Ashes to Beauty Day 4

The Pour Out:

Pour it ALL out to God. Take a moment to clear the clutter, by letting go of all those wandering thoughts (the grocery list or to do list items that won’t stop distracting you … AND … your prayer needs and concerns.)

The Beans:

The Background:

Continuing through Matthew Chapter 8, we’ll read another account of Jesus’ miraculous healing abilities.

The Verse:

Matthew 8:18-20

Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.  When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

The Fill:

What’s the point for YOU?:

  • What word or phrase from the verse above popped out to you?

Read the verse a second time and ask yourself:

  • What could this word or phrase be speaking to in your life? (What situation, struggle, relationship, or decision)

The Steam:

What does all of this mean to me/how can I apply that to my life today?

Friends are so important. This is a beautiful display of true friendship; these friends went to whatever lengths necessary to help their friend in need.

I hope you are blessed to have many great friendships in your life. Because, inevitably, things are going to happen, emergencies will pop up out of nowhere, and having great friends you can trust makes life easier.

The amazing thing about the men in this story, was not necessarily the actions they took, but the faith driving their actions. These men did whatever it took to lay their friend at Jesus’ feet. Why? Because they believed that Jesus could heal their friend. Friendships rooted in faith are the most precious of all!

Do you have friends in your life who encourage you in your faith?

Do you have friends that you trust with the inner most parts of your heart, knowing the advice they give aligns with your morals and convictions?

If you do, consider yourself blessed!

Friends are wonderful, but friends who share a common faith are extra special. The reason has nothing to do with social classes, or to follow any made-up rules of Christianity.

The reason we need these friendships is because faith friends are able to see you the way Jesus sees you. They’re able to see the amazing creation He is making you to be. They understand your struggles from a different point of view, they encourage you to be that person Jesus is calling you to be.

I do have to say, not all faith friends are made equally. Unfortunately, I’ve had christian friends in my life who DIDN’T make me feel so precious, or loved. Their judgements filled my heart with guilt over past mistakes, and instead of helping me understand Jesus’ message more clearly, they used Him against me. I pray you never experience this, but chances are, you have.

Because Christian or not, it’s human nature to judge a person or situation. So be wise, discern for yourself how your friendships are making you feel. If you feel lighter, better, or happier after your time with them, then they are worth their weight in gold.

If not, if you leave worrying over what they thought, or feel like you have to pretend to be someone that you’re not … friends, they simply aren’t worth it!

I encourage you to pray over your friendships today. Ask God to send sweet angel friends to lift you up, and encourage you to be the version of yourself that He created you to be.

Together, may we all grow closer to living and loving as Jesus did!

The Transition:

Transitioning from quiet time back into real life can be tricky. We want to take the lesson we’ve just learned, and the peaceful feeling we now have, with us throughout the rest of our day.

Blessings:

List “small” blessings from the past 24 hours.

List small things, because when you only list the big things – you only SEE the big things. Thinking back on a few small blessings each day, helps us develop a habit of actually looking for God in our day to day realities. And if you’re writing them down, then you’ll have hard proof that God truly is always with you.

*This could be anything. A few examples are: “you were blessed with a hug from your child, the weather was especially warm and delightful, or a smile from a stranger on the street.

Affirmations:

List positive affirmations about yourself/life:

Take whatever was laid on your heart and write it in the form of an affirmation:

If you simply felt peaceful today, write, “I WILL remain peaceful today.”

If you are still trying to understand a certain message, write, “I WILL keep searching and remember that God WILL reveal His answer to me.”

Or list, “I AM worth it.” “God DOES love me.” “I WILL make that change.”

**Now go about your day, peaceful and affirmed.**