Author: ronda

Acceptable to God

Acceptable to God

Acts 10:34-35

Then Peter began to speak:  “In truth, I understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears Him and does righteousness is acceptable to Him.”

God did not send Jesus for the sake of the Jews alone, although Peter had a hard time understanding this. God had to show Peter in a dream that he could not call anything unclean that He had made clean.  He makes us clean in one way – through the blood of Jesus Christ. Every person who surrenders to the blood of Jesus Christ is considered righteous, and we have no right to consider such a person to be unclean.

Peter’s words were addressed here to Cornelius, a Roman Centurion who desired to follow Christ. Peter would have disqualified him except for the fact that God had already instructed him in the dream.  Cornelius did not have a full understanding of the gospel. He merely had the desire to submit to it.  Therefore, God sent Peter to witness to him. God had already considered Cornelius to be righteous based upon his desire to submit and learn more.

God does not accept you based upon your understanding of His word. His acceptance is  based upon your desire to follow Him. He will bring you the understanding you need.  The qualifier is never how much you know – it is how much you are willing to proceed once you learn. 

What do you need to understand today? God will provide the wisdom you need. Are you willing to obey when He reveals the truth to you? Cornelius’s willingness alone made him accetable, not his works.  Submit your heart in full worship today, and watch to see what He shows you. He may bring you the full truth of a problem, or He may send you to witness to someone whom you’ve disqualified but He has already made clean by a willingness to follow Him. Either way, God’s kingdom will benefit.

Have a blessed day!

Favor for a Lifetime

Psalm 30:5

For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor, a lifetime. Weeping may spend the night, but there is joy in the morning.

God deals with sin in His people, but His favor is much greater than His punishment. He corrects us in order to change our thinking and turn our behavior in the right direction. To cast an attitude of disapproval toward us consistently would merely drive us right back into sin. When we have fully turned to Him after having been corrected, He gladly and freely lavishes His favor upon us so we may know that every good and perfect gift is from Him, according to James 1:17.

David wrote these words, and he knew well both the anger and the favor of God. From his own experience as an adulterer and murderer, he had felt the wrath, conviction, and redemption of a loving Father. Although he had made grave mistakes in his past, David learned to trust the favor of God. While he couldn’t change his past, David changed his path by believing God had his best interest at heart and would lead him to experience good. In fact, David wrote strong words of faith to express his conviction.

Psalm 27:13

I am certain that I will see the LORD’s goodness in the land of the living.

David was certain that God was with him and would lead him to experience good. When bad things happen, it is easy to think God is punishing us or that He is against us for some reason. Any correction He gives us is clear, precise, and designed to direct us to the right path. His hand of favor is always upon us, but we must learn to trust Him and believe He is leading us to experience good and not evil. The Devil knows that if we think God is against us, we will devise our own paths to avoid His anger and take us far away from His perfect will for us.

Rest today in knowing that God’s favor is upon you. He is not angry with you or denying you something because you are not worthy. While He may correct you to lead you back to Him, His anger is not remaining against you to cause you to suffer. His anger is very short, but His favor lasts a lifetime. You may weep for a night, but in Him, you will wake to unspeakable joy! He wants you to experience His goodness in this lifetime so you will be convinced of a better life in eternity. He favors you, and He wants you to trust and experience that favor all of your life. You are blessed and not cursed; you are the head and not the tail. You are His!

Have a blessed day!

Rejecting Negativity and Unbelief

Titus 1:15

To the pure, everything is pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; in fact, both their mind and conscience are defiled.

We have all encountered negative people, and some of us may even fall into that category. Negative people always see the bad in things, and nothing good ever happens to them because they can’t see it when it does. They believe in the bad, so the bad is what they experience.

Thankfully, we’ve all known positive people, as well. These are the people who see the good in everything and can make the worst days seem almost welcome. To them, the good in their lives far outweighs the bad, and they choose to focus on the positive, rather than the negative.

The difference between these two types of people is their belief. Negative people believe bad will happen, and it does. Positive people look for good to happen, and it does. Romans 8:28 assures us that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. For this reason, the Christian always has reason to expect good from God. Even when we must endure trials or hardships, God will bring good from it. There is no reason for us to remain negative and full of unbelief in a good God.

Choose to believe God for good in your life today. Do not be defiled in your spirit and allow unbelief to rob you of time or opportunity. Expect God to be good to you, and move forward with the things He has placed in your heart. Even if you should experience something negative, God can use it to your benefit. Look for good, and you will find it.

Have a blessed day!

Treated Well

Psalm 119:65

LORD, You have treated Your servant well, just as You promised.

This verse is for all of us! God always keeps His promises, and He promises to treat us well! There is a difference between those who serve God and those who serve themselves or a lesser god. The devil is an evil taskmaster who can only provide a temporary satisfaction while increasing a longing. God, however, treats His servants well by satisfying the soul.

Have you ever received an answer to prayer? God has treated you well. Have you ever felt the love and warmth of family and friends? God has treated you well. Have you ever seen needs fulfilled or dreams come to pass? God has treated you well. Have you ever experienced a miracle or felt the presence of the Holy Spirit? God has treated you well. 

Today, I challenge you to focus upon your blessings. Where has God given you victory? Where has he blessed you immeasurably? These all serve as promises that God loves you and wants the very best for you. He desires to treat you well, so leave every care with Him. Submit every need and longing to Him, and just look at where He has already blessed you. There is no limit to His abundant grace or riches in glory! He has an ever increasing supply, and His desire is to treat you well. Lean on that grace today, knowing that you are both His child and His servant. You belong to Him, and He will always take care of you!

Have a blessed day!

The Power of Community

The Power of Community

Judges 5:6-7

In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the main ways were deserted, because travelers kept to the side roads. Villages were deserted, they were deserted in Israel, until I, Deborah, I arose, a mother in Israel.

Shamgar was the third judge of Israel, and Deborah was the fourth. During the days of Shamgar, people kept to themselves. The main travel ways and villages were deserted, which indicates a lack of community and fellowship among the people. Beware! If the devil can get you isolated or withdrawn, he can take dominion over you trough attack!

One of the devil’s first strikes against a godly community is to destroy the fellowship. We’ve seen this in churches, families, and friendships. There is power when God’s people are in unity because they can help carry one another’s burdens and lift each other up in times of need. They can encourage each other and edify one another. Together, they can accomplish great things for the kingdom of God. Alone and isolated, they are ineffective and weak. 

Deborah united Israel. She encouraged the men into battle and even went with them herself.  One commentary I found suggested that Deborah actually assembled an army in Ephraim while Barak marched up Mt. Tabor. This sent Sisera into confusion because he now had two threats against him. Deborah helped the men of Israel gain the courage to fight.  They needed to work together because they had a common enemy. 

Sometimes, having a common enemy is the very thing that can unite a group. Despite our differences and our personal preferences, we are all on the same side and fighting for the same cause. Realizing this can keep our focus on the true priority and overlooking petty differences that cause strife. 

Our country is greatly divided today, and multiple threats to our national security lurk all around us. Yet, there is power when God’s people are in unity, and we need to operate in that power to be victorious. Find a strong, supportive community of believers who will encourage and edify you, and be someone who will help build up and not tear down. Construction is better than criticism, and love covers a multitude of offenses. Don’t let the devil have your community. Nourish it, care for it, and fight for it. It is God’s gift to protect you from personal invasion. 

Have a blessed day! 

Contagious with Hope

Romans 15:13

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Where God is working, you will find joy, peace, faith, hope, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul prayed God would fill the church in Rome with all joy and peace in believing because from these things come hope. His desire was to see the believers there so full of hope that it overflowed from their lives into the lives of those around them. Unless God fill our lives, nothing good will overflow from them.

Satan obviously tries to fill our lives with his fruit, too. We’ve all seen people who doubt, worry, and give up hope for anything good. In fact, we’ve probably all been there at some point. When the Devil fills our hearts with these contagious, negative emotions, they spill out of our lives and into the lives of those around us. Before long, we find people running from us because they don’t want to be affected by negative emotions. We are all attracted to those who make us feel alive and excited, and God desires to fill our hearts with good things so others will be drawn to us and to the Christ that lives inside of us.

Hope is contagious, too. The Holy Spirit works through hope to accomplish God’s purpose in our lives. God is a God of hope, and His hope does not disappoint. Hope begins with joy and peace in believing. When you decide to believe God is going to do the good thing He placed in your heart, joy and peace begin to dwell with you. From your joy and peace, hope begins to rise. When the Holy Spirit sees that hope coming forth from inside you and spilling over to the person next to you, His power grabs hold of it and starts doing something new in your life – reproducing!

We are all contagious with something. Determine today to be contagious with hope from the joy and peace of believing God. Don’t contaminate; rejuvenate, instead! If you are going to overflow with something, make sure it is hope. Allow God to fill you, and what comes out will multiply and bless others, too.

Have a blessed day!

No Rest for the Watchmen

Isaiah 62:6

Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen on your walls; they will never be silent, day or night. You, who remind the LORD, no rest for you!

The watchmen were men stationed in towers around the city to watch for danger and alert the city of incoming danger. The Old Testament often refers to prophets as watchmen. They had the ability to see what was happening in the spirit and were called to intercession and to proclaim God’s word to the people.

When interceding on behalf of God’s people, the prophets would often remind God that the people of Israel were His people and cry out on their behalf. We see this in both Abraham and Moses. Abraham interceded for Lot, and Moses interceded for the Israelites who came out of captivity in the wilderness. God had appointed watchmen – prophets – to intercede for Israel and to remind Him she was His nation. These men would have no rest because of the impending judgment against Israel.

Today, Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. He is our watchman who reminds the LORD that we are His. God, however, still gives the gift of prophecy through the Holy Spirit. These people can often see things that are happening in the spirit realm and are called to pray and proclaim God’s word. If you find yourself seeing things that don’t seem right, pray. These are usually things that you can’t change anyway, so take the matter directly to the Father. If you see things happening in our country right now that bother you, dare to stand in the gap and intercede for God’s intervention. While it may seem like a small thing to do, spiritual warfare is fought through prayer. Remind God that we were founded on biblical principles, and we are His nation, even if unbelievers deny it. Just as there was no rest for the watchmen of Israel, there is no rest for those of us today who see the evil at work. Pray without ceasing.

Have a blessed day!


Psalm 90:16-17

Let Your work be seen by Your servants, and Your splendor by their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish for us the work of our hands – establish the work of our hands!

This Psalm is believed to have been written by Moses as a prayer to God. He wanted to see the glory of God displayed among His people and for God’s favor to shine through them. This is the same Moses who desired to see God’s glory for himself, and God hid him in the cleft of the rock while He passed by so Moses would witness the glory from God’s back. Moses did not see God’s face, for he would have died. He could not see what God was about to do, but he did see what God did as a result. 

God doesn’t usually show us what He is doing in our lives as He is working. More often than not, we see where God has been at work, unbeknownst to us all the time. He lets us see the back side of His glory, rather than the front. We may not know what God is doing right now, but we can often see where He has been. Moses’s cry here is for God to show Israel where He has been at work by revealing His glory and favor to His people. They had, indeed, seen hardships, abuse, discouragement, disappointment, and failure. Moses asked for the favor of God to be on them and to establish them in the work of their hands. Without the favor of God, a promised land was meaningless. They could not establish it on their own. 

Establish means to erect, to set up, to stand. Moses saw all their physical labor failing without the favor of God. If God established the work of their hands, however, it could not fail. Moses asked God to display His glory through the work of their hands and to let His favor be evident in their lives. He did not trust their own ability; he trusted the God who promised them a new land – one flowing with milk and honey. With God’s favor and His glory at work in their lives, a promised land would bring purpose, prosperity, and heritage.

We must be careful not to let our desire have priority over God’s glory. We must desire His work in our lives more than we desire what He promised. If God does not work through us, our labor is in vain, and it can be difficult to maintain or sustain anything we create on our own. If God establishes the work, however, it will surely stand. To gain a desire without God’s glory is like trying to buy a quality diamond ring from a dollar store. While it may be easy and cheap, everyone knows it is fake! God’s glory revealed is worth far more than costly diamonds, and no one can deny its authenticity.

May God’s favor be upon us individually and as a ministry.  May we see His work and His splendor displayed in our lives. May He establish the work of our hands, and may we see where He has been at work all along. Most importantly, may we shine like fine diamonds from the radiance of His glory and not our own.

Have a blessed day!

Entering God’s Kingdom

Luke 16:16

The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then, the good news of the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is strongly urged to enter it.

The Law and the Prophets proclaimed a right standing with God by adhering to rules and regulations. The Law clearly described what God sees as holy, and the Prophets warned people and nations to turn to God by regarding the Law, which required sacrifices for the atoning of sin.

John the Baptist preached repentance from sin. We are to turn from our sin to a God who loves us and who longs for a right standing with us through His Son. Jesus became the only sacrifice needed for our sin, and through Him we have a relationship with the Father in which we are His adopted sons and daughters. This gospel is one of forgiveness of sin by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

Everyone is strongly urged to enter the kingdom of God through repentance because it is the only way to enter. You will never be “good” enough to enter. Your works, actions, or good deeds will never be enough to atone for your sin. You cannot gain credit through your actions or your service. You must repent and turn to Christ. We often see this as a salvation message, but it applies to everything in our lives. If we have sin in our lives, the only way to overcome and live free from its bondage is to repent and surrender it to Christ. When we do, that area of our lives becomes redeemed, and we will begin to walk in the blessing of God’s kingdom.

As Christians, we may still have areas of our lives where sin has a stronghold. You can be a Christian and still have addictions, debt, troubled relationships, and other areas of instability. The only way to gain victory in those areas is to repent and surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Don’t try to hold on to sins that are preventing you from living the abundant life Christ came to offer. God wants you to be whole, and the only way to gain complete victory in your life is to become wholly His. Repent, surrender, and enter into the abundance of grace the kingdom of God provides you. There is no greater news than this!

Have a blessed day!

A Matter of Priority

Mark 13:30

Note this: some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.

What do you make a priority? We must come to understand and appreciate the things God makes priority and realize that our priorities are not always His. What comes first in His kingdom may not be at the top of our list, and what is important in the world today may come last in His kingdom. The best way we can prepare ourselves for God’s kingdom is to put His priorities first in this kingdom.

God has made Jesus the first and foremost priority. If we always put Him first in our thoughts and actions, we have learned the order of God’s kingdom. Before we can even enter His kingdom, we must first have a relationship with Christ. Other blessings flow from our obedience and loyalty to that relationship. If we have placed Him first, everything else will fall into proper place. If we try to take care of other things first, we will find things falling apart.

We find true security by putting Christ first in our lives. Regardless of how much of a fortress we build around ourselves, every earthly thing is subject to earthly corruption, decay, and calamity.

One tornado could blow it all away! Christ, however, is eternal. His love and purpose for us will not change just because earthly misfortune occurs. I’m reminded of the words to an old hymn, “On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”

Put Christ first today and every day. Find your identity and purpose in Him. He is the only sure thing onto which we can hold in this world. Learn to put Him first now, and invest in the kingdom to come.

Have a blessed day!

PHOEBE Connections, Inc. is a 501(c)3 dedicated to enhancing the lives of widows by building relationships and helping them find new identity in Jesus Christ through serving others. We promote an atmosphere of fellowship, where the widow can connect with other widows to develop friendships and supportive relationships. 

PHOEBE Connections does not provide professional counseling. We are simply women who are engaged in the journey of widowhood and have learned from our experiences to look to Jesus Christ as our provider and sustainer

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