Tuesday, January 31, 2017

yes, I'm social media fasting... but here's one more poem before February arrives

If I were not here,
Would the world still turn?
Would the tides still roll?
Would the sun still burn?

If I were not here,
Would the breeze still flow?
Tell me, how would life really go?
If I simply were not here.

But what about God?
What would life be then?
If He was not near,
If He was not our friend?

Without God's hope,
We'd have nothing good to do.
We'd have no worshipping view.
We'd miss Salvation's perfect New!

Without God's grace,
Whatever could we be?
There'd be no point, you see.
Because no Calvary.

Without God's love,
We'd have nothing at all.
No hope from sinful fall.
No purpose; no holy call.

Yes, if God wasn't here,
This world would not turn.
These tides could not roll?
Our sun would never burn?

If God were not here,
No breeze would ever flow?
So tell me, how would life really go?
If God were not here?

By Victoria Anderson
© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson


fyi...



To all my Online Peeps...

Beginning tomorrow, and lasting through the month of February, I will be fasting from all social media.

What exactly does this mean?
It means I will not be posting, checking, or chiming in on my Blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. for one month. My purpose, simply, is I have chosen to take a mini-sabbatical.

With this in mind, if you need to contact me, feel free to shoot me an email. (I will be checking incoming emails limitedly and will also keep my Etsy shop open for orders.)

Thanks for understanding, and have a blessed month!

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

Victoria Anderson

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Monday, January 30, 2017

lead me, Lord!

Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24)

O Lord, to lose my life daily?
To deny myself for Your sake?
What would I lose?

For all things truly good and pleasing exist in Your Name.
All things pure, holy, and right are exactly under Your care and will transcend into everlasting.
So what must I lose?
What part of "ME" must I deny whilst still being the "me" You intend, dear Jesus?

Sorrow... Yes.
Fear... Yes, please take it.
Pain... Oh, yes! I willingly lay every discomfort before You, dear Master.
Guilt... I'm in favor of losing all these horrors, Father.
Selfishness...
Selfishness...
Selfishness...
Hmmm.

Now You've done it!
Now You've penetrated my core.
For giving up "self" is the leap of a lifetime, isn't it?
That involves complete surrender.
That involves true denial of will, want, way.

Can I do this?
Is it truly possible to stop feeding my own inflated ego?
Isn't my sense of entitlement valid?
No, for I am consumed with sin, aren't I?
I am not valid.
I am nothing.
Nothing.

So, how do I forsake myself and instead revere and glorify You more than "ME"?
O Lord, position my heart in the lowliest state of submission,
So that I might be blanketed in your divine wisdom...
So that this world's normalcy of sin is no longer an expectation or entitlement.
For such evil assumptions are false and dark and evil.
Satan's whispered suggestion for me to know more... to become more than You...
This is not of Your kingdom.
So, change my thoughts.
Change my desires.
Change my tastes.
Change "ME" to be more like YOU!
And use whatever means necessary to break down my defiance!
If I am to live... if I must come after you each day...
If I must grasp at your sacred cross,
A cross that promises freedom,
A cross that promotes a future of hope, and a way of love,
A cross that will save all that is good and pleasing,
Then yes, Jesus, I choose to follow Your path.
Under your grace, I give you every horror to be washed away.
Yes, I will choose to trust Your Way.
For it is better than my own.
Yes, with You, I will deny self!
I will embrace the good life You saved,
In order that I might flourish.
I will live with Your purpose and plan... not my own...
Never my own again, dear Lord.
Let this be, all in Your Name.
All in Your Holy Holy Holy Blessed Name!
This is the day to rejoice and be glad in You!
This is the day to deny myself and follow You, precious Shepherd!
Here I am...
Just as I am...
Lead me, Lord!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Friday, January 27, 2017

make every effort

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

This God - his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. (Psalm 18:30)

Gals, I know y'all will feel me on this one.  Don't you hate it when you spend a lot of time, energy, and thought on a project only to have a family member, a co-worker, a spouse, a child, a friend disregard and maybe even hinder your efforts?  Coats aren't hung up.  Dishes aren't put away.  Shoes are left to trip over.  Homework is lost.  Bills are unpaid. Timelines are forgotten.  Work is incomplete.  Invitations are ignored.  Ugh!  The list goes on and on concerning how our plans for life can quickly run amuck!

I so hate it when my plans and hard-earned efforts are disregarded, don't you?  I hate killing myself over something that is ultimately going to be trampled upon, abused, and/or even dismissed.  Why bother, right?  Why bother!!!

With this in mind, let's stop and think about the meticulously designed order and the specifically unmatched perfection that our God, the Creator of all the universe, readily gives to us in each day we draw His breath. Think about all He has planned for our individual lives and for the future of His people.  What love He gives in order to save and restore each of us to His Throne.

Consider His great law, order, and care for us.  Have we disregarded and maybe even hindered His will in our lives?  What invitations have we ignored that might have further brought us closer to His blessed holiness?  What opportunities have we blown off?  What momentum has dwindled due to our laziness and lack of care?  What laws have not been obeyed?  I wonder.

And I wonder how God feels about our regard or disregard to His perfect plan.  Does He look at us and think, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.  Enter into the joy of your master." (Matthew 25:23)  Or does He throw up His hands in frustration rebuking us in disgust, "Woe to them, for they have strayed from me! Destruction to them, for they have rebelled against me! I would redeem them, but they speak lies against me." (Hosea 7:13) 

Ladies, if we do not make God's plan our own, if we disregard His law and fail to promote His Way most and love Him first, our efforts will be nothing more than blatant sabotage toward His kingdom.  Are you a saboteur?  Think about it:

Who are you dating, single gal?  Is he a believer or are you on a path of unequally yoking yourself?
What are you watching, dear housewife?  Is it holy and uplifting to your King's law or full of idolatry, lustfulness, revenge, and deceit?
How are you budgeting, lovely home keeper?  Do your spending habits represent what and whom you treasure the most?
Who are you loyal to, dear friend?
What are you selling and promoting, faithful servant?
Where are you playing, dear child?
What company will you keep, precious family member?

Yes, consider if your present efforts positively match the perfect plan of Christ?
Are you walking deliberately and faithfully inside His grace?
Or are you trampling, abusing, and dismissing His Way?
Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?
Are you damaging or devoted?

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:26)

You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. (Leviticus 20:22)

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:31-33)

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. (Matthew 6:24)

Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-11)




Blessings!

Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

love GOD


Love God.
Obey God.
Believe God.
Esteem God.

...with all your heart, soul, mind, strength!

Refuge
Strength
Redeemer
Deliverer
Shepherd
Messiah
Master
King

To Him and For Him
All Power
All Glory
All Focus
All Praise

This is the day to rejoice and be glad in Him!

Forever and ever and ever!!!

Happy Wednesday, January 25th, y'all!!!

:)

Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Saturday, January 21, 2017

and be thankful

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:15-17)

"And be thankful"... did you catch that command in vs. 15?
Boy, that sure hit home for me today.

Yesterday, I had a very hard day. Everything was a mess. Everything was going wrong. I was physically and emotionally bogged down, broken, beaten-up and bombarded with matters that seemed unforgiving and unending. The enemy really had a hold on my spirit, and I, unfortunately, allowed his hold to keep me from seeking God more intimately. Because of this, I wasn't living in the fullness I knew God had desired for me to enjoy yesterday. Rather, I was drowning in defeat and physical pain. Yesterday was a very, very difficult day.

It was a day that not only affected me. Due to my short temper and weariness, it clearly had a domino effect on the spirits of my family. They all could feel my stress. They all were struck with my lack of motivation. They all felt the pain I have physically endured as the weather continues to change. But thankfully, my dear husband had the wisdom and drive to stay focused and positive. Thankfully, my wonderful mother (Momba) had the grace to encourage and help out where needed. Thankfully my family knew better than I.

We all have days where Satan wins small battles and sets us back. We all have moments when we allow the enemy access to bruise our spirits in an effort to halt our progress and stop us from moving forward in God's grace. But thankfully... thankfully... every day is a new day - a new gift from God. Every minute is a new moment. Every second provides us a new opportunity to turn from our pity party and seek Jesus and His joy. Thankfully, one small battle does not win the entire war. For my God has already won the war! In Him, I am free. I am soooo thankful that He reminded me of this today.

In all things I will give thanks. I will gladly welcome back the peace of Christ to rule in my heart again. Today, my focus is back on HIM... where it should be. I will remember to follow his command and be thankful.

I am so thankful that God continues to teach and bless me. Yesterday, I lost sight and forgot to seek Him and give thanks in every circumstance - even the hard ones. Today, however, is a new day! Yesterday is over. Today, by the grace of my King... I am able to start again... NEW and IMPROVED IN JESUS!

Thank you, Lord, for EVERYTHING! Thank you, Jesus, for LIFE! Thank you for showing me the way back to your abundance. Praise your name FOREVER!!! Get behind me, Satan. You are not welcome any longer as I have much celebrating to do TODAY!!!

Blessings!

Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

a prayer for my beloved country

Heavenly Father,

Your Spirit is pushing me to pray for the condition of my beloved country.  To lift up all citizens to the promise of your throne and ask for salvation, grace, and holiness on earth as it is in Heaven.  Intercede for us, dear King, and change us to become more like you.  Lead us to your revival.  Teach us to let go of our own selfish lusts, agendas, idols.  Show us your profound, lasting mercy.  Use us to serve your Name.  Unite us.  Protect us.  Resolve in us to believe and once again trust the truth of your eternal Word.

Faithful Shepherd, there are so many lost, angry, fragile, frightened. Let your unfailing love and secure guidance consume every heart and mind.  Let your purpose and path become our only focus.  Give this nation your perfect wisdom to acknowledge our emotionally stubborn and shaken temperaments as mere indicators... reminders to live deliberately in love rather than succumb to hate and/or discord against one another.

You, precious Savior, are the answer to all that upsets and destroys.  Yours is the only solution to all uncertainty, evil, fear, brokenness.  Open our eyes to your new Life, your Way.  Remove the scales and let us know your Truth.

Lord, I pray for our leadership, our government, our churches, our families.  Teach us to obey your law first.  Bring us into your integrity and peace.  May every man, woman, and child seek you in every matter.  To know you intimately, honestly.

Convict us.  Bless us.  Be our one God, dearest Jesus.

We need you.
We need you.
We need you.

Come, Lord Jesus... please come.

Amen.

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson


Monday, January 16, 2017

let us live UP!

Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for His mercy is great.
Let us go to His dwelling place.
Let us worship at His footstool.
Let us return to the LORD.
Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.
Let us make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Let us stop passing judgment on one another.
Let us encourage one another.
Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Let us love one another, for love comes from God.
Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
Let us do good to all people.
Let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God.

Let us examine our ways and test them.
Let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
Let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

Let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
Let us bow down in worship.
Let us exalt His name together.
Let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us sing for joy to the LORD.
Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.
Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.
Let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise.

Let us, Believers...

Let us be thankful!
Let us be transformed!
Let us be NEW!
Let us live up to what we have already attained in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Today, let us live UP because He has let us LIVE!!!
(And all God's people say, "Amen!")

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (Philippians 3:12-21)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Sunday, January 15, 2017

His love is better than life!

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. (Psalms 63:1-4)

Better than life...
His love is better than life!
Do you believe this?

The love of God is the only thing we should earnestly seek.
He is the only One our soul should thirst for.
He is the only One we should long to be near...
For only He refreshes, restores, renews, replenishes!

Pause today and enter into His sanctuary.
Pause this moment and meditate on in His Word... His Way!!!
Feast your eyes on His glory, His power, his LOVE!
Why?
Because His love is better than life!
He is better than anything else!
He is better!!!

So, lift up your hands, dear Believer!
Praise Him!
Glorify Him!
Glorify His love!
Glorify His kingdom!
Glorify His holy Name!!!
Forever.

Yes, He is better than life!
So, be refreshed, restored, renewed, replenished this very hour!
Love Him.
Love others in His Name.
Love and enjoy the everlasting love of your King!
Hallelujah to the King!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Saturday, January 14, 2017

holiness... one empty toilet paper roll at a time

OK, who didn't change the empty toilet paper roll?  Come on, fess up!  It really isn't that hard to do.  You just pop out that thing-a-ma-bobbie, slip off the old cardboard round thingy, and then slip on a fresh, new roll of toilet paper... of course, with the paper fed over, not under.  Under is just crazy talk!  Under is so difficult to manage.  Ugh, under.  But I digress.

In my home, we all know how to change the toilet paper roll.  I mean, come on... you don't need a PhD in astrophysics to accomplish such a task. And yet, we all hate doing it.  So, conveniently, anyone of us might choose to leave one or two small squares on the old roll instead of changing it for the next user.  To this I'd like to say in amazement, "REALLY???," but sadly I too have participated in said behavior and left the chore for the next person to deal with.  (Don't judge me... I'm already embarrassed.)

My point is, life is full of such moments.  Small situations where each of us are faced with either the ease of choosing selfishness or deciding to embrace every opportunity to make that "extra effort" to intentionally love within our simple, everyday actions.  For love is found in those extra small efforts... which by the way, aren't so small or simple.  This is where and when we invite Jesus into our actions - when we choose to do what is thoughtful, what is right, what is... holy.  Yes, holy.  Empty toilet paper rolls are such an opportunity to display God's holiness.  Feeding your children a healthy, well-rounded meal rather than scurrying to pick-up fast food is an opportunity to display God's holiness.  Pausing to verbally build up your husband while physically attending to his needs rather than nag and pick at his inadequacies is an opportunity to display God's holiness.  Giving is holiness.  Service is holiness.  Love is holiness.  And holiness is the life God intends for each of us to live...  one empty toilet paper roll at a time.

For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. (1 Thessalonians 4:7)

Peeps, it is so easy to look out for oneself and do what is comfortable, inconsiderate, and natural.  But the beauty of our Savior is revealed when we obediently decide to lay down our own nature and take on His... especially in the small crevices of our day-to-day.  Sure, God can be glorified in the grand pomp of public worship, the drama and intrigue of foreign missions, and what not.  But His holiness is found in the evidence of how we choose to live in our common everyday.  Just like Jesus.  Like He gives.  Like He serves.  Like He loves!

Giving is holiness.
Service is holiness.
Love is holiness.

For it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)

Be holy... and have a blessed day!

XOXOX!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Friday, January 13, 2017

pollution or perseverance?

"If you have not slept, or if you have slept, or if you have headache, or sciatica, or leprosy, or thunder-stoke, I beseech you, by all angels, to hold your peace, and not pollute the morning."  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Pollution in the morning.  Yep, I can claim fault of polluting the morning.  I can take a new day full of opportunity and make it all about ME - my pain and problems.  I can feel sorry for myself and make life out to be soooo horrendous by focusing on morning arthritis, my sleep depravity, my aches and pains, my worries.  But then what does that do?  What effect does that have on those I live with and encounter?  What example does that mirror in relationship to my showcasing the glory of my King?

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:29-30)

For we all have problems, don't we?  We all can complain about every little, stinking, rotten thing that is wrong in our lives.  What we have lost.  What we don't have, or never had.  What we think should be different in our lives.  What stresses us out and gives us anxiety.  What irritates us.  What should be better but isn't.  Sure, by focusing on such things, today might already seem be the suckiest of all days... but at least we have today, don't we?  At least God has granted us precious life.  So why waste it, Believer?  Why give the enemy a foothold to pollute these once-in-a-lifetime moments rather than use our breath to salute the One who redeems us this very hour?  Instead, why not be grateful and cherish this unique time rather than lose another second to clamoring and grumbling?  Has Jesus not overcome the sin of this world?  Yes He has.  So aren't these trials intended for our good in the end?  Yes, they are.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

Pollution or perseverance?  It is a deliberate choice that must be made every glorious hour.  Will we seek after God's holy maturity, or will we continue to whine, moan, and tantrum?  Oh, how I hope we will persevere in the Savior's Name and stop complaining and polluting.  How I pray that we will leave our grumblings at His altar and resolve to believe in His proven Word.  For He is in full control.  He does have our best interest at heart and has planned all moments for His good.  Indeed, He will oversee our concerns because He cares for His own.  He cares deeply for me and you!

The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. (Psalm 145:13b-14)

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life - in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. (Philippians 2:14-16)

As Edward Dayton put it, "There are always enough hours in every day to do the perfect will of God."  Let's keep our eye on the prize and choose to persevere rather than pollute.  This is the day to rejoice and be glad!

This day, this very hour, is precious LIFE in Jesus' Name!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson


Thursday, January 12, 2017

a new day has come... thank you, Lord!

Yesterday the enemy hit hard.
Yesterday the enemy relentlessly struck and attacked again and again and again without a single break...
Without so much as allowing me to enjoy a fulfilling breath.
Yes, yesterday was difficult.
Anxiety was high.
Emotions were overwhelming.
Yesterday was a time when I could not hear God's Spirit within.
When I did not feel protected. Or loved. Or renewed. Or even forgiven.
But here's the kicker. I still was all those things.
I still was.

I still was His most blessed child. His most beloved. His favored. His own.
I still was, and am these things!
I still am!
Thank you, Lord.

Yesterday, no matter how difficult my day became...
No matter how challenging my trials worsened...
No matter how worrisome my gasping escalated...
Finally... thankfully, God allowed me a moment of grace to catch my breath.
(Inhaling... Exhaling.... Inhaling... Exhaling...)
Thank you, Lord.

When that moment came, I realized that I still was being taken care of and provided for.
I still was safely covered under His wings.
I still had His hedge of protection guarding me.
Saving me.
Guiding me closer and closer to His glorious throne.
How anxious I am to see His throne!

Yesterday, no matter how alone, fearful, broken, burdensome, and physically defeated I may have felt...
I still knew He was with me.
I still knew that my Jesus loves me.
HE LOVES ME!
I believe this promise.
I trust His truth.
Thank you, Lord.
Thank you for helping me believe.

Yesterday, and now today... I continue to run this race.
I continued to look ahead to His peaceful presence that awaits.
I continue to bless His Name with each breath of air He bountifully supplies my lungs.
And I will continue to praise Him when I breath celestial-eternal.
Glory! I can't wait to be near Him.
I'm sooo stoked to see His beautiful face!

Now, yesterday has past.
And today, a NEW DAY has come!

As I write this little blog, the weather is changing and ominous thundershowers rumble above my home.
The wind is whistling through the window creases.
The enemy is prowling around my house like a roaring lion.
Yes, Satan is out there.
But I am alert and rejoicing that my Savior is in here... in ME!

Oh yes, JESUS LOVES ME!
This I do know!
For my Bible tells me so!
Remember little ones, to Him we belong...
For surely we are weak...
But praise God that He is strong!
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
So get behind me Satan, for Jesus loves me!
The Bible... His Word promises so!

What an honor to get to know this intimately close God today!
What a comfort to know that He will one day wash away every tear, every sorrow.
What a gift that He offers fulfillment, hope, and purpose to our lives.
What a God!
What a King!
What a Savior!
Really, what LOVE!!!

He is our Day Spring, our New Day, our Light!
His Name is worthy of our every breath... even if only a mere gasp in this moment!
Yes, everything belongs to Him.
So, be still and know, Believer.
Be still and breathe His promises.
Be still and bank on His love FOREVER.

He is reliable.
He is faithful.
He is trustworthy.
He is always with you.
He will never leave or forsake you.
Yes, a NEW DAY has come...
And the possibilities IN HIS NAME are endless!
Thank you, Lord!
Thank you with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength!

This is the day to rejoice and be glad because, "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)

Believe it and go run that race... live this NEW day in His great Name! WOO HOO!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Monday, January 9, 2017

moldable, flexible, pliable

Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. 
(Isaiah 64:8)

How tender are you?
How flexible is your heart when it comes to obeying and trusting the Creator?
Are you adaptable, adjustable, humble?
Or is your heart hard and crusty like a block of dried out clay?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never known a Potter to make anything useful from earth that has not been worked and softened first. No, when a Potter creates, He spends a great deal of time kneading His clay, submersing His clay in water, and continually pounding His clay into submission. This deliberate process is necessary for clay to become pliable and practical. In fact, this is the only way a Potter will take an old, dusty lump and sculpt it into a beautiful, functional vessel. Yes, once the clay has become supple in His hands, the possibilities to create a treasured, one-of-kind masterpiece becomes a reality to the Potter.

Perhaps from there, the Potter will form His clay into a useful pitcher so that He may pour out His refreshing wine to those who come to His house thirsty?  Or perhaps He will manipulate His clay into a special serving platter intended to distribute nourishing fruit to feed those He knows are hungry? Best of all, perhaps the Potter will form His clay into a beautiful, clean vase. A vase always open and ready to display His hand-picked bouquet of fragrant, fresh flowers taken directly from the best of His garden!  Oh how wonderful to be the blessed, cherished, and favored container of the Potter! (Hallelujah, Precious Father!  Please make me your chosen vessel!)

Indeed, the Potter is able to use supple clay for so many useful, needed purposes! For this very reason, it is so important for each of us to remain moldable, flexible, and pliable in order to allow our Potter’s guiding hands to influence and maneuver us successfully through every oppression and hardship. We must humble our wills in order to allow for every inner hardness to be softened by His firm but loving touch. Only then, will He transform us into meaningful vessels of purpose and usefulness.  Only then, will He guide us through His proven process of new life - turning us into solid, lasting figures that showcase His artistic resemblance and display His perfect design of holiness!

So, how tender are you?
How flexible is your heart when it comes to obeying and trusting your Creator?
Have you submitted your ways to the Lord?
Have you opened yourself to becoming supple?
Or are you still defiantly dusty, crusty, and cracking throughout with the dryness of sin and death?

Friends, it is time to be made into your Creator’s intended creation!  So, do not be hardened any longer!  Today is the day to become His clay... to become the blessing your Almighty Father always intended for you to be!

I encourage you to become pliable to God’s perfect Way.
Through His grace, your dirt can indeed be washed clean and made new in Jesus!
So, be moldable and useful.
Be flexible and cherished.
Become His most valued work today!!!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Sunday, January 8, 2017

and all things else recede

O Jesus Christ, grow Thou in me,
And all things else recede;
My heart be daily nearer Thee,
From sin be daily freed.
Make this poor self grow less and less
Be Thou my life and aim;
Oh, make me daily, through Thy grace,
More worthy of Thy name.
(By Rev. J.C. Lavater in the 1800's)

Something to consider: God wants to redeem every area and aspect of your life. Our Holy Father is preparing us for eternity, and in doing this, "He must increase, but I (we) must decrease" (John 3:30 HCSB) 

 Let's let God work in our lives and accept His leading with trust and open hearts.

XOXO!

Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Friday, January 6, 2017

a sheep's guide away from conformity

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (Matthew 7:15-20)

"Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them." This really gets to the point, doesn't it? According to God's word, Christians will be visible in how they live their lives and represent His kingdom. Scripture also tells us that false prophets (those who claim to be Christians who are really impostors working against God's plan) will also be recognizable by their own words and deeds.

Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?" Then I will tell them plainly, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" (Matthew 7:21-23)

Whenever I read these passages, I always ask myself these two very important questions: First, "Is the fruit of my life (my words, deeds, thoughts, actions, intentions)... is the fruit of my life good?" Good as God defines "good"? And secondly, "What truly is the will of my Father in heaven?" For I know that God's way is the only way for me to be healthy, happy and at peace forever. Yet I also know how easy it can be for my own sinful plans to selfishly take over and blindly overshadow my eyes from focusing on God's perfect will. I am fully aware of the many spiritual leaders, teachers and followers out there that proclaim Jesus as their own, but who will one day be denied and called evildoers by the Almighty Father and Judge of mankind. That is not my desire. These are not the people with whom I wish to emulate or follow... Jesus is.

So, I am wise to review these passages and assess my heart. I must consider... Am I an evildoer? To answer this question honestly, I can safely confess to my King - of course I am an evildoer, Lord! I am the worst there is. I am selfish and stubborn. I have sinned and have desired to sin. My thoughts are impure. My lips are lying. My motives are selfish. My heart is corrupt. So, how can I (or anyone else for that matter) measure up to God's commands and be certain that my fruit is recognized as "good"... that my life is in keeping with the will of the Almighty Father?

By merely looking at the depths of my own character, I already know that to live a holy life is clearly something I am incapable of accomplishing on my own. I NEED a Savior. Graciously, God has given every person the opportunity to choose His Son. To eternally follow after the One Good Shepherd who can safely lead us as His own, all be it selfish, stubborn sheep. But in His uncompromising love, God has also granted every person a choice to follow after their own way and this world's unhealthy reasoning and definition of comfort. The first choice (to choose Christ) will grant me freedom from all sin while showering me in perfect love and forgiveness forever. The second choice (to choose my own path) has promised false comfort and pleasure, and is coated with everlasting death and separation from my Maker. Hmmm. Seems like an easy choice - but our sinful nature makes it sooooo complicated.

Is the fruit of my life good? Am I following the will of the Father in heaven? The answer is not found in how one views or believes in the Good Shepherd. For even Satan and his demons believe in God.

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder. (James 2:19)

The answer is found in our decision to receive, repent, and follow the teaching and instruction of our Savior. Teachings that we will naturally be prone to work against in order to feed our own human nature and earthly desires... Teachings that we will try to barter against God to find an acceptable work-around. We will attempt to stretch and alter His commands to somehow work in tandem with the sin of mankind so everyone can come out of this "life on earth" thing happy. But is God happy with those who barter around the truth of His absolute, unchanging word? I think not. I think conformity to the sinful ways of this world is in direct violation of God's will and reveals the ways of those led astray by wolves disguised in sheep's clothing. Conformity is not a path that leads to righteousness or truth. We are warned against conformity in scripture.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. (1 Peter 1:14)

This "wolf" belief system of conformity will sooner or later cause us to question God. To go against His word in some subtle way. As a result, this "wolf" belief system can lead us astray from the will of our Father in heaven. By conforming, we begin to accept sin as normal and debate against what is holy. We reason: Even though God hates divorce, it must be acceptable in certain situations, right? Even though God speaks many times against homosexual relationships, surely it must be different in this day and age, right? Sure, there are numerous verses against drunkenness, but I can't believe that God wouldn't OK "boozing it up" in times of celebration, right? What about living together before marriage to make sure my partner is the right one? What about lying to protect someones life? What about aborting a baby caused by rape? What about judging our enemies who have wronged or disagreed with us? What about swearing against His Name for the sake of dramatic art? What about this or that or the other, Lord? Sin is here, so we must conform and accept it, right? We must work around it and agree that You can make an exception against Your law, Your commands, Your ways. Right?

Wrong. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is perfect and does not change. Also, God hates sin... all sin. If one person sins, it does not excuse us to alter God's plan and act out another sin. Two wrongs will never, ever make a right. If men defy God's way, it does not excuse us to nod it by because it is politically correct. And just because we may want something, does not mean that we are excused to necessarily receive it. These choices are our own path... not God's. For God hates ALL SIN. Period. He died to ultimately rid us of sin. So, we would be wise to altogether avoid it (any form or question of it) and only seek after what God loves instead.

What does God love? God loves Jesus. In fact, Jesus said, "The Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God." (John 16:27)

As a people, we look for loop holes. Yes, we spiritually long for the benefits of spending eternity within God's richness, but our sinful natures never tire of hungering after "self" and our own "sound reasoning"... the reasoning and sense of mankind rather than the absolute word of God Almighty.

To really follow the will of the Father... to be the good and recognizable fruit that He speaks of, we must be willing to die to ourselves, our reasoning... our work-arounds and loop holes. We must be willing to lay down our comforts and feelings and identify ALL SIN as unacceptable and unholy while trusting and following the teachings of our Redeemer. Our eternal life was bought by Christ's blood. So, if we truly accept Jesus as Lord, what He says goes. Living and loving as He sacrificially has demonstrated, we must follow Him with the willingness and submission to accept the hard absolute truths of our Almighty Father, the unpopular way... the small gate, the narrow road leading to His kingdom. I say this not in judgement against any sins from our past, but in encouragement in how to live as followers of Jesus both today and forever. I too have my own laundry list of sinful regrets. But thankfully, He has Redeemed me and is teaching me to live anew... holy in His name and mirroring His image!

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

God's ways are indeed difficult in contrast to the conforming ways of this sinful world. But we must always remember that this world is lost and dying. It is temporary and corrupt. It would be wise to spiritually invest in His eternal grace - to accept His will fully and without apology. Willfully giving over the well being of "who we are" and the meaning and bounty of our lives to the one, true Savior to prune us into His holy image. We must accept His word completely and allow Jesus to take over - no matter what man may say... no matter how we may feel or think. Christ's way is absolute. He is eternal and unchanging. He is life and health and wealth and goodness. Jesus is love alive!!! To be His sheep... to bear His perfect fruit... we must harvest His holiness in our daily lives and accept His ways over our own.

In ever decision, in every circumstance, I encourage each DW to frequently assess whose kingdom you are truly promoting when you speak on behalf of God's will. Whose way are you revealing in how you live your life? Assess if you are representing real truth or attempting to work-around and compromise His perfect word. Furthermore, I encourage each DW to take time to know the eternal words of the Creator. To hide them in your hearts. To follow the plan He has laid out for His children... honestly, openly, and sacrificially.

Sure, Jesus' way is narrow and challenging to follow on this earth. But with Him, you are able. He promises to be enough. His grace is complete and sufficient. His way is the only WAY, TRUTH, LIFE. Our lives are intended to glorify His grace. Let's strive to really KNOW HIM by remaining spiritually strong in His word - secure as a flock destined to enjoy His eternal kingdom. Let us LIVE TODAY in Christ and claim Him as our only focus... our only God. His way, His yoke, promises us freedom - eternal peace from the annoying burden of sin.

Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:25-30)

Today and everyday, I challenge you to humbly and obediently die to your "self"... to lay on God's altar all loop holes and the work-arounds that serve Satan and the ways of this sinful, desolate planet... and to make Christ your new love life - the precious Prince of Peace who is more worthy than any other person, concept, idea, thing or lifestyle! Let us not be led astray by our desires, comforts or public acceptance. Let us follow the Good, Loving Shepherd. He is everything we selfish and stubborn sheep will ever need to find our way safely home to the arms of our Almighty LOVING Father.

But he brought his people out like a flock; he led them like sheep through the desert. (Psalm 78:52)

Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you. Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land the LORD gave to you and your fathers for ever and ever. (Jeremiah 7:23; 25:5)

When Jesus saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. (Mark 6:34)

Yes Lord. Teach us. Bless us. We wish to receive and illuminate YOU ALONE. Guide us down the narrow road and lead us to everlasting LIFE IN YOUR PRESENCE! Let our short time on this earth visibly point others to know YOU! Reveal Yourself through our lives. We live to serve only You, dear Jesus! Amen!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

whose glory is our true motivation?

Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. (Psalm 115:1)

What a commitment is found in Psalm 115:1!!!  Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory!  It really hits home regarding our heart attitude and spiritual focus, doesn't it?  For this is the time of year when we each are prone to make resolutions to improve ourselves.  However, before proceeding, it is monumentally important to consider whose glory is our true motivation?  Are our resolutions more about our own personal betterment, or are they about living a healthy life which glorifies the Name of Jesus Christ?

So many women I know make New Years resolutions to lose weight, or fix their broken marriage, or finish their degree, or organize their household, or whatever. But do our reasons to accomplish these goals first honor God and second follow God's law?  Do our hearts choose to glorify His heavenly name in every earthly pursuit and obey His Way?  If not, then our motivation is misguided and we are selfishly sinning against the Savior.

The truth is that in order to know lasting success, we must adhere to God’s Word in 1 Corinthians 10:31 and commit ourselves first to His glory...

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31)

I am convinced that Jesus referred to Himself as the Light of the World so that we would always know where to focus our eyes currently surrounded by darkness.  As such, He alone is who we should look to as we step closer and closer to His throne.  He alone is who we should glorify and devote all our endeavors.  Why?  Because of His endless love and faithfulness!  Because of His sacrifice.  Because He alone is the only One, the only Way, able to offer us a new life... a new beginning... a new future... a New Year!

Our betterment is only possible through the glory of His perfect presence.  So, let’s never forget whose glory is our true motivation.  Let’s give God all our glory and honor and praise and worship.  Let’s give Him all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strength!  For TODAY is the day to rejoice and succeed in Jesus Christ!

Ladies, I pray that God richly blesses and teaches you as you commit to seek His better Way and obediently choose to give Him all glory and honor!

Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory!!!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Monday, January 2, 2017

once upon a BRAND NEW DAY!

Once upon a time, there was a girl.  A girl, who at a young age, lost her beloved father to poor health - enduring years of sickness, blindness, pain.

Later, the same girl (along with her mother and older brother) became a verbal punching bag to a new, harsher, head-of-household.  Afterwhich, horrible behavior escalated.  Hearts were held hostage.  Dreams were trampled upon and almost completely snuffed out.

Once upon a time, a broken-hearted girl ran away from a worn-out household, started over, and trusted her Savior to get by.  She worked hard and prayed harder.  She made good choices and foolish mistakes.  Broke.  Hungry.  Emotionally introverted.  She was comforted by beloved pets and betrayed by false friends.  Ultimately, she fell in love, married a kind-hearted man, and faithfully licked her wounds - seeking after all things calm, quiet, good.  Seeking Jesus.  Seeking His peace.  Seeking His love!!!  Then one day, this same girl (alongside her new husband) rescued her weary mother from harms way.  Together, they collectively decided to trust in the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, strength.

Time passed.  Events passed.  Loved one's passed.  Daily mending became regime.  But sadly, the girl found herself still beaten down again and again by new, unforeseen hardships and circumstances.  Every limb in her body was damaged and/or broken.  Every muscle bruised.  Every nerve struck.  Every feeling tarnished.

Yes, once upon a time, there was a broken-down girl who recently found herself sharing much of her life's story with another.  She wept.  She shook nervously as she outlined her history in greater depth.  She swallowed back the hollow clump of gasped-in air... pushing it to the back of her throat... feeling it lodge deep within the pit of her stomach while also tasting the salty tears newly laid atop her tongue.  It was then that the girl took further note.  She realized the majority of her personal story was shadowed with the horrors of sickness, sadness, sorrow, disappointment.  She was quite aware of the abuse.  (Sometimes blatant.  Sometimes subtle.)  She is still quite aware of the abuse.  (Sometimes blatant.  Sometimes subtle.)  And she knows that she is no exception or exclusion of persons.  For like so many others, the true enemy continues to slither outside her door, waiting to strike with his venomous bite... waiting to sink his razor-sharp teeth in deep.  Like a lion on the prowl, his roar intimidates and attempts to persuade her to believe that she is nothing except his pathetic prey.  He is a spiritual bully leading his gang of demonic thugs. All who linger nearby.  All who are ready to gang rape and maul.  All who wish to chain down this girl and hold her hostage forever.  Indeed, they want her to give up.  They want her to fall hard into their pit so that she is too hurt... so that she won't ever try to get up again.  Yes, everyday they scheme to kill and destroy her.  Every moment they seek to devour her life...  Slowly. Painfully. Monstrously.

Once upon a time, there was a girl typing out today's DW Blog... reminiscing over many hard moments in her past as she planned for a new year... understanding that so many others have also faced similar (if not worse) dismay, rejection, violence, persecution within their own days.  Yes, today this girl is fully aware of the spiritual war lines that have been drawn into every personal experience.  She can attest to the struggles, the sadness, the stress, the terrorism, the hopelessness that tries to invade every breath gasped down her throat.

But strangely, this girl... this woman... has hope as she looks ahead.
Miraculously, even as the storm clouds swirl above her head, she stands confident, secure.
For this lowly girl has learned (and continues to learn) how to live, to survive, to endure, to conquer!  Yes, conquer... in Jesus' Name!  (Who's intimidated now, Satan?)

Once upon a BRAND NEW DAY (on January 2, 2017 to be exact), there was a girl... a WOMAN... who decided to live DEVOTED.  You see, she chooses THIS DAY to rejoice and be glad.  She chooses NOW to LOVE!  For no matter her past circumstances... no matter her current hardships... THIS DAY she believes the freedom found in GOD'S LOVE!!!  Today, she knows she can win the battle because her Savior has already won the war!  WOO HOO!

Yes, on this new day, there is a devoted woman bowing her head in reverence while quietly reciting several truthful decrees promised from the Mightiest of Kings  - the ONE whom she has sworn her full allegiance!!!

Perhaps you would like to know what this woman whispers?
Well... allow me to share her hope (MY future) with you this "once upon a BRAND NEW DAY!"

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35 & 37-39)

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16)

So... Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:6-11)

Why?

Because... Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child (a girl, once upon a time), I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a (wo)man (devoted... once upon a BRAND NEW DAY!), I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:4-13)

Hallelujah!  This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

Once upon a BRAND NEW DAY, the Savior has been sought to overcome Satan's abuse, and a choice has been made to LOVE LOVE LOVE like the King of kings... DEVOTED! Always trusting, always hoping, always persevering, always conquering in Jesus' Holy Holy Holy Name! In God's Victorious, Everlasting Name!

Blessings to all who believe in the secure and unchanging Name of Jesus!
Let us step forward in His confidence this brand new day!!!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Sunday, January 1, 2017

new beginnings

Once upon a time... (always a classic introduction)

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
(definitely sets the stage)

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times...
(an iconic journey, for sure)

It was a dark and stormy night... (an ominous but compelling start)

In the beginning...
(ahhhhhh, my favorite!!!)

Don't you love the beginning of a story?
The possibilities that await?
The start of something about to unfold and be revealed?
I sure do.

And I love the concept of someone or something starting fresh and new!

Well, here it is, ladies. We are in the new... the now... the beginning! A New Year has officially begun. And whether you are snoozing or smooching right now at 12:00 a.m. this January 1st, all of us can definitely say that the Lord has blessed us once again with a new year of life. We have lived to see another day, and the opportunities that await us are endless. Yippee!

So, now what?

Healthy resolutions?... Perhaps.
Taking a spiritual inventory?... Always a good idea.
Setting goals for success?... Sure.
But with so much to consider, where should we begin? How to get started? How to stay committed? How to insure that this year will be the NEW year, the NEW day, the NEW beginning that counts?

Take a look at what the scriptures say about beginnings...

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. (Psalm 102:25)

Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD - with the first of them and with the last - I am He. (Isaiah 41:4)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. (John 1:1-2)


In every beginning, there is always Jesus - the Word.
In the beginning, God is always seen first and foremost.
In the beginning, everything (including you and me) was created because of God. All foundations were made to work for His purpose. So, it would be wise to assume that a new beginning on this January 1st is no exception. So, let's begin with our focus on HIM... HIS WAYS... HIS COMMANDS... HIS PURPOSE.

"OK Victoria... don't start getting all religious on me this New Years. Come on already. I hear you talk about God every day, but I really need to set some resolutions that will help me accomplish, achieve, excel, advance this year. Yea, I know God is God... but I can't continue like I have been living... I have to focus on de-stressing and de-cluttering. I need to save money, lose weight, stop hurrying... I need to work on my marriage, spend more time with friends, take care of my family. Sure, I need to fit God in my life more, but that's why I read your daily posts and perhaps go to church from time-to-time. But come on... in reality, God is quietly way, way up there overseeing all life, and I'm down here dealing with my noisy, messy life first hand. Yea yea yea about Him being there in the beginning, but I need to see some tangible results THIS year so my life will be better... so I can find happiness and finally live comfortably."

To this I say... Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? (Isaiah 40:21)

If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. (2 Peter 2:20)

Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? (Galatians 3:3)

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)


Ladies, seeking Jesus first and living His way is not a novelty. It is not a religious denominational prerequisite. It is not something to do when there is nothing else to do. Seeking Jesus first should be a part of every beginning. Seeking Jesus first will expose Satan and the sin in your life so that you can address it and live in Christ's promised peace. Do you believe this truth?  Do you claim it as your own? Are you deliberate and willing to take daily action to seek first God's eternal plan? Can you fathom His headship over your life, or are you instead following your own "common sense" to direct your paths?

Yet there are some of you who do not believe. For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. (John 6:64)

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)

Scripture is clear... if we do not act out and seek Jesus first in every beginning, every new year, every day, every decision, every goal, every resolution... we are following the enemy. We are lying to ourselves. We are murdering any hope of obtaining a healthy life. But God promises wisdom, understanding, and knowledge to those who patiently seek Him rather than first pridefully plan for themselves.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. (Psalm 111:10)

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

So, where do we begin our New Year? Let's start today (and every day) as we were originally created to function... with Jesus first. Let's stop planning everything around how we can live comfortably, achieving self-promoting resolutions and goals. Instead let's lay down our lives first at His feet to do with as He pleases. Let us willingly give ourselves over to our Creator each and every day with our only focus on being near to His sanctuary, seeking His purpose, worshiping His glorious kingdom... then all those other things will be "added unto us". They will be the gravy... added blessings that come as we seek our Savior and the new life He has graciously given us.

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. (Isaiah 46:10)

A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary. (Jeremiah 17:2)

But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time. (2 Timothy 1:8-9)

I love the beginning of a story. I love trusting my Savior and focusing on what God is capable of doing with my life... knowing that He has great things planned for me to prosper in His name. There is no resolution that can beat that kind of Agape love and eternal security. All I must do is accept Him, seek Him, trust Him, be with Him and live as He has instructed me to live... HOLY IN JESUS NAME! With Jesus, my future is surely bright. My hope is in the Lord today and forever! I am excited for Him to use me and dazzle me with His magnificence! Praise be the glorious Name of Jesus! He is King and Ruler of my life.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Ladies, TODAY is indeed a new beginning.  So, as we start this New Year, what will you choose to do first? Who's kingdom will you seek as you assess how you are living? I encourage each of you to remember WHO gave you this NEW DAY... this NEW YEAR... this NEW LIFE IN CHRIST! Remember WHO calls you to live rejoicing because He is God. Remember WHO created all beginnings and all endings and WHO knows the details and complete story of your life down to the very hairs on your head! Remember your Creator, The Lord God Almighty. In the beginning... in every beginning is our good God!

May you have a Happy New Year in Jesus' Holy Name!

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! (Psalm 118:24)

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." (Revelation 1:8)

Blessings and Happy 2017!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson


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