. Enjoy the beauty of all that He created, It is His gift to us. He knows each star in the heavens and each bird in the air. How much more does He care for you? We often rush too quickly through life to even notice the beauty and richness that surrounds us. His fingerprints are in all of creation and we are wealthy…very, very, wealthy!

Father, thank You for all you have Created for us. You gave us so much more then we could ever buy, collect or earn. Help us to be ever mindful of the richness and beauty of all that surrounds us. Help us to desire ‘stuff’ less and love ‘You’ more. We praise your wholly name, Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Finding Joy In Sorrow

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

How do we remain joyful when inevitable tragedy faces us? We cannot expect to go through difficult times without feeling the impact of such events. We can expect to experience sadness with loss. How does joy come from trusting in the Lord in times of difficulty? God’s ways are not our ways. We may not comprehend the notion that joy can come from despair, love can grow from forgiveness, or life can grow out of death, yet Christ showed us all of these things.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8

God does not promise us that we will be exempt from trouble or sorrow. Tears will come, have faith, one day soon, deep inside there will be a joy that is difficult to understand. It is a joy from God, produced by the Holy Spirit. Share your tears with God. Sometimes, the tears of grief are really a prayer, even when there are no words. Your tears are so precious to God that He records each one of them and stores them in a bottle.

“You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one in your book.” Psalms 56:8

What a wonderful God we serve. He is a God of infinite love and is ever present to give us peace in our darkest days, yes, even when we face illness and death. The blessing in our sorrow that is born on the battlefield is embraced by God’s beautiful, intimate presence. When we are suffering, he comes near, picks us up in His loving arms and comforts us, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

Lord, we know You are the source of our comfort. You’ve walked where we walk, you’ve grieved as we grieve. Keep us always mindful of Your presence. I trust that You will take that which brings sorrow in our life and make it a source of joy. Amen

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied,
“The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints,
is when I carried you.”

Mary Stevenson

Journaling Through The Word

 

Gods jounaling

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32

Devotional journaling, also known as spiritual journaling, is an exciting way to enhance your spirituality. In devotional journaling you write to God. Spiritual journaling is more than keeping a diary where you log the events of your life. It’s a place where you share your innermost thoughts with God. As you become more comfortable and skilled in doing that, you will sense God’s direction for your life as he leads you in his ways. He wants to give you understanding about the circumstances in your life. So when you journal, don’t be afraid to explore what comes to your mind. Don’t push it away. Write down all your feelings and tell the Lord things you would never tell anyone else. Don’t hold back anything, because God already knows what’s in your heart.

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalms 119:11

Journaling isn’t exact and everyone has their own unique way of doing it. The important thing is to do it regularly. When we write things down, it helps us to remember them better and it gives us a place to go back to if we forget. Keeping a devotional journal is an excellent spiritual discipline. When you are facing challenging times, you can leaf through your entries and see how God has blessed you and carried you through trouble. When things are going well, your journal can gently remind you about your need to rely upon God and to be thankful for all he has done.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;” Colossians 3:16

Journaling can also be a form of worship. In solitude, we can explore the blessing of writing our hearts to God. Consider keeping a prayer journal. Grab a pen and a notebook and get started! I suggest beginning by reading Proverbs during your quiet time. As you read, meditate and pray and write down the verses that stir your heart. Journaling is a tool that allows you to work through all your emotions that you could never find a safe place to put them. There is more to explore in your devotional journal than you could ever cover in a lifetime. God’s power and majesty are infinite, and he wants to be a part of every area of your life.

Precious Father, I ask that you give us all a heart to journal so that we may have a deeper and more profound relationship with you. Help us to commit to journaling and open our hearts and minds to receive all of your many blessings in your word. I ask this in your wonderful name. Amen

Sweet Blessings