Soften The Heart: Devotional #8

“These things I have spoken to you, 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 16:33

It is undeniable that humanity does evil things. We are most definitely witnesses to that. Evil lurks around like a fragrance that has yet to fade away.

Jesus though gave us some serious truth bombs. We know this from reading the scriptures. And the effects of these “truth bombs” are still lingering today. Rather than a bomb being filled with gas or smoke, Jesus planted bombs filled with love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

The fragments from these bombs are still piercing souls as we speak. The dust has not yet settled from what Jesus has done for us or taught us. Which is why we don’t understand everything fully yet. We’re all still in this giant cloud of smoke from this gift that God gave us because he loves us. Most people wouldn’t think of a bomb as a gift, however this bomb of love and truth from God is the greatest thing that could ever happen to us.

Here’s the thing though, Jesus came so that through him we may have peace. The key word is *may*. It is completely our choice to take this peace that God has offered to us.

Rather than being in the cloud of smoke afraid because we can’t see anything, and groaning because our ears are ringing from the noise, or hiding because we’re scared. We can be anxiously excited to see that all our fears have been conquered because of the truth bombs that were planted for us. If we keep our eyes open while the dust is settling we can actually witness the changes. We get to see evil transformed to love. How amazing!

Jesus says, be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. What a comforting thing to know. Soon enough we all will get to rejoice in this beautiful new world. Praise God, Praise the Lord.

Love to you all

Soften The Heart: Devotional #7

“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;

And perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

Romans 5: 3-4

This earthly life is full of inevitable hardships. Which is what a tribulation is; a hardship. However, as the scripture says, with hardships come lessons in determination, which gives us strength, which gives hope and encouragement to others and to yourself.

Some of you may already know this to be true and the pain is still lingering. You may be in a storm right now. But you also know what comes after a storm. A beautiful rainbow.

Sometimes in life you see great ordeals approaching, other times, those hardships will unexpectedly knock the air out of you the way a car spits out an airbag. Nobody wants to go through pain and suffering and nobody wants to see those especially close to them endure such things. They break our heart and crush our soul. But we are strong and courageous.

We have such things because we live in a world that is ill. However what we are being told to do when we encounter a hardship is to be still and rejoice. We are being told, don’t worry, something good will come out of this if you allow it. You have to seek the good. But think of those hard times for a moment, what did they teach you? What are you doing now and sharing with others to prevent anyone from suffering what you may have endured. Hard times happen to bring us closer together, not to separate us. Which is what God and truthfully all of us want. We want unity and peace.

So let’s hold hands and embrace these hard times together.

Soften The Heart: Devotional #6

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower, And bread to the eater,

So shall My word be that goes forth, From My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:10-11

How wonderful is it when it rains after a long, stretched out drought. The animals and plants rejoice and dance together. Farmers thank the heavens. Rivers begin to flow effortlessly. The dust is pressed into the soft ground and what lingers is an incredbily crisp air that cleanses our lungs. The aroma of earth is fresh and ever so craving. When it rains for consecutive days, nature becomes fuller. Do you notice that? That is something you can see, that is something you can feel with your fingers. Life is sprung where you were oblivious to the seeds that were resting. How grateful we must be for the gift of rainfall.

As the scripture says “rain comes down, and does not return from where it came.” Rain comes down with a mission to accomplish and the rain never fails. It fully gives itself to earth. We may not see rain return to the sky but we can see the life of it’s work way after the rainfall has stopped. We look forward to the rain again because it is so pure and refreshing for all that it touches.

Gods word is like rain. It brings forth life, change, renewal, the same way rain does. Like the rain, Gods word has a mission and it will not fail those who ponder and read on it. We know the power of rain but yet, many of us have a difficult time believing in the power of Gods word. And that it can produce so much, just as rain and snow do.

He has left his word with us that it may water and bring forth seeds of love and compassion that reside in all of our hearts. He left His word to fulfill that empty space that we all are constantly trying to fill. Those are the seeds that are so thirsty. Watering those seeds with material and physical things will not clench the thirst of our spirits. They are watered with the things in which we cannot see. They are watered through pondering Gods word, prayer, hope, faith. His word is part of the equation to life. Humans, plants, animals, cannot live without water. We know this is true. To develop peace in our hearts is to study and ponder Gods word. As rain changes nature, Gods word will change our hearts. With His word, there is hope.

Notice what Gods word has accomplished in this world so far. Like the rain, it does not fail what it has been set out to do. Like the rain…

it has a vital purpose.

m.g.

Soften The Heart: Devotional #5

“Do everything in love. And do everything with love. Let all that you do be done in love. Let all your things be done with charity.”

1 Corinthians 16:14

A mantra I tell myself often is, “I choose love, I am love.” Whenever I feel anxiety or anger creeping in my heart that mantra is my go to for a bit of relief.

Love is more than a feeling, to love is also a choice. And to choose love is to love however it is. Not eager to change a person for example. We choose to love them as they are. We accept them as they are. We are all so much more alike than we lead to believe. And I truly feel in some way all things are conscious in their own way. If we radiate love, the things and people that surround us will mirror that love.

But to love all things takes focus and effort, something which we can control. To open your heart to loving it all, we open a door to peace.

Soften The Heart: Devotional #4

“So he answered and said, “ ‘ You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself .’ “

Luke 10:27

If you study and pay attention you will begin to recognize how we are all interwoven creating life itself. We lean on one another without realizing, we depend on more than we believe or even know, all of us representing a small piece that make up a grand infinite masterpiece.

We are one. When you love someone, some thing, you are loving not just that something but yourself. Made up of the same universe. All in this life and unknown together. God is all around you, in every thing that you see, touch, smell, hear, taste, God is in you, God is in us.

Everything is deserving of love and every thing needs love. We must accept and appreciate the cycles and have faith in all that is. Have faith that no matter what, love will always grow through the mud the same way a lotus does. Love will grow through the suffering and the obstacles.

Choose love today, and every day.

Soften The Heart: Devotional #3

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy or sell, and make a profit”;

whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

James 4:13-14

Life is precious like a gem and fragile like porcelain. It is so easy to get caught up in the web of this fast paced world and forget that we are not promised tomorrow. That our futures are not guaranteed. What we have is the present. What we have is a gift. And this is something we need to constantly remind ourselves. But many of us have difficulty living in the present moment. We become anchored to our past or become too caught up on a future that we know nothing of. I believe we may remain hopeful of our futures and I believe our past continues to teach us; the same way re- reading a favorite book in different stages of your life changes your perspective. However we must also accept that many things in life are out of our control. Coming to terms with this reality, that our lives are faster than a blink of an eye when you’re looking at the bigger picture feels incredibly surreal. But maybe going through this earthly life is the only way to know God. That this life is a grace of its own to know Gods love and sovereignty.

Let every day of your life be filled with passion, purpose, forgiveness, grace, mercy, and love. Be grateful for each day. Hug and hold your loved ones close and thank God for this opportunity and chance to experience love.

Soften The Heart: Devotional #1

“And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.”

1 Corinthians 8:2

Life is mysterious. And sometimes, we don’t like that it’s a mystery. It feels like sometimes we are all walking on egg shells in life, looking over our shoulders just waiting for something to jump out. Who wants to live like that? Always afraid. Not that everyone is entirely afraid but uncertainty can make a person anxious and stressed. The unknown can be terrifying.

However, we aren’t suppose to have all the answers and even if we did, then what? We would become bored and not appreciate this incredible gift of life. Gratitude would seize to exist. If something is predictable then it doesn’t hold our attention, we lose focus because we already know what’s going to happen. Think of a TV show that you’ve watched over and over again. You already know what’s going to happen so now you aren’t watching intently. It becomes background noise while you do something else. It becomes comfort and less exciting than when you first watched the series.

I believe God wants us to enjoy life which is why so much is left unknown. He wants to keep us excited and involved. Life doesn’t come with a seatbelt, it keeps us constantly at the edge of our seats. And God knows that us not knowing everything is how it needs to be and how it should be. One day it all may be revealed but until then, embrace the mystery and the majesty of the almighty.