Author Archives: possesshispromises

Are you pursuing wisdom like the Queen of Sheba?

This is the first book that I’ve read by Liz Curtis Higgs, and I was delighted. It’s Good to Be Queen weaves interesting research, biblical truth, creative imagination, practical application, and today’s insight into a beautiful tapestry that could adorn the most elegant woman.

Now when the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with difficult questions. 1 Kings 10:1

Higgs takes the reader on a journey through the eyes and mind of the queen of Sheba, beginning with an arduous trip from Yemen (Southern Arabia) to Jerusalem, about 1,500 miles.

Higgs provides discussion questions for a book club single session and a study guide in the back of the book for readers to delve deeper or to use the guide in a small group. In the study guide section, she writes:

Sheba’s desire for wisdom fueled her long journey north. … Sheba’s trek across the desert was dangerous, with the threat of wild animals and even wilder weather. On your spiritual journey, what are some of the challenges you face?

Just 13 verses, but Higgs painted a picture of a bold, strong woman who sought wisdom at a great price: her wealth, her time, her physical effort, her pride, and her gods. Yes, Higgs, believes that she turned from her pagan gods and worshiped the one true God, the God of Solomon.

In addition to the secondary research Higgs conducted for this book, she also asked her followers questions and included their insight:

Doris gets the credit for this one: “Today is a good place to begin finishing well.”

That’s part of the legacy the queen of Sheba passes on to us. The “bold and foward-thinking” woman was all about making the most of each day. She studied, she pursued, she asked, she listened, she marveled, she spoke truth, she encouraged, she learned, and in the end she praised the Lord and urged others to join her.

I had not pondered the queen of Sheba in-depth, and I am so glad that I read It’s Good to Be Queen. It made me ask myself how much I really pursue the wisdom of God.

Thank you, Liz Curtis Higgs for a great study.

About Liz Curtis Higgs

I received It’s Good to Be Queen, published by Waterbrook Press, from Blogging for Books for my honest review.

My prayer

Father, thank You for Liz Curtis Higgs and her commitment to You and to her sisters in the Lord. Bless her, I pray, and continue to pour out Your wisdom and Spirit upon her. Father, bless Your daughters and sons, and instill in them a desire to pursue You and Your wisdom. You are the Creator of the Universe, the All-Knowing God. Thank You for the queen of Sheba and her example to women of all ages.

Are you running the grace race or the rat race?

CCB Cross - 1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

What if we were to approach our Christian walk as an athlete? Would we lose some weight, get some lighter running shoes, schedule hours each day to work on our technique and form? Christians are athletes to a certain extent. Some of us are balance beam experts. We have one foot on the world’s beam and one in the air towards heaven.

I don’t know about you, but my technique needs some work. I’m running the race, but sometimes, it’s the rat-race instead of the grace race.

Keith and I are going through the Your Sacred Yes Workbook and DVD by Susie Larson, and I’m learning to get rid of the weights that aren’t on God’s plan for me. It’s difficult, but as an athlete adjusts her diet, focuses upon the end result, the medal or prize, I am trying to look towards Jesus and the prize, eternal life with Him, the joy set before me.

Jesus focused on the joy that was set before Him, looking at the cross and shame to His place seated at the right hand of the throne of God. That joy was χαρά, gladness, calm delight, blessedness.

Matthew Henry writes of the joy of Jesus:

He had something in view under all his sufferings, which was pleasant to him; he rejoiced to see that by his sufferings he should make satisfaction to the injured justice of God and give security to his honour and government, that he should make peace between God and man, that he should seal the covenant of grace and be the Mediator of it, that he should open a way of salvation to the chief of sinners, and that he should effectually save all those whom the Father had given him, and himself be the first-born among many brethren. This was the joy that was set before him.

Suffering was part of the race of Jesus. Although He prayed that there was another way to accomplish the joy that was set before Him, there was no other way, and he accepted the pain of the cross, the shame, the isolation for an eternal moment. He knew what was waiting for Him, and it was worth it. It was joy unspeakable.

Imagine, the Author and Finisher of our faith, our Creator, our Comforter, our Savior, loved us so much that He set aside His glory, and suffered pain, shame and His Father turning away from Him for an eternal moment, all for us!

Let’s rid ourselves of anything that holds us back from the race that God has planned for us, and let’s train like we’ve never trained before. We have the joy of the Lord set before us.

My prayer

Jesus, thank You for Your great love, for Your endurance, for Your focus upon the joy that was set before You. Teach us how to be so focused that we will run the race You have given us with endurance, looking to You and the joy set before us. We love You, Jesus.

Tell us about your grace race

Are you abiding in Jesus?

Grapes - prosecco

I [Jesus] am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing … If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:1-11

When we gave our lives to Jesus, we became one with Jesus. We were cut from the wild vine and grafted into the true vine, Jesus. True nourishment flowed into our branches, and people began to see a difference in our lives like sweet clusters of grapes.

We still had a bit of wildness in our branches, and the Father cut the wild parts out. Sometimes, it was painful … old habits, friends, possessions. Once those wild parts were pruned, more changes, more opportunities to serve the Lord occurred … more fruit.

The key: abiding in the true vine even during the pruning. Abiding, menō, can mean “remaining,” “waiting for,” or “remaing as one.”

Jesus tells us how to abide in Him

  • His Words must be deep within us. They are the nourishment that brings “much fruit.” If His Word is planted deep within us, we will ask according to His will, and we will receive our wishes, so that we can bear much fruit.
  • His love will dwell in us if we keep His commandments.

The promise

If we abide in Jesus, His joy will dwell in us, and it will be full.

Please share with us how Jesus has filled you with joy today.

My prayer

Father, thank You for cutting us from the wild vine and grafting us into the true vine. It hurts when You prune us, but oh, how we love the sweet fruit it produces! Thank You for the words of Jesus. Teach us how to meditate upon these Words of Life day and night. Empower us to abide in Jesus and His love. Thank You for supplying all we need to produce fruit as we rest in Jesus.

This was a meditation spurred from Chapter 3 of the Your Sacred Yes workbook by Susie Larson. You can download the free workbook at her site.

A lesson from a Special Olympics athlete

Special Olympics Symbol - 1 (1)

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:7-11

I had the pleasure of attending a Special Olympics host town event this week. I greeted the Olympians with a cowboy hat and offered a bandana in the color of their choice.

As I placed a cowboy hat on an athlete in line, another athlete stepped up to my right. I turned and asked her if she would like a hat. She shook her head, “Yes,” and bowed her head for me to put it on her.

“Take a bandana; choose your color.”

“Purple.”

“I’m sorry, there aren’t any more purple bandanas. How about orange; that will look great on you?”

“Purple.”

“I’m sorry.”

She tugged on the bandana around my neck.

“You want my bandana?”

A yes nod.

I untied my bandana, lifted it up around her neck and tied it. She smiled and walked away.

Later that night, I led a young man by the arm in the Cupid Shuffle. She came up to my left. I took her arm and pulled her three steps to the right. Young man on my right, purple lover on the left, me in the middle pulling to the right, pushing to the left, kick, kick, kick; turn, turn, turn. Threesome fumbling and smiling.

I had a blast! It gave me pleasure to take off that silly bandana and encircle the young woman with color.

She wouldn’t have received the purple bandana if she hadn’t tugged on the one around my neck. She persisted in asking, and it was my pleasure to give it to her.

How much more is it God’s pleasure to give us the color we desire, the things that are good for us, the good things?

It gave me even greater pleasure to dance with her and the young man. How many times do I approach the Father and indicate that I want to spend time with Him?

He always has a hand to take me and lead me in a dance with Him. I may fumble and stumble, but as He pushes and pulls me, the Cupid Shuffle becomes the Blessed Shuffle.

My prayer

Thank You, Father for the lessons you show us through our experiences with others. Thank You for the Special Olympics athletes You sent my way this week. Bless them with Your outpouring of love. Please continue to show me Your truths in my everyday encounters and give me the boldness to persist in my requests for blessings just as this young woman persisted.

What’s your dance with God?

Want a miracle? What will you do with it?

Waiting Squat 2 - 1

I waited patiently for the LORD; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry pit, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:1-3

Alone … tired … hurting.

God, help me!

Waiting.

Karen Great Wall looking down - 1

He lifted me out of my bed of sickness and gave me a new song to sing. Praise to my King!

Why?

So that others would see the difference in me and respect God. So that others would know that He is their Healer, their great God.

God healed me of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome on November 21, 2010, confirmed a miracle by my doctor.

Six months later, I climbed half-way up the Great Wall of China. Limited by time, otherwise, I would have made it to the top. All marveled, even those who have not put their trust in the Lord.

You have multiplied, O LORD my God, Your wondrous deeds and Your thoughts toward us; none can compare with You! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told. Psalm 40:5

My prayer:

Father, may these dear readers know Your great love and see You at work in their lives. Give them a new song of praise, Lord Jesus. Fill them with hope as they wait on Your mighty works in their lives, and they will proclaim Your goodness.

What are you waiting on God to bring to your life?
What will you do with that miracle?
Will you sing praise to God and proclaim His goodness?
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