Archive for September, 2007

Just Love Him

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” 1 John 5:3 KJV

I have received several emails in the last two months from people who have told me that it is too hard for them to keep God’s commandments. I used to think that it was too hard to keep them also until one day God spoke to my heart and said “All I want you to do is love Me”. The more I fall in love with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, the easier it is to keep His commandments. When you love somebody then you will want to make him or her happy and will do everything you can to please the person.

Jesus has commanded us to love one another. This is not an option; it is a commandment from our Saviour. If we will just love one another as He has told us to do, we won’t have any problems keeping His commandments. It should not be a heavy burden to us to love people. We should be excited and happy to do this for Him. We should be thankful that Jesus trusts us enough to spread His unconditional love to a hurting world. Sometimes we fail to love others as He has commanded us to love one another and we are being disobedient to Him.

Many times we ask Him to do something for us and not only are we not loving others; we have allowed unforgiveness, criticism, jealousy and sarcasm to creep into our hearts. How dare you and I ask our Heavenly Father for anything when our hearts are not right before Him? Our Heavenly Father is a Holy God and we need to go to Him with a humble and contrite heart. We should ask Him to forgive us for disobeying and failing Him before we ever ask Him for anything.

The most important thing for us to realize is that we should never under any circumstances demand something from God. He is not a name it and claim it God! He is also not a puppet for us to pull His strings and make Him perform for us. There are times when we put Him on the shelf and only take Him down when we want something. We are a very arrogant people at times. How this must hurt Him!

When our children disobey us and they come to us wanting permission to do something or go somewhere, we don’t allow them to go places and do things that they want to do. We take away their privileges. Yet, we expect a Holy God to overlook our disobedience. I wonder how we would feel if God would take something from us when we disobey Him? I think we would be very upset if He were to take our cars away for a week as a punishment for disobeying Him. I’m so glad that He is a loving and merciful Heavenly Father.

Do you love Jesus? If so, how much do you love Him? If you do love Him, then you will count it a joy to serve Him. If you are having problems keeping His commandments, you need to do a heart checkup and be certain that you are in right standing with Him. Ask Jesus to sweep His broom of forgiveness in every corner of your heart.

I urge you to fall in love with Jesus. I speak from experience. It is a joy and a privilege to serve Him. I have never been happier in my life than I am right this minute. If you want to have a peace, a joy and a happiness that you have never known, give your heart and life to Jesus and love Him.

Something Sad

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:7-9 KJV

For the last two weeks I have been so overwhelmed with joy, excitement and happiness that there have been times that I have had to force myself to think about something sad because I thought I was literally going to have a heart attack. I am so thankful that I have been through many dark valleys and have experienced a lot of heartaches, terror and agony because I can really understand how other people feel when they tell me they are enduring the same things. I can tell them, not only on the authority of the Word of God, but also as a lady who has been through these things, that there is hope and His name is Jesus.

When I start thinking about the Saviour of the world loving me, my heart starts beating faster and I get very excited. I stand amazed and I am humbled that He would love me so much that He would willingly allow them to crucify Him. He did that for me and He did that for you! There is no greater love than the love of our precious Saviour and our Heavenly Father.

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for loving us so much that You sent Your only Son to die for us. Thank You, Jesus, for loving us so much that You took our place on the cross. Indeed, You paid a price that You did not owe. You paid the debt for us that we could not pay. You are wonderful and altogether lovely, Jesus.

One victorious day Jesus is coming back for us with a shout of triumph and I will have the privilege of seeing my precious Saviour face to face. I will be able to hug Him and try to tell Him how very dear He is to me. I don’t think I will do a lot of talking when I see Him. I think I will bow at His feet in adoration, awe and appreciation.

Without Him, there is no reason to get out of bed because nothing makes sense without Jesus. There is no reason for me to live unless I can serve Him. I know that He loves everybody, but He loves me, Joanne Lowe. Why would He suffer and die for us? It is because not only does He give us unconditional love; He is unconditional love!

I had disappointed a lot of people because I didn’t meet their expectations of me. I hated everybody because of all the sexual, mental and verbal abuse that was inflicted on me. I certainly didn’t trust anyone. I was afraid of everybody. For over forty years I wanted to kill myself every day. There wasn’t a day go by that I didn’t try to think of a way to kill myself.

One glorious day as I lay underneath a hospital bed in a mental hospital, my beautiful Saviour reached down His nail scarred hands to me. He came to me when I couldn’t go to Him. He lifted me up out of the horrors and pain of my life and sat me on His lap of understanding, mercy, grace and forgiveness. He put His loving arms of unconditional love around me and drew me close to His heart of compassion.

He has never let me go, not even for one minute. Is it any wonder that I say and will continue to say as long as I have breath, there is no one like Jesus! No one loves us like Jesus loves us. He is the beautiful Rose of Sharon. He is the great I Am. He is the Lily of the valley. He is the calm in the midst of life’s storms. He is the peace that passes all understanding. He is the very breath that I take and I love Him with all of my heart. Worthy is the Lamb of God! All hail King Jesus! He is the King of kings and Lord of lords! What a Saviour! What a Friend!

O dear friends, you don’t have to wait until you get to Heaven to have peace and joy and happiness. Jesus is our peace, joy and happiness. Do you have this peace, joy and happiness in your heart? Have you humbled yourself and bowed at the feet of Jesus and invited Him into your heart to be your Saviour? If not, not only will you never experience this overwhelming joy, peace, happiness and excitement, you will spend all eternity with satan instead of Jesus.

Please don’t let that happen to you! Jesus paid an expensive price for your salvation, joy, peace and happiness. He died in your place as He hung there on a cruel cross of torment, anguish, pain and horror. He was beaten beyond recognition for you. He was spat upon, cursed and mocked. They plucked His beard and treated Him worse than anybody has ever been treated or will ever be treated. He endured all of that abuse for you. He can do no more for you.

The rest is up to you. Nobody else can make the choice for you as badly as they want to because salvation is personal. It is between Jesus and you. Please don’t keep rejecting Him. Don’t keep hurting Him. Hasn’t He suffered enough for you? I urge you; I beg you say “yes” to Jesus right now, even as you read this because you may not have another hour to live!

Copyright 2007 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved
The author may be contacted via her website: http://www.heavenwardbound.com

A Call to Missions

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1–3 KJV

When God called me to be a missionary, He commissioned me and gave me these verses. I have always loved this passage of Scripture and I was so excited when He gave these verses to me as my call to missions. I have received several emails since God gave me this devotional ministry as part of my mission assignment calling me a pastor. I am not a pastor; I am a missionary. I have not had the privilege to attend Bible School but I took correspondence courses from a Bible School several years ago.

Our Heavenly Father is the one who called me to the mission field. The Holy Spirit is my teacher. He is the one who brings the verses to my remembrance when I forget where they are in the Bible. Jesus is the one who inspires the writings. I am simply a servant; a lady who loves Jesus with all of her heart. I have dedicated my entire life to serving the One who died for me. I have given Him all of my time and everything that I have.

God may not have called you to be a full time missionary, a pastor, a Sunday School teacher, a writer, a singer, a choir director, a counselor, or given you a leadership position, however He has called every person to spread His unconditional love to everybody we meet. You can not use the excuse that you have no talents so you can’t serve Him. If you have a mouth, you can tell people that Jesus loves them. If you have two arms, you can hug people for Him. If you have a telephone, you can call someone who is lonely and desperately needs to know that someone cares about him or her. No, we have no excuse not to serve our precious Saviour.

Are you spreading the unconditional love of Jesus to your family, your friends and to a hurting world? Are you hugging people for Jesus? If you are not telling somebody every day that Jesus loves him or her, then everything that you did that day means nothing to Jesus. Not only that, you are being disobedient and hurting Him when you refuse to spread His love. Again, none of us have any excuse for not serving our precious Saviour.

If you are too busy to take a few minutes during the day to tell somebody that Jesus loves him or her, then you are too busy. Is Jesus first in your life above everyone and everything? It is very important that you read your Bible daily but if you are not spending time every day with the living word, Jesus, you will never be able to serve Him effectively or please Him. The level of our service to Jesus depends on our level of love for Him. Let me repeat this as it is so important “The level of our service to Jesus depends on our level of love for Him”. How much do you love Him?

Copyright 2007 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved
I may be contacted via my website: http://www.heavenwardbound.com

Unconditional Love

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

“For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.” Luke 15: 24 KJV

I watched a family program on television yesterday. It was about a family with two children. One of the children had gotten into trouble at school and the principal called the mother on the telephone at her job and demanded that she come to the school immediately. She explained to the principal that she would come to see him tomorrow, that she couldn’t leave her job. The principal asked her if her job was more important to her than her son. At the same time, her boss was telling her to get off the telephone and yelling orders at her. It was too much for her to handle.

She was supposed to have gone on vacation that night but her boss had just given her another assignment and told her that she could not go on vacation. He told her that he would try to give her an extra day of vacation to make up for it. She walked out of the office and got on a bus and couldn’t get off because she was in such a depressed mood that it was like she was sleep walking and in a daze. She didn’t realize what she was doing and couldn’t have controlled it at that point even if she did know what she was doing.

She finally called her husband a few days later who was frantic with worry and said “I’m okay. I don’t know where I am. Please don’t say one word or I will have to hang up on you”. Her husband couldn’t be quiet. He had to say it. He was so relieved to hear from her that he said to her “I love you”. She said “I told you not to say anything.” and she hung up the telephone.

Was she being hateful and mean to her husband? No, she wasn’t been mean or hateful to him. Her mind had completely shut down like a defense mechanism. She had been pressured by so many people at the same time for so long that she was about to have a nervous breakdown. Her family, her friends and her boss all wanted her to do something for them all the time and at the same time. They had demanded it of her for so many years that it was overwhelming to her.

It was impossible for her to stay at her job that day. She knew that if she didn’t get away from it all, and get away right that minute, that she really would have a nervous breakdown. So she didn’t say anything to anyone and simply left. Was that selfish on her part? No, it was a desperate attempt to save her sanity.

About a week later, she finally had peace in her heart once again and she went home to her family. As she walked in the door, her husband met her at the door. Without saying a word to her, he held her tightly as he cried. She said “Do you want to talk about it”? He replied with just three words but those three words touched my heart and I cried like a baby. He said to his wife who he loved so much “Up to you”. What a picture of unconditional love by a husband! O that we would have more marriages like this one.

I think if we will listen with our hearts we will hear Jesus saying to us “Up to you”. He doesn’t force us to do anything. We are not puppets and He doesn’t pull our strings. He allows us to make the choice. Many times He calls us to do things for Him and we either aren’t listening for His call, or we ignore His orders. Sad to say, sometimes we just don’t care enough to stop what we are doing and answer His call.

The greatest call that He gives us is when He calls us to repent of our sins, ask Him to forgive us and come into our hearts to be our personal Saviour. His heart is filled with unconditional love for us and He is standing at our heart’s door and knocking. Have you opened the door for Him? Have you accepted the sacrifice that He made for you on the cross of Calvary? If not, please don’t put it off another minute.

Sometimes we as Christians allow satan and the world with all their poisonous barbs to defeat and discourage us and we stop serving Jesus. We feel that we just can’t go on. He knows how we feel because I’m sure that He also felt like that many times when He was here on earth. He probably said to Himself “I can’t go on because the rejection, criticism, sarcasm and scorn hurt so much”. Yet because of His amazing and unconditional love for His Father and for us, He went on day after day as He endured horrors that you and I will never experience or ever fully comprehend.

Yes, it is up to us to either accept His unconditional love or to reject it. What is your choice? If you have wandered away from Jesus, He is waiting for you to come home to Him with His arms open wide. He will hold you tightly in His arms of compassion and understanding. You won’t even have to talk to Him about it because He already knows. It is enough for Him that you have come home. He will give you the choice of talking about it as He says “Up to you”.


Copyright 2007 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved
The author may be contacted via her website: http://www.heavenwardbound.com

Our Victorious Savior

Monday, September 10th, 2007

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Jude 1: 24, 25 KJV

I have received several emails from people who have told me that people keep bringing up their past mistakes and failures. I submit to you on the authority of the Word of God that our precious Saviour is a victorious Saviour and He is able to keep us from falling. It doesn’t matter how much people condemn and judge us for the mistakes we made in the past. The only thing that matters is what Jesus thinks of us and if our hearts are right before Him.

I believe that the reason we fail so many times in the things we try to do for Jesus is because we try to do them in our own strength. It hasn’t worked and it will never work because without Jesus holding our hands, leading and guiding us and walking by our side we will fail every time.

Also, Jesus is the only one who can defeat satan and the people who constantly criticize us and put us down. We don’t have the power to withstand the fiery darts of satan and the world. Jesus is our power and He is the one who brings us through every crisis into victory.

When our precious Saviour hung on that cruel cross of horror and agony, He defeated satan but we will still have battles to face in our lives. We have heartaches and burdens to bear, sometimes on a daily basis. There are marriages that are crumbling and heading for divorce.

Some of us have children who have turned away from Jesus and are living for themselves. There are children who live in constant fear of being abused by their parents. Sad to say, there are also parents who are being abused by their children. Yes, we have heartaches and problems but Jesus is more than able to bring us through every dark valley victoriously and set our feet on the mountain tops once again.

Not only is Jesus going to present us faultless, He is going to do it with exceeding joy. As we allow Him to melt our hardened hearts, hearts that we have allowed to become filled with resentment, criticism, hatred and sarcasm, He makes us into a vessel fit for His use. He removes all of the things that are displeasing to Him and fills our hearts with His unconditional love so that we can love one another as He has commanded us to love each other.

The next time somebody reminds you of a mistake or failure from your past and tells you that you will never be worth anything, tell them that you are a child of God. Tell them that every sin that you have ever committed is under the blood of Jesus never to be remembered or held against you again. Tell them that Jesus is able to present you faultless and with exceeding joy to Himself. Indeed, our precious Saviour is able to do anything.

Thank You, Jesus, for the victory we have in You. Thank You for loving us and for saving us. You are worthy to be praised and adored. We love You, Jesus, and we appreciate You so very much. Thank You for dying for us so that we may be saved and spend eternity with You. Amen.

Joanne Lowe

The Bread of Life

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

[color:#000099]“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”John 6:32-35 KJV[/color]

I had a ham sandwich for lunch yesterday. An hour after I had finished the sandwich I was hungry again. We have the bread of life, our precious Saviour, and if we will go to Him we will never hunger. However, when we go to Him and ask forgiveness for our sins and ask Him to cleanse us and save us with His atoning blood, we must go to Him with our hearts and not with our lips and our intellect.

So often, we ask Him to forgive us but we haven’t given Him our hearts, only a verbal and head acknowledgment. If we haven’t given Him our hearts and our lives, then we will hunger again because it is only as He fills us with Himself that we have the bread of life.

Our bread of life, Jesus, is enriched with the necessary vitamins of hope, peace, unconditional love, happiness, contentment, joy, protection, compassion, forgiveness, grace and mercy. When we accept Him as our personal Saviour, He fills our hearts with His vitamins. I take a vitamin every morning, a one a day vitamin, but if I didn’t have Jesus in my heart and if I didn’t read my Bible and spend time with Him, that one a day vitamin that I got at the store would be meaningless.

We can take all the medicine in the world but if we don’t have the life giving and enrichment vitamins of Jesus in our hearts, we will never be able to continue serving Him in a world that is filled with violence, discouragement, hatred and criticism. We would never be able to withstand the poisonous barbs of satan and the world. Just as people who have heart problems have to take medicine prescribed by their doctors, so we have to take the vitamins that our great Physician gives to us.

Do you have the bread of life in your heart? Have you accepted Jesus into your heart or did you just make a verbal and intellect commitment to Him? If you are hungry for unconditional love, Jesus not only gives unconditional love, He is unconditional love!

Thank You, Jesus, for all You have done for us and for freely giving of Yourself and for giving us Your forgiveness, mercy, grace, kindness, understanding, tenderness, compassion and companionship. Indeed, You are the beautiful Rose of Sharon and I love You with all of my heart. Thank You so very much for loving me enough to die for me. I can’t wait until I see You face to face. On that glorious day, I will be able to hug You and try to tell You how much I appreciate You. Again, I say thank You, Jesus, for all You have done for me. Amen

The Son is Always Shining

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Revelation 21:22-23 KJV

It doesn’t matter how dark it is outside, the Son still shines. If we have accepted Jesus as our personal Saviour there is always light in our hearts because Jesus is the light. However, it is like walking in the dark with a flashlight. If we never turn on the flashlight, it will still be dark. Jesus lives in our hearts but we have to allow Him to shine His light in our hearts.

Whatever trials and heartaches we have in our lives, Jesus is more than able to bring us through them. We may have dark valleys of despair, discouragement and confusion but our precious Saviour is with us. He takes our hands and walks with us and brings us into victory time and time again. He is faithful and never leaves us, not even for a minute. I don’t think any one of us could say that we never leave Him. May God help us to walk with Him every minute of every day!

Our dear Saviour is not only the light in our hearts. He is our joy, our happiness, our peace, our protection and our shelter in the midst of life’s frightening storms. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the Lily of the valley and the great I Am. He is tender, merciful, loving, gentle, kind, compassionate, understanding, protecting, forgiving and He really cares about us.

There is no one like Jesus! There is no friend like Jesus! Thank You, Jesus, for Your amazing, undeserved and unconditional love for us. Thank You for dying for us. You are so wonderful and beautiful. Worthy is the Lamb of God! One day we will see You face to face. What a day of joy, happiness and excitement that will be when we get to see You in person. O how I long to give You a big hug and try to tell You how much I appreciate Your love for me. I can’t wait to see You, Jesus. Indeed, You are the light in my heart and the very breath that I take. I think when I see You that I won’t be able to say anything because even as I write this devotional, I am in awe that the Saviour of the world would love me.

If you are walking in the darkness in your heart, allow Jesus to illuminate your heart with His light of happiness, joy, peace, contentment and excitement. You will never have a better friend than Jesus. He will never leave you, not even for a minute. Do you have this light in your heart? Have you said “yes”to Jesus? Have you given your heart and life to Him? If not, there is no better time than right this minute. Please don’t wait because you may not have another hour or even another minute to live. Give your heart to Him before it is too late!

When Does God Have a Season?

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

Someone made the comment a couple of weeks ago “I will be so glad when football season starts. I am already planning all of my schedules and activities around football”. When I heard that comment, I wondered when does God have a season? We have a season for basketball and baseball but I have never heard anyone say this is God’s season.

How tragic and what a sad commentary on us who claim to be saved and love God that we would allow a football game or any other game or activity to so control our lives that we plan and schedule everything around the season and neglect to spend time with God. May God have mercy on us and forgive us!

Again, when does God have a season where we plan all of our schedules and activities around Him? Yes, we give Him some time on Sunday and perhaps on Wednesday night, but that is not a season. That is just a few hours out of the week. One day we will stand before a Holy God and give an account of why we put other things before Him.

There is nothing wrong with watching football, basketball, baseball or any other sports unless we give more time to them than we do telling others how much Jesus loves them. If we spend more time with sports or any other thing than we do reading our Bibles and praying, then we have allowed them to take the rightful place of a Holy God.

Have you planned a season for God where everything that you do and all of your schedules focus on God, and on Him alone? I used be addicted to basketball to the point that I wouldn’t even talk on the telephone if someone called me. If Jesus were to return for us today, would you be able to look Him in the eye, or will you have to look away because you put a game before spending time with Him and telling others about His unconditional love for them? Will He say to you “Well done thou good and faithful servant”? What is more important to you, a sports season or a season for God?

Custody of Jesus

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-25 KJV

A couple of days ago as I watched a custody battle on television involving a man and woman who were recently divorced to be granted permanent custody of their son, I thought to myself “How wonderful it would be if we were to have custody battles over who gets Jesus”. However, it is just the opposite with our precious Saviour. Instead of people fighting to get Him; they are fighting to get Him out of the school and every place they can. How this must break the heart of Jesus. O that we would love Him so much that we would fight over who gets Him!

Not only do we need to take custody of Jesus in our lives, we also need to take custody of His peace, kindness, compassion, unconditional love and forgiveness in our hearts. We don’t have the kind of love that Jesus wants us to have for one another. It is only by allowing Him to take away all the resentment, criticism, jealousy, anger and hatred from our hearts and allowing Him to replace them with His goodness, unconditional love and forgiveness for others that we are able to serve Him effectively, the way He wants us to serve Him.

It is extremely important that we take custody of His smiles, His hugs and His compassion. It is only as we hug others for Jesus and have a smile on our faces instead of a frown that we will be able to lead them to our precious and loving Saviour. If they don’t see the peace, joy and happiness that Jesus can give to someone who has committed their hearts to Him in our own lives, they will have no desire to be saved. How can we expect to lead our children to Jesus if they don’t see the difference He makes in our own lives? Our children will have no desire to go to church with us or accept Him as their personal Saviour because they can spot a phony a mile away.

We have an urgent responsibility to crucify our flesh by resisting the temptations that Satan and the world puts in front of us. We can’t do this on our own. It takes the power of our risen Saviour working in our hearts to help us resist going to places that we used to go and to keep us from doing and saying things that we used to do and say before we were saved. It is very important that we do not hang around with the same crowd that we did before Jesus gloriously saved us because it only takes one person to lead us astray.

When people look at you, do they see the fruits of the Spirit? Do they see smiles and joy on your face or do they see a frown? Is your speech seasoned with gentleness and forgiveness? Are you hugging others to Jesus? Most important of all, are you hugging Jesus? Are you spending time with Him? Is He the most important person in your life and does He have the first priority in everything that you do? Are you walking in the Spirit or are you walking in the flesh?

Joanne Lowe
Copyright 2007 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved
The author may be contacted via her website: http://www.heavenwardbound.com

It’s Coming

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

“For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.” Isaiah 25:4 KJV

It’s coming so we might as well get ready and prepare for it. Just when everything in our lives seems to be calm and we aren’t in the middle of a crisis, here it comes! Someone says something critical or sarcastic to us and once again we wonder if it’s worth all the criticism we have to endure to keep on writing, preaching, singing, teaching and serving our Saviour. We need to remember that our precious Saviour has endured and is still enduring more criticism, sarcasm and rejection than anybody has ever endured or ever will endure.

Our vicious and sneaky enemy is using others, sometimes even our own families, to try and discourage us from serving Jesus. The sad thing about this is sometimes they aren’t even aware that satan is using them. All day long, the enemy, satan, roams around looking for someone who isn’t reading the Bible and praying as he or she should.

If we neglect to study our Bibles and pray and fellowship with Jesus, we open the door for satan to lie to us and deceive us. When satan finds someone like that, he starts lying to that person about someone and he fills the person’s heart with resentment, jealousy, anger, hatred and criticism toward the other person.

However, there is good news. We don’t have to be concerned about what people say and think about us. If our hearts are right before Jesus, that is all that matters. He will defend us against the ones who would try to bring us down and discourage us. We must stay on the alert because satan wants to defeat us and keep us from serving Jesus. It is vital that we spend time daily not only reading the written word which is the Bible, but that we also spend time with the living Word, who is Jesus.

Just reading the Bible will not help us live a victorious life. It would be like a doctor studying in college how to operate on somebody and never putting it into practice. If the doctor never used that knowledge to operate on someone, all he or she has is the knowledge. He or she has spent all that time in college and med school and has spent all that money for nothing. It takes the power of our risen Saviour to bring us to victory over life’s hurdles of discouragement, criticism and sarcasm.

Jesus is the only one who can calm the storms in our hearts. He gently and tenderly wipes away our tears of frustration and hurt with His kisses of compassion and understanding. He has been criticized and rejected so many times that He knows how it hurts and what it feels like to have people attack us with their sharp cutting remarks of criticism and sarcasm.

We need to remember that none of us are perfect. All of us hurt one another at times. Hopefully, we don’t do it on purpose. We must allow Jesus to keep our hearts in tune with His heart. We need to ask Him to sweep our hearts daily, sometimes hourly, with His broom of understanding and unconditional love. It is only as we allow Him to sweep the resentment, hurt and anger from our hearts that we will be able to serve Him effectively; the way He wants us to serve Him. Have you allowed Him to sweep your heart today?

Joanne Lowe
Copyright 2007 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved