Posted by: judyhitson | November 6, 2021

Our Powerful Purpose

Our Powerful Purpose
That Jesus May Be Glorified
by Brenda D. Flowers

1 Peter 4: 7-13 (NKJV) But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

Meditating on these words, I am impressed by their timeliness, practicality and hope.

When God speaks to me through His Word, I am comforted. I know God is aware of my circumstances. He hears my cries for help and direction.

For many weeks, I have been seeking the Lord for guidance regarding His will for my action steps related to some challenging family relationships. Also, I have been sincerely praying on how to live boldly for Him in a way that would give Him glory in today’s culture.

Look at His answer, “Be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’ Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.”

 As Christians, we are called to a very powerful purpose to live in a way that gives God the glory. His Spirit helps us, in our weakness, to leave our sinful ways, bad habits and comfortable self-serving existence. We are called to have a heavenly perspective, recognizing who we are in Christ.

As we journey to Holiness, not in our own strength, Holy Spirit empowers us to let go of our  past selves to embrace our new selves, God’s image-bearers living righteously for Him.  (See Ephesians 4:22-24)

Sometimes, I find myself questioning if I am willing to live a fully devoted life for Christ, to bring positive changes in my circle of influence. I confess my weakness and humbly seek God’s will, not my will.

God assures me:

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1: 13-14 (NKJV)

Holy Spirit, You are the change agent, empowering me to complete my life purpose. Thank You for helping me to stand for Truth each day in this counter culture. May my mind be transformed and may Your Life-giving Love be poured out through me as I step out in faith. I treasure the gift  You are!

Posted by: judyhitson | October 19, 2021

The Power of Thanksgiving

The Power of Thanksgiving
by Judy Hitson

Psalm 100:4 NKJV Enter into His gates with thanksgiving
                                 And into His courts with praise.

As I battle frustrations learning to use a new computer, I find myself in need to enter the presence of God with thanksgiving, rather than grumble and complain. The Israelites didn’t get to enter the promised land because of their grumbling and complaining except for Joshua and Caleb. That’s a frightening thought and conviction of sin that brings me to confess and repent of grumbling and complaining. How thankful I am for the Lord’s forgiveness and cleansing, 1 John 1:9.

An illustration comes to mind when a pastor and his wife spoke at our church. The wife shared how starting each day with five things to be thankful for changes her life. She exhorted us to put this exercise of thanksgiving into practice in our lives. I discovered peace with God and freedom from negativity. This is the power of thanksgiving to have peace with God and freedom from negativity.

 Reflecting on Psalm 100 in different translations as I wrote this devotional, my heart was comforted and filled with thanksgiving as I observed the following list of profound truths and want to share them with you:

1. the Lord, He is God. (v.3)

2. He made us. (v.3)

3. We are His people. (v.3)

4. We are the sheep of His pasture. (v.3)

5. The Lord is good. (v5)

6. His mercy, His love is everlasting. (v5)

7. His truth, His faithfulness endures to all generations. (v5)

Pause and think slowly on these truths.

Lord bless you with encouragement and His power through the practice of thanksgiving each day, learning that our dependency needs to be on the Lord who says nothing is too hard for Him.

Whatever your state of being is at this present time, join me in prayer:

Father, in Jesus name, I trust You. Fill me with Your Spirit, give me a heart of thanksgiving to live Christ and be able to do the things You call me to do. Amen.

P.S. In Ps. 100 we are called to enter into His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise. You might like to look back at the devotional I wrote last month on the power of praise.

Posted by: judyhitson | October 5, 2021

Intimacy with the Lamb

Intimacy with the Lamb
The Power to Overcome
by Brenda D. Flowers

 Rev 12:11a KJV
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony;

A dear Facebook friend and former co-teacher posted a heartfelt tribute to her mother on the day her mother’s life was celebrated. These tender words of testimony touched my heart, “Her legacy of loving others like Jesus does, and helping others was her passion. It gives me peace and happiness to know you are exactly where you always wanted to be….I’ll see you again one day.”

Waves of emotion came over me as I thought about my family members and friends who have died (grandparents, parents, sister, parents-in-law, aunts, uncles, former co-workers and friends—all dearly loved).

I too have hope for a great reunion in heaven.

 I know many of my loved ones had strong faith and trusted Jesus as their Savior. Several were instrumental in leading me to a saving faith and to a stronger walk with Him.

It saddens me, though, to think that any of them may not have had a personal relationship with  the Lamb of God. Some of them were not vocal about their faith. It is possible I missed hearing their testimony. That is my hope.

Yet, we all know people (even family and friends) who are lost, not truly knowing where they will be when they die.

I pray these Scriptures about the Lamb will give us deeper revelation about God’s loving plan for redemption so we may share boldly our testimonies of faith.

 In Genesis, God foreshadows the way He will save mankind. Notice the details of this conversation between Abraham and Isaac:

 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb …..14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The LORD will Provide”

It is amazing to read the prophetic words in Isaiah 53: 7a (NKJV), written over 700 years before the birth of Christ: 

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth, He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,

In the gospel of John 1: 29 (NKJV), we see how John the Baptist proclaimed boldly,  “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” referring to Jesus.

In Acts 8: 26-40, Luke records a powerful interchange between Philip and an Ethiopian. It is interesting that the Ethiopian “happened” to be reading the prophetic words from Isaiah 53: 7-8. He was sincerely searching for understanding regarding the lamb. Starting with this Scripture, Philip spent time telling him the good news about Jesus.(v. 35 ESV)The Ethiopian announced faithfully before being baptized, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (v. 37b,NKJV)

The book of Revelation has many references to the Lamb of God. Reading each one aloud is powerful! One of my favorites is:

…’Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ …Rev. 19:  9 (NKJV)

What a glorious celebration that will be! Let’s be prepared by devoting our lives to Christ.

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son as the perfect sinless Lamb to die in our place so that we may have everlasting life. Thank you for the power to overcome fear, sin and death. I pray the we may be bold in our faith like Abraham, Isaiah, John, John the Baptist, Philip, and the Ethiopian. We want to be prepared for the greatest reunion of all. In Jesus’s mighty name. Amen

Posted by: judyhitson | September 14, 2021

Power to Persevere

Power to Persevere
In Marriage, In Life

by Brenda D. Flowers

Ephesians 5: 31-32 (NIV)  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

     My husband, Eric, and I recently attended the wedding of two dear young people who attend our church. We felt honored to be invited to witness their wedding since they had to limit the amount of people who attended.

    From the beginning of the ceremony until the end of the evening, we noticed the intentionality of each part of the service and the celebration.

     I was especially touched when the bride and groom read their handwritten vows to each other before saying the traditional vows. Each one spoke about how God had answered his or her prayers in finding each other.

“I prayed for you,” the bride exclaimed.

Another beautiful part of the ceremony was when they invited their family to circle around them to pray blessings over their marriage. The song, “Bless the Lord Oh My Soul” was sung in unison at the close of their prayers.

The delicious marriage supper, beautiful decorations honoring the Lord, and the orchestrated celebratory activities made the evening extra special!

The groom’s dad covered the evening in prayer and in his prayer he mentioned the hope that everyone there would experience God’s anointing and glean from each other’s fellowship. He encouraged us to honor the couples who had been married a long time.

One of the events to highlight this was a dance to reveal which married couple in attendance had been married the longest.

Eric and I, along with several other couples, were called to the dance floor to dance a slow dance. We were told to keep dancing until we heard the number of years we had been married. 

“Who has been married 1 hour or less (the newlyweds left the dance floor), 1 month or less, 1 year or less, 10 years or less, 20 years or less, 30 years or less. 40 years or less, 45 years or less?”

One other couple was still on the dance floor with us. It turned out they have been married 41 years. Eric and I won the prize as we have been married 43 years.

Our prize was the opportunity to share advice on how we have stayed married for so long. (Many of the young people there were awed by the longevity of our marriage.)

Eric and I were blessed to be given this opportunity to share. We knew there were probably people listening who truly wanted or needed to hear our counsel. We shared spontaneously and from our hearts.

I am glad I acknowledged God’s help, but to be honest if I could go back in time to those moments when we shared, I would give all the glory for our perseverance in marriage to God. He has helped us keep our vows.

Perseverance is defined as “the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult.” (merriam-webster.com)

Let’s be real. To keep our marriage vows for 43 years, it has taken more than our own strength and will. God has provided the power to persevere by His Spirit at work in us.

God designed marriage for great purpose to illustrate the uniting of two into one. This transformation happens over time as each person goes through the tests of life and learns to fully submit to God first and to each other. A successful Christian marriage illustrates the promise that God will complete what He has begun in all of us who trust Him.

Attending this wedding has had a great impact on me as I have been motivated to search God’s counsel on the topic of perseverance.

Posted by: judyhitson | August 18, 2021

Power of Miracles

Power of Miracles
by Judy Hitson

Ephesians 3:20 TPT Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.

Miracles! What comes to your mind when you hear the word miracle?

Jesus healing the sick?

Jesus casting out demons for deliverance?

Jesus raising the dead?

Yes! As born again Christians, we think about the miracles of Jesus in the Bible and believe each one.

We also believe the miracles we read about in the Bible with the apostles. The Holy Spirit gave them the ability, Acts 2:4. Peter in Acts 2, when he preached, 3,000 believed what he said, repented, were baptized and were added to the church that day. In Acts 3 with Peter and John, the lame man walked. In Acts 5:12 the apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people, :16 the sick were healed as well as those possessed by evil spirits. We also see God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. The sick were healed and evil spirits were expelled, see Acts 19:11-12 in NLT.  

What about in our lives today?

Consider God’s power that works in you. What comes to your mind?

The first thing that comes to my mind is God’s power that worked in me His great salvation, imparting His Spirit within me. In Christ, I became a new creation. Old things passed away and all things became new. Our oldest son was nine years old at the time. Seeing the changes in me, he soon came to a saving knowledge of Christ. It was a powerful blessing to see him and other family members come to Christ as well as some with whom I shared the good news of Christ. As a mother in the land, some young women called me Mom Hitson. One in particular met a woman from South Africa at Bible study and asked if she could bring her to my house. It was a miracle to share Christ with her and lead her in the sinner’s prayer. How amazing it was and continues to be for God’s miraculous power to energize me.  

Yet, I confess having struggles with doubt through my years in Christ. Realizing the need to remember God’s miraculous power helps tremendously, not only of my salvation but times of deliverance and healing. For example, two things I recall, the miracle when I was healed from a TIA, in lay terms known as a mini stroke and my husband was healed of cancer.

Prayer: Praise and thanksgiving to You God for the power of miracles. Help us in Christ to never doubt Your mighty power to work in us and energize us for Your great achievements. In Your name Jesus and by Your Spirit. Amen. 

Posted by: judyhitson | August 4, 2021

Power Outages

Power Outages

by Brenda D. Flowers

     In our lifetimes, we all have experienced power outages. Think back to times when you were without power.

     I recall a time over thirty-five years ago when my electrical power had gone off in the middle of the night and I didn’t know it. As a result, my electric alarm clock didn’t ring and I woke up late for my teaching job. I experienced panic and dread, knowing I had to call my principal to explain why I was not at school doing my morning car duty.

      Another vivid memory happened when my two children were in grade school. Middle Tennessee had a severe ice storm and snow had fallen on top of the ice. There were power outages for many days and even weeks in some neighborhoods because the power lines were downed by tree branches due to the weight of ice and snow. I recall, though, during this difficult time, neighbors came to the rescue for each other. It was amazing how people, who often stayed to themselves, emerged to help.

     Another time, happened recently. I was scheduled to attend an important Zoom meeting, but my internet wasn’t working. The System was down, and to top it off my cell phone’s battery was low. I ended up missing several minutes of the meeting. Minutes I couldn’t get back.

    Now let’s apply this to our spiritual journey. When have you felt a power outage in your journey with Christ?

     The Lord has been speaking to me about the importance of being intentional in abiding in Him.

     When I get busy doing things in my own strength, not making the time to abide in the morning, I often experience more stress and accomplish less throughout my day. If I don’t spend intimate time with God, I feel disconnected and powerless to do what He is calling me to do.

Currently, we are going through very difficult experiences in our world. I wonder how many people realize how God is waking us up to the importance of staying connected to Him. He is our source of strength and peace. He gives us community, help and support.

    I pray the following Bible verses encourage you to meditate on God’s Word in your purposeful quiet time with Him:

John 15: 5 (NKJV)I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit;  for without Me you can do nothing.

Acts 1: 8 (NKJV) But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Rom. 6:22 (New Life Version)But now you are free from the power of sin. You have become a servant for God. Your life is set apart for God-like living. The end is life that lasts forever.

Prayer:

Lord, thank you for the revelation of the importance of abiding in You. May our lives be a testimony of Your power at work within us. Amen

Posted by: judyhitson | July 21, 2021

Power through Prayer

Power through Prayer
by Judy Hitson

Matt.6:6 NKJV But when you pray, go into your room and when you shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Can you remember learning to pray as a child?

For me, I was taught to memorize prayers as a child. My first and most treasured memory was memorizing the Lord’s Prayer. It has been a progression of learning to pray the words of this prayer by rote with head knowledge to revelation by the Spirit instructing me to pray. It was wonderful and amazing to discover when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, Jesus gave them what we know as the Lord’s Prayer as instructions to teach them how to pray. Ponder this Bible passage whether familiar or new and ask Lord Jesus to teach you how to pray with power by His Spirit. (Matt.6:9-13; Lk.11:1-4)

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I received the Holy Spirit. Then I began to understand power through prayer, learning Spirit-led prayers.

The Bible talks about some prayers as meaningless repetition (Matt.6:7). That was my experience for a long time. Then my prayers came alive and were no longer rote, memorized prayers. It’s been a progression learning to pray, by the Spirit teaching me in the secret place with my heavenly Father to praying corporately with others.

The Scriptures are filled with prayers for us to pray God’s word and instructions to pray in the Spirit.

There is an acrostic you may be familiar with that has been important in my prayer life and to practice with others in prayer groups. It is, ACTS,
A for Adoration – Adore the Lord for who He is, look to Him in the beauty of holiness.
C for Confession – time for quiet reflection. Ps.139:23-24 Ask the Lord to search our heart….
T for Thanksgiving – to the Lord for all He has done, is doing and will do.
S for Supplication – humbly giving the Lord our requests. Seek His will and His way.

 Prayer: Thank You Lord Jesus for continuing to teach us to pray and discover power through prayer by Your Spirit in us. Thank You Father in heaven for revealing that when we pray to You in secret, Your reward is power through prayer. Amen.

Posted by: judyhitson | July 6, 2021

Power to be Steadfast

Power to be Steadfast
Growing Together in Love
by Brenda D. Flowers

Col. 3:12-15 NKJV  Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all of these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. . . .

On June 17th, my husband, Eric, and I celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary. Judy, co-writer and dear sister in the Lord, recently celebrated her 55th anniversary with her beloved Jack. Our marriages have lasted through the power of God’s grace and through our choice to remain steadfast, trusting God’s faithfulness to complete what he began in us when we said our marriage vows. God has been good to us!

Have there been testings along the way?

Yes, but there also has been growth through these times of challenge.Sometimes, it seems even more testing comes to those who profess to be Christians.

 I believe God allows testing to refine us in our faith.

When we profess our faith in Christ, we are entrusted with God’s good news, His mysteries.

Each of us as followers of Christ, married or not, is given a responsibility to steward the gospel message.

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 1 Corinthians. 4:1-2 (NKJV)

Marriage is often God’s refinery, a place of preparation and purpose. It is in marriage and in church fellowship, we learn to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  In Ephesians 5,  we can read more about the powerful mystery of marriage.

God is faithful and He gives us the steadfast power to be faithful in our marriages. Those who are led to marry are given the great responsibility to be a picture of unity, displaying the unity of Christ and His body, a picture of love in action.

Thankfully, God provides the power for us to love as only He can, fulfilling His great commandment.

If any of you reading this post are struggling in your marriage or in your daily walk, come to the One who can help you. Jesus is faithful and true. He will give you the wisdom and strength to carry-on, as you put your trust in Him.
We can be faithful to our  marriage vows and to our calling with Christ’s help.

Reflection and Prayer

May we remember to acknowledge the One who gives us strength to be steadfast, abounding in love. We enter His presence with thanksgiving and praise.

Lord, thank you for what you have taught me in my marriage and in the observation of strong Christian marriages.

 I want to love everyday like You love. May I be sensitive to Your guidance as I yield my will to Your will.

In Your mighty name, Jesus, I pray.

Posted by: judyhitson | June 21, 2021

Power in Jesus Name

Power in Jesus Name
by Judy Hitson

John 20:31 NLT But these things are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.

Amazing is the revelation and understanding to know and experience power in the name of Jesus.

Do you practice your faith with power in the name of Jesus?

Consider Phil.2 especially verses 9-11 as written here from the New Living Translation:

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Come on Church!

Let us believe and live by the power of His name, knowing Him as our Lord and our God who will come again as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Let us be good soldiers of Jesus Christ. We will endure suffering but He is worthy.

Let us be God’s army rising up to break every chain of bondage.

Let us walk in victory in Jesus, experiencing freedom as He intended for us, to live on earth as it is in heaven.    

Consider the song, “Break Every Chain – There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain.”
This was originally written and recorded by Will Reagan in 2009 and later recorded by Tasha Cobb and Jesus Culture. Perhaps you have also heard it sung by other artists.

Bottom line is to rise up with the army of God to break every chain in the name of Jesus. Let us not be silent but make declarations in the name of Jesus and not fear persecution or suffering. He is coming again. Let us prepare and be ready for Him, Jesus Christ, whose name is above all other names.

Prayer: Father in heaven anoint us by Your Holy Spirit to break every chain by the power in the name of Jesus in our own lives and in the lives of others who hunger for You. Amen.

Posted by: judyhitson | June 7, 2021

Fan into Flame the Gift of God

Fan into Flame the Gift of God

by Brenda D. Flowers

2 Timothy1: 1-3, 6-9  Amplified Bible

1 Paul, an apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed) by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, 

2 to Timothy, my beloved son:  Grace, mercy, and peace (inner calm and spiritual well-being)  from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 

3 I thank God, whom I worship and serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as  I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, …6 That is why I remind you to fan into flame the gracious gift of God, (that inner fire—the special endowment) which is in you through the laying on of my hands (with those of the elders at your ordination). 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but (He has given us a spirit) of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline (abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control). 

8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord or about me His prisoner, but with me take your share of suffering for the gospel (continue to preach regardless of the circumstances ), in accordance with the power of God (for His power is invincible), 9 For He delivered us and saved us and called us with a holy calling (a calling that leads to a consecrated life— life set apart—a life of purpose), not because of our works (or because of any personal merit—we could do nothing to earn this), but because of His own purpose and grace (His amazing, undeserved favor) which was granted to us in Christ Jesus before the world began (eternal ages ago), … 

Recently this scripture passage spoke to me in a very personal way. I felt like God was telling me to read this letter aloud, putting my name in place of Timothy’s and receive His exhortation and encouragement to me. 

When the Apostle Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, he was in prison and knew his time on earth was short. He was intentional in the words he chose to beloved Timothy. Holy Spirit guided him in writing this exhortation, passing the baton of an empowered faith so to speak not only to Timothy, but to all of us who trust Jesus as Lord. We are all called to great purpose and we all must allow God to strengthen us in the face of difficult circumstances.

As followers of Christ, His Image-bearers, we are all challenged to live holy lives becoming more like Jesus each day. But the sanctification process is not to be done in our own strength. We are given God’s Spirit to empower us to change and to become who God created us to be. 

We are challenged to fan into flame the faith in the calling God has given us.

By faith, we are called to be sons and daughters of the King of kings…learning to trust and obey Him fully with our lives, even in the face of persecution or a harsh culture. 

Next time you read words of exhortation in the Bible, try substituting your name in the place of the believer receiving the challenge. Remember, our Lord (All Sufficient One…He who was and is and is to come) loves us so much He gives us His presence to complete us. 

All powerful Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. We may feel timid in our flesh, but when we feel weak, He is strong. 

Share how God has strengthened and encouraged you. Let us rejoice together.

Older Posts »

Categories