With God All Things are Possible!

Matthew 19:16-30

And behold a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. Honor your father and mother. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me. When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great treasure.

And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

verseMatthew 19:26 says, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Now, I want you to close your eyes and say it with all your heart. Ready? Go for it.

Okay, now let us look at the context surrounding this verse. Matthew is sharing about a young rich man who approached Jesus and asked what good deed he needed to do to have eternal life. Now we all know that it is not our deeds that save us but our whole-hearted belief and faith in who Jesus is and what he accomplished for us. But let’s look a little further here. Jesus proceeds to cover several of the commandments; you shall not murder, steal, lie, cheat, disrespect your father or mother, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. The young man replied that those were of no problem for him (most are probably not an issue for us as well) so what is he still lacking. And then Jesus replies with the biggest challenge for him…

“Go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; come and follow me.”

Yikes!

Jesus just told this man to go home and sell everything he has worked so hard for and holds so dear. Sadly, the man turns away because he really loves all of his great possessions.

But I want to draw your eye to something. Did you see how at the end of that command, Jesus gives him an invitation. He says, “Come and follow me.” He is inviting this young man to come and share in the glorious blessings that he soon explains to Peter and the disciples, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life.”

So, now I want to ask you, what are you holding on to so dearly and so tightly that may be keeping you from the closeness you can have with Jesus.

Are you clinging to possessions and pursuing stuff?

Are you holding tightly to a lifestyle that pulls you away from your Savior?

Are you struggling with surrendering an addiction?

Are you pursuing the affections of someone else, either outside of a marriage or someone who may not be the best choice for you?

Are you always searching for the next best thing; best house, best job, best clothes, best technology, best gadgets, etc.?

Let me invite you to pause here, to close your eyes and ask Jesus to search your heart and reveal what is distracting you from him.

Now, let’s look through the rest of the passage.

And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Jesus explains to his disciples that he knows how hard it is for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. It would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle! And you may be thinking, “I am not a rich person, I can barely cover all my expenses each month!” But, let me tell you, you are rich. You have wealth that others all over the globe could only dream about. And if you have Jesus, you have all the wealth you could ever need.

Now, I would like to challenge you to insert yourself into the conversation between Jesus and the young rich man. Where Jesus asks him to go and sell all of his possessions, I want you to insert whatever God pressed on your heart a few minutes ago.

Are you reading, “________________, go and throw out those cigarettes/liquor bottles and divide that money between savings and tithes; and come, follow me.”

Or maybe, “_________________, turn your lustful thoughts over to me, pursue me and I will give you the desires of your heart; and come, follow me.”

Or you hear, “_____________, there is always going to be something shiny and new to distract you from my teachings, my kingdom, but none of it will ever compare to the riches I have in store for you; and come, follow me.”

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It is hard, I know. But do you see what Jesus says after he acknowledges how hard it is?! He says, “With man THIS is impossible, but with God ALL things are possible.”

Friend, did you hear that?! With God ALL things are possible!!

Allow me to encourage you to pray and seek his face. Go boldly before the throne of grace and ask God to empower you with his might so that you may be free from any strongholds that are keeping you from the closeness with Jesus. And I am praying with you!

Your faith has saved your, now let the Holy Spirit change you! Trust in God’s plan for you because I promise it will be far better than anything you can imagine. I am not saying it will be easy, Jesus tells us there will be difficulty. But, commit your ways to the Lord and let him bless you with the desires of you heart.

May the LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

Bible Journaling for Boys Series: Post 1

Hi there! Glad to see you again! I am back with bible journaling today except this time I am going to feature my son in action with his new bible journaling printables from my earlier post.

L was so excited to get to use these, he chose the viking helmet to prompt his entry. Once he selected the viking helmet we talked about how vikings are strong. This prompt led us to Psalms 31:24. We read the passage and talked about how God gives us strength through Christ when we need it. That we have hope because of Christ and He makes us brave.

From here, L instructed me on how he wanted his page to go. He picked out die cut letters…

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Then placed and glued the word STRONG to his pages. He colored and cut out the viking helmet to use as his page tab. And then added word stickers and a stamped heart to write out the verse on his pages.

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After everything was adhered he decided to embellish around the stickers like he had seen me do. (They really are always watching us)

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Once finished, we read the verse several more times. I will be honest and say that this particular journaling session was impromptu and not as spiritual, and that is okay. Sometimes it will be more about the art. But, I will tell you this; God will use this. I see a desire growing in him and a joy. We had been experiencing some complaining and negativity from him about going to church where before he was always excited to go. Now, he is wanting to be in his bible so frequently. He is even wanting to share bible journaling with his best buddy next door. (We will have to pray about a friendship entry for them to do together!)

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Our journaling inspiration comes from image prompts like shown in this post; they are also inspired by teachable moments we encounter everyday, scripture reading, song, and any other way that would initiate pointing conversation to the gospel and learning through God’s word.

My heart is so happy about this journey with him. He is a creative person like his momma so being able to get in our bibles together, pray, read, worship, and make art will create lasting experiences and help him to recall lessons.

I am gearing up to do a workshop at our church to share this with others and believe that by sharing this with L and showing others this engaging way to study God’s word at home with your children, they to might experience the same kind of excitement and joy.

Blessings to you my friend!

Do you and your children journal together? Did you notice a difference in their attitude toward church or bible study when you introduced bible journaling to them? Please share!

Bible Journaling for Boys

For months our oldest son has witnessed me painting, drawing, coloring, sticker-ing (is that a word?), and taping in my  bible. And now here recently he has been wanting to journal alongside me in his own bible.

We started with a DIY art journal to do mixed media pieces in, but he was too tempted to do everything but scripture related art in it. I did some digging, and some recollecting of where another bible might be in our garage since I did not want him journaling in his everyday Adventure Bible and remembered I had one still in a moving box in the garage.

I grabbed the bible, some supplies, and my own bible and we sat down together to journal. I honestly didn’t know how it would go. Would he get bored? Would he change his mind? Would he eat it up, just like his momma?

He loved it!
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We had sat down last week and I showed him Illustrated Faith’s new Print & Pray Kid’s Devotional, which I thought was so cute. But, that was the problem. It was too cute for my boy. He wanted BOY stuff to use in his journaling entries.

I got on good ol’ Pinterest to find something and there just isn’t any. So I made some and they are big-boy approved!

Go..

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warrior

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JesusIsMySuperhero

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lists.pdf

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If you are a mom parent of boys that are interested in the mixed media approach or the print, color, paste approach then I hope you and your kids enjoy using these as well. They were fun to doodle and I can’t wait to see what my kiddo does with them in his bible. Look out for photos on my Instagram @caseyreneeblog.

Do you bible journal with your children? What are their favorite ways to illustrate the things they are learning?

Grace, peace, and hugs!

Casey

 

Illustrating my heart…

There is a craze among the creative hearts in today’s society of believers. Bible journaling is sweeping social media as Christ followers blend their creative talents with what lessons they are learning in their personal walks of faith. I, too, have taken part.

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The beautiful thing about this bible journaling us that there are no rules, no formats to follow, just experimenting and exploring the Word and turning your art into worship.

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You can use a journaling bible with margins there for you to create in, you can even leave those margins as your art works its way across tge whole page! I personally aim to keep all the text visible so I can still read everything. But, when you have a prayer, song lyrics, photos, or anything else that you want to include near that passage you can attach what is called a tip-in.

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Using washi tape, you can adhere a card or whatever you want to the edges of your bible page so it will open back and not cover the scriptures on the page. It is also great for concealing personal prayers or thoughts. That is what I did with the page above; I wrote out a prayer that inspired this page.

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Your bible art can be insired by many things. It may begin with a song, poem, or inspiration quote that leads you to a passage of scripture. Sometimes it will be sermon notes that need remembered in an expressive way. Maybe there is a scripture prayer that begs to be journaled with a handprint or photo of a loved one. I have even journaled around a photo of our house when we were going through the buying process. Inspiration can even come from a devotional or bible study you are working through.

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Bible art journaling is a beautiful way to explore scripture and document your journey. But if you are not quite comfortable with drawing in a bible, even one produced specifically for this purpose, you can use a notebook or sketchbook.

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However you approach it, the most important part is keeping it centered on God, not art. Don’t feel obligated to go out and buy all the art supplies and special bibles and journals. For me, this all began with a $7 used journaling bible on amazon, a small set of Micron pens and some crayola colored pencils. I am a crafter so I have other supplies on hand like watercolor and acrylic paints. But stickers and die cuts and stamps can be added slowly if you would like. If you aren’t artistic or you don’t like your writing, maybe add an alphabet stamp set and ink pad for a few dollars and then grow your supplies slowly. You may even have a friend that enjoys bible journaling so you can get together with them and share supplies and techniques.

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I love spending time in God’s word and journaling the lessons He impresses upon my heart as well as documenting big prayers and seeing how God is working in my life.

Are you a bible journaler? Is this something you are curious about? Share some of your art in the comments! Or link me up to your creations!

Love and peace my friends!