Author: ronda

Salvation and Praise

Isaiah 60:18

Violence will never again be heard in your land, devastation and destruction will be gone from your borders. But you will name your walls salvation, and your gates praise. 

Walls and gates were a city’s defense from enemy attack. They were created to protect a people from invasion and to maintain law and order. If we want our land – our life – free from violence, devastation, and destruction, we need to name our walls salvation and our gates praise. What we use to protect ourselves and what we allow in and out of our life matters.

We build walls around ourselves to protect us. Those walls need to be built from salvation in Jesus Christ. If we are in Him, we are part of a flourishing vine that will bear much fruit. Salvation also means, “whole, complete.” When we allow Jesus to make us whole in every area of our life, we create a huge wall that protects us from the schemes of the devil to tear us down.  Walls of salvation also protect from things that do not align with Jesus. Salvation builds a boundary that rejects sin and every evil thing that accompanies it.

The gates of the city were where business was conducted, court was held, and access to the city was gained. The gates are how you let people or things in and out. If we name our gates praise, then praise will determine how we conduct our business, determine our ethics, and what we allow in and out of our life. Praise, however, must be spoken. Therefore, your gate is your mouth. Complaining, cursing, and negativity allow the wrong things into our lives that can bring violence, devastation, or destruction. Speak life! Proverbs 18:21 instructs us that the power of life and death is in the tongue. What we say matters! We have the ability to prophesy good or proclaim bad into our life by what we say. 

Name your walls salvation and your gates praise today. Allow Christ to make you whole in any area where you are hurting, feel weak, or encounter lack. Turn your complaint into a praise and shut out any trace of negativity. God has good things in store for you, and you have reason to rejoice!

Have a blessed day!

Peace and Order

Isaiah 11:9

No one will harm or destroy on My entire holy mountain, for the land will be as full of the knowledge of the LORD as the sea is filled with water.

There is coming a day when peace and order will rule the earth. That peace and order comes from the knowledge of the LORD – knowing Him. In the reign of Christ, no one will destroy or hurt another because their focus will be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The whole land will know His love, His grace, and His faithfulness.

While this verse describes a future day when Christ will physically reign on earth, we can know that peace and order now. Knowing Him brings peace and order. The world around us may be in chaos and hurting, but we can know the peace and order of Christ now in the midst of worldly chaos.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

If your world seems hectic, full of strife, or just turbulent from storms and trials, look to Jesus. Take time to learn His word, and engage in knowing Him. Give Him the chaos, and rest in His peace. He will bring necessary order to your life. The answers to all of our earthly problems are found firmly planted in His word to us. Let that word be bigger in your life than the noise around you, and find peace and order taking charge as Christ begins to reign.

Have a blessed day!

Leave Babylon

Isaiah 48:20

Leave Babylon, flee from the Chaldeans! Declare with a shout of joy, proclaim this, let it go out to the end of the earth; announce, “The LORD has redeemed His servant Jacob!”

Babylon means, “confusion.” It represents Satan’s entire infrastructure of lies, delusions, and worldly allurements. We must remember that we belong to Jesus Christ, and He has redeemed us from condemnation and any past sin that haunts us. We belong to Him and are heirs with Him of all the promises of God. We are destined to rule and reign with Christ, and we are victorious over the enemy in Him. The truth of God’s Word must be stronger in us than the lies the enemy plants in our heads to confuse us and cause us to doubt ourselves and God’s love for us.

God’s command here is for us to leave Babylon. We must make the conscious effort to flee from negative thinking and the belief that God is not going to come through for us or bring His promises to pass in our life. Standing strong in our faith requires we deliberately desert the negative thought patterns that cause us to doubt God’s love for us. In order for God to move us forward or grant the miracle we need, we must leave Babylon and walk in the fullness of His redemption.

Babylon took Judah captive, but later God drew His people out of Babylon to rebuild a ruined Jerusalem, which means “City of Peace.” God’s command was to leave the “City of Confusion” to enter and rebuild the “City of Peace.” You cannot have peace and live in confusion! You must leave the latter to embrace the former.

The gates to Babylon are wide open. You are free to leave anytime you are ready. You can literally reject the confusing thoughts that hold you back and firmly believe in God’s love for you. In doing so, you will gain His promises and His peace as you go.

Have a blessed day!

In One Day

Isaiah 10:17

Israel’s Light will become a fire, and its Holy One a flame. In one day it will burn up Assyria’s thorns and thistles.

I know most of us wait upon the LORD to move in our life. We pray and wait, which is why He gives us patience as a fruit of the Spirit. God does not always act immediately when we pray, but that does not negate the great power He exhibits when He does act.

The Light inside Israel is the LORD, Himself. His Holy Spirit lives in us. What begins as a flickering spark has the power to grow and do big things that we could never do in our own strength. 

What God can do in one day is greater than years of hacking away from the enemy. The blessings of God far outweigh any destructive force the Devil has assigned against you. Allow that flame to grow inside you by feeding it on a regular basis. Spending time in God’s Word, prayer, and praise facilitate the growth of the Holy Spirit inside you. In one day your life can change for the better. In one day the issues that have been discouraging you can be settled. In one day God can open a door that answers multiple prayers and brings His promises to you.

He is greater. He is stronger. He is faithful. He is victorious over His enemies. He lives in you, and in one day the thorns and thistles that have brought you pain can be devoured.

Have a blessed day!

In Its Time

Isaiah 60:22

The least will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the LORD; I will accomplish it quickly in its time.

God always keeps His promises. He is faithful, and He is good. We can count on those facts when life seems to take a tailspin, leaving us bewildered and uncertain about the future. 

If answers to your prayers are a long time coming, take comfort in this verse. When the time is right, God will move quickly to make it happen. What seems small, He can make big. Even that which does not seem to matter can have huge significance when the time is right for growth. As Zechariah declared, do not despise the day of small things. In God’s timing, He will accomplish His promises to us, and it will be greater than we ever imagined. 

Be faithful in the small things. God is faithful to you, and those small things matter to Him. What is small now is destined to be big at the right time.

Have a blessed day!

Healthy Root, Healthy Fruit

Isaiah 37:31

The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward.

This verse is part of a promise God gave Hezekiah that Judah would not fall to the threats of Sennacherib, King of Assyria. Because Hezekiah prayed, God heard and answered. Our prayers, indeed, can change the course of history and prevent the enemy from claiming our land.

God proclaimed that the surviving remnant of Judah would take root downward and bear fruit upward. To bear fruit, we must first be firmly rooted in Christ and actively nourishing our foundation. Fruit is a natural result of a healthy root system. If fruit is what we want, we must pay proper attention to the roots.

Roots extend downward into the dark earth. Unless we dig into the ground, we don’t see them. We can’t always see what God is producing in us until it comes into full bloom. What He is doing in us is often far greater than what He does for us or through us. Let Him nourish your roots today as you dig deeper into Him.

Have a blessed day!

God Shines Over You

Isaiah 60:1-2

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD shines over you. For look, darkness covers the earth, and total darkness the peoples, but the LORD will shine over you, and His glory will appear over you. 

Zechariah 9:14

Then the LORD will appear over them, and His arrow will fly like lightning. The Lord GOD will sound the trumpet and advance with the southern storms. 

If you feel as if you are in the midst of total darkness today, take heart. Indeed, when I watch the news, I can see just how dark this world has become, and it seems to be growing darker. What we must remember in these times is that when the evil rises, God’s glory also rises. God, shines over His people because He is at work in us. In the midst of darkness, look to see where God’s light is shining. A city on a hill cannot be hidden, and God makes Himself clearly seen in the midst of darkness to the discerning eye.

God still works in the lives of His people, and He is still at work in our country. Don’t believe for one moment the lie the enemy has stirred within our culture that God has abandoned this country or is punishing us. God’s purpose is always to grow us in our faith and never to destroy us. The devil’s plan is to destroy this country and God’s people with it. God is our light, and He still shines over His people to make us victorious. What we need individually and as a country is to see God’s glory revealed in the midst of our pain and struggles. As Zechariah illustrates in the verse above, we should expect God to counter the enemy’s attacks.

Yes, God still answers prayer. Yes, God still works wonders and performs miracles. Yes, God still advances His kingdom through mere men – and women. Ask Him for a revelation of His glory today. Expect some southern storms to emerge and wreak havoc on the enemy’s schemes. God is with you, and His light shines over you. You are destined for victory!

Have a blessed day!

Called and Not Rejected

Isaiah 54:6-7

“…For the LORD has called you, like a wife deserted and wounded in spirit, a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,” says your God. “I deserted you for a brief moment, but I will take you back with great compassion.”

Rejection says, “You aren’t worthy. You don’t matter.” Rejection discounts you in the search for something better. Rejection portrays you as damaged goods, unable and unfit to be loved, accepted, or successful. If we believe the lies of rejection, we will withdraw from life and fail to experience the full potential to which God has called us.

Man may reject you. Your own family may reject you. Your church may even reject you. When this happens, it may seem as if God has abandoned you, but God has NOT abandoned you! He may allow you to feel that abandonment for a moment so you will cling to Him and not to anyone or anything else for your security. God has NOT rejected you! He has CALLED you and is consistently pursuing you as a man woos His bride. He will draw you to Himself with loving compassion and affection. He has CHOSEN you, and never permit rejection to convince you otherwise!

You are valuable to God, and He will use you for His purpose. Sometimes, that means He may have to get hindrances out of the way by allowing rejection in your life. I’ve heard it said several times that rejection is merely direction. In fact, rejection may be the very indication that God is calling you for a much greater purpose than you imagined. Most of us would not choose for ourselves what God has chosen for us, but we often can’t see the beauty or purpose of His plans, either. What we think is good for us can be quite damaging or even just less than the best. Instead of allowing rejection to define us, we must learn to trust that rejection is merely an indication of a much better way God has yet to reveal to us. Walk away from who or what rejected you, and walk in to the loving arms of your Savior. Trust His plan for you, and watch Him do something amazing that only He can do. 

Have a blessed day!

Called to be a Witness

Isaiah 44:8

Do not be startled or afraid. Have I not told you and declared it long ago? You are My witnesses!

God has called us to be His witnesses. Jesus told His disciples just before He ascended into heaven that they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. We are also called to be His servants, as is described in both the Old Testament and the New. Too often, however, we confuse the two.

A servant is one who serves. God gives him/her a job to do, and the servant does that job. We see in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 that our spiritual gift is an indicator as to where God has called us to serve. A witness, however, plays a different role. The witness watches the work of God and tells others what He has done. Mary Magdalene was both a servant and a witness. She served Jesus, and as a result of her service to Him, she was a witness to the resurrection. She did not perform the resurrection; she merely saw its evidence.

Dear PHOEBES, you are called to be both a servant and a witness of Christ. As you use the gift He has graciously given you, He has promised that you will see Him do wonders in your life and in the lives of others. You are not responsible for the miracles; you are to witness them. Our faith fails when we confuse the two. Simply serve Him, and watch Him do the impossible.

Have a blessed day!

Enlarge the Site of Your Tent

Isaiah 54:2-3

Enlarge the site of your tent, and let your tent curtains be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your ropes, and drive your pegs deep. For you will spread out to the right and to the left and your descendants will dispossess nations and inhabit the desolate cities.

For God to work in our lives or in our ministry, we must make room for Him. If we keep everything in a nice, comfortable, predictable little box that we can control, we give Him no room to expand His kingdom through us. As a result, our world becomes small, stagnant, and unproductive.

To let our tent curtains be stretched out requires opening our ministry to those outside our tent. Anytime God is doing a work, it requires personal stretching, and we can expect that in our ministry, as well. We need to lengthen our ropes by lengthening our reach and extending beyond our current borders. To drive our pegs deep, we must delve even deeper into God’s word and make personal prayer and Bible study the backbone of our ministry. The deeper we go in Christ, the farther He is able to extend our reach and increase His kingdom.

My desire is that this ministry will somehow grow and become a true beacon of light for widows to know the love of Christ and find new identity in Him. When widows find their purpose and calling in Christ, their light will dispel the darkness that has been thrust upon them through loss, and His love will inhabit the desolate places that loss brings. Are you willing to be enlarged, stretched, lengthened, and driven?

A move of God is not always comfortable, but it is well worth the journey!

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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