Kelly Elders

Don’t Cry!

Not long after that, Jesus went to the village Nain. His disciples were with him, along with quite a large crowd. As they approached the village gate, they met a funeral procession—a woman’s only son was being carried out for burial. And the mother was a widow. When Jesus saw her, his heart broke. He said to her, “Don’t cry.” Then he went over and touched the coffin. The pallbearers stopped. He said, “Young man, I tell you: Get up.” The dead son sat up and began talking. Jesus presented him to his mother. Luke 7:11-15 Message Bible

This woman was a widow and now she was burying her only son. I can’t imagine the walk of pain she was enduring that day. All of her hopes, dreams and future were now being carried away in a coffin. Have you ever been on a walk when you feel as if the most treasured thing in your life or dream feels dead?

Have you ever had something in your life look dead? Maybe your relationship with God or your  marriage, your dream, your job or your finances? Well, Jesus says “Don’t cry.” He is the only one who can breathe life back into what is dead. Sometimes what you are willing to let die in your life can He step in and now revive.

HE NOTICES OUR PAIN

Even though we feel no one can understand the weight of what we carry or how overwhelming it can be there is always one who can, Jesus. When Jesus saw her, his heart broke and in other translations it says “he was moved with compassion”. Compassion means more than to pity or feel empathy for someone but this word “compassion” means to “suffer with”. Come along side of someone and take action. It’s one thing to see someone and feel bad for them and another thing to notice and do something about it. Jesus wasn’t feeling sorry for her but took action to change her situation. You are not alone. He notices your pain and wants to touch what is dead and bring life back to you.

HE SAYS “DON’T CRY”

Jesus tells the widow not to cry. He wasn’t saying she couldn’t show emotion but that the story wasn’t over yet. She is in the moment while Jesus knows the outcome. He wants us to surrender it to Him and believe He can resurrect anything He wants to live again. We must know that if God gave it to you then no one can take it from you.

Jeremiah 29:11 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.

HE TOUCHES THE DEAD THING

Until you are willing to surrender everything it will be your responsibility to keep it alive. Once you are willing to let it die can God can step in and revive. I am sure this mother wasn’t a terrible mom who caused the death of her son but yet he is dead. Sometimes things in our life come to a horrible end and not because we did anything wrong but He wants to be the one responsible for making it happen. Everything we have belongs to Him and He allows us to manage and enjoy those things in this life. Our children belong to God first and He has only entrusted them to us to train and enjoy. Our marriages are for our enjoyment and teach us relationship, perseverance and experience the joy of loving one another yet both individuals belong to Him first. Your promise is for your good yet to accomplish His purpose in our lives and in this earth. Your job is your livelihood but also to help further the kingdom of God. If you are struggling then you cannot add to His purpose the way He desires. He wants you to succeed more than you want to succeed. Determine to surrender today everything which looks dead and allow Him to speak life to it.

HE COMMANDS PALLBEARERS TO STOP

We must allow God to call some things in our life to stop. The attitudes, perceptions or ways of doing things that are causing us to bury our hope and our dream. We need to stop and assess the situation especially in the darkest moments and look at it as an opportunity to trust God, stand strong and look to Him. For some, this is the only time we reach out to Him when we are in desperate need of Him. Allow God to speak to the things that are causing areas in our life to die and let him do the rest. Are there things in our life carrying away the dead thing that God wants to stop the precession?

HE RAISES THE DEAD

Think about the thing in your life that looks dead or is barely breathing. Is it a ministry, a relationship or something you had wrapped in possibility and now it’s laying there as nothing. It’s in that moment when we have done everything we know to do and yet we see no growth, no acceleration or potential. You start to question everything, was it God? Did I miss it? What was I thinking? Nothing ever works out! We have to resolve that if God wants it to live, it will. Let Him touch the dead thing and decide whether it lives. It’s not a give-up attitude but a surrender attitude. Acknowledging Him to be the life giver and the only way it will happen is because of God!

THE DEAD SPEAKS

When Jesus touched the young man he sat up and spoke. What happens when the dead thing begins to speak? What will it say? When God does awake that which was dead be sure it speaks of God’s power, grace and truth. It is a testament to the God we serve and it displays His everlasting love towards us. People don’t need to see perfection in our lives. Not everyone can identify with a Christian who hides trouble or failure but someone who can go through and yet come out better can definitely give hope to the person struggling. Let your life speak to someone who feels dead and is in search for someone who can bring life.

JESUS GIVES IT BACK

We must be confident of God that He is not trying to rob us of a good life. He isn’t trying to take our joy. It is the enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy. Once He breathes back into what is dead He presents it back to us to maintain and do again. That is what is so beautiful about God is that He wants us to have life and have it more abundantly. Stay surrendered, put all of your dependency on Him and He will always guide and navigate you through in victory! Surrender the dead thing and watch God breathe life into the dead marriage, the dead finances, the dead relationship, the dead heart and whatever else seems over in your life and watch Him resurrect!

Crippled At The Table

 

Have you ever felt so inadequate? You have all these dreams and goals yet there is this inadequacy that you struggle to develop? You’ve read, listened and tried your best to develop this area yet it’s still a struggle. What if you weren’t meant to be great at everything but at one thing? Would you need God if you were great in everything? Would you need others if you could do it all?

Maybe it’s your heart that seems so crippled with fear, worry, stress or depression? Does your heart struggle to forgive, move forward or love those who wrong you? You find yourself trying yet struggling with insecurities and every time you are inspired you can only see all of your flaws.

God invites all of us to the table, the weary, the hurting, the gifted, the inadequate, the fearful, the depressed, wherever you find yourself today. He invites us to sit and to be covered at his table. When we sit at His table He covers all of our faults, fears and yes even sin. We come imperfect before a perfect God because Jesus is our covering.

2 Samuel 9:7-10

“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”

Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”

Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family.10 You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.”

HE WAS INVITED WITH NO COVER CHARGE

Just as Mephibosheth never earned his place at the table. He only humbly bowed before David. He shouldn’t even have been left alive according to tradition but he remained. Most wouldn’t have considered him a threat, courageous or even worthy yet David the king invited him to eat with him every day. No matter your area of struggle you are invited by the King to take part in all He has to offer. It’s not a matter of accepting sin or weaknesses but to know that we are no longer defined by them. Where we are weak He is strong.

The table is a place of freedom, provision and acceptance. We need to make time to sit with Him and there He will give us all we need. He has prepared a place for each of us to sit but it is our responsibility to come to His table.

The Parable of the Banquet Luke 14:21

21The servant returned and reported all this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’

WHERE YOU LACK GOD LINKS

Where do you feel crippled? What area in your life makes you feel inadequate? Maybe you are really creative and have an idea to sell your items but have no business skills and you never move forward with the possibilities. Ask God to link you to the right people. We are connected for a reason and purpose. Some of the best pastors and leaders lead well not because they can do everything but are connected with people who can. The leader doesn’t have to be the most gifted or even the most talented as long as they connect themselves with those who are gifted in the areas they lack. It was God himself that said it was not good for man to be alone. We are better together than any one of us alone.

Mephibosheth didn’t have the ability to work the field or even the capacity but David connected him to those who did. He enjoyed the benefits while someone else had the ability. I believe we are being connected to the right people which will bring us into our purpose and rightful position.

Your name is on the invite but will you take time to sit with Him today? Ask God to link you to those you need and those who need you!

 

I’m Included!

GOD IS INCLUSIVE!

 

photo-1455215540020-876b3233799f One of the many reasons I love God is that He is inclusive. He is always including us into His story. We sometimes believe that God needs us to carry out His plan and purpose. The truth is God is God all by Himself. If He wanted, He could call forth an army of angels and clothe them with skin and they could save, deliver and heal as they spread the Word of God all over earth, yet He included us. He doesn’t even have to subject Himself to our economy, He is a creative God and could just make things appear, but He included us.

God is not limited to us but His desire is to move through us!

He includes us in His vision and invites us to take part. His hope is we will grab ahold of every opportunity set before us and run.

It’s time to partner with Him and carry out His purpose. We need to Change our way of giving to get and instead start giving to further His vision. He wants to share heaven, power, provision, favor and so much with us and all we need to do is link up with His plan. We bring our obedience and God brings everything else! For our own lives, we need to link up with Him and step out into whatever He has for us. I no longer have to be focused on the outcome just focused on my obedience. The outcome is up to God. He says one plants, one waters but He brings the increase or growth (1 Corinthians 3:7). We just obey by being available, willing and doing all that He says. Sometimes God isn’t so concerned with the outcome as much as He wants to see if you will do what He asks, when He asks. Don’t get me wrong God is all about increase but wants us to obey and trust in Him no matter the outcome.

I have decided to change my focus from the outcome to obedience. I don’t need to look at the outcome to decide if I have succeeded. I succeed when I am obedient to Him. How freeing is that? Don’t measure your success by your outcome but by your obedience. We tend to measure victory by how many people showed up, by how many people responded, by how much money did it produce but what if it was just about you being obedient?

photo-1450297085576-21d98821f1fb

In Ezekiel 3:11 God instructed Ezekiel to go and say no matter the outcome.

“And go to the exiles, to the sons of your people, and speak to them and tell them, whether they listen or not, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.”

Ezekiel’s obedience wasn’t based on the outcome but on his obedience to God. God wants us to be included through our obedience. He wants to fulfill His purpose on this earth and He has invited us to take part!

Choose today, to be determined to just obey and let God be responsible for the outcome!

3 Things About Marriage

Recently, we celebrated 29 years of marriage and it’s been eventful! We have had the opportunity to grow through some hard times whether it was financial hardship or staying committed we came through stronger and much wiser. I thought I would share some things I tell my daughter about marriage and things I wish someoe would have told me when I got married.

wedding-322034_1280

Never Marry Someone’s Potential

So many times I may hear a person talk about how much potential someone has and though I believe everyone has potential I wouldn’t recommend you marry their potential. The problem is that not everyone will fulfill their potential. When you choose to spend forever with someone you have to accept them for who they are in that moment. It’s funny how men will marry a woman and never want her to change and a woman will marry a man hoping they will change. Ask yourself, if they never changed for the better would that be okay? Do you love them without trying to fix or repair them? You cannot always be the hero of their story. I married at the young age of 18 (which I don’t recommend) and thank God we were able to grow up together and accept the changes and the unchanged. Neither of us had any idea what our changes would look like or what areas would stay unchanged but one thing both of us had was commitment even though it was shaky at times. Our commitment first to God helped us never give up and here we are  29 years later and I am grateful for the good and even the worst of times. It’s made us stronger and much more appreciative and it helped me to learn to be a protector of our marriage. You will protect what you value.

Love & Forgiveness

cake-1543831_1280

I had this understanding that marriage was all about staying in love and if you had love you would always be together. Every romance movie gave the impression it just works out in the end with no morning breath and a beautiful sunset into happy ever after. No one mentioned the many opportunities to forgive and the perseverance marriage takes. There is no greater relationship to learn to forgive than marriage. It’s not only because of the love you are able to forgive but the choice to forgive. If you can’t forgive the one you should trust the most in this world then you need more understanding of the fullness of God’s love. Things will be said that you can never take back, you will be disappointed at times and even wonder if it’s worth it but if both people can keep a servant’s heart, I guarantee it will be worth it. I wish I would have been free to love and be loved without holding back. Always testing the boundaries, not believing I could be loved forever and believing something bad was just around the corner seemed to hurt our relationship. It took many years to believe he would never leave or that he really could love me with all my flaws. So many of us go into relationship with abandonment and rejection issues that we begin to sabotage our relationships and then when they don’t work out we use it as proof that we are not worthy of love. You are worth being loved so much so that God even told husbands how they treat you is important.  

“In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7 NLT

God loves you so much that He cares how you are treated! Can you believe He says this? He won’t even answer some prayers if you are not treated well by your spouse. I believe this goes both ways. In this time and culture women were not revered by men so He highlights it for the men but I am sure God would also tell the women that our prayers can be hindered if we mistreat our husbands. So be vulnerable to love knowing God cares about how you are loved.

Same Love, Same Team

volleyball-1560578_1280

“Let love make you serve one another” Galatians 5:13 (TEV)

Sometimes we can forget that we are on the same team. There’s no winner unless both win. If you are so set on always winning then you truly love yourself more than anyone else in the relationship. Marriage is all about serving one another and meeting each other’s needs. You can be the best volunteer in church and serve every Sunday but if you don’t serve your spouse you might not understand servanthood. Serving starts in the home. If both husband and wife lived meeting the other’s needs you will have found the secret to a happy marriage. It has to start with someone so why not you? Remember, you are fighting for the same thing, a healthy marriage. Somehow we need to get rid of the feeling that we are going to get misused or it’s never going to work in our favor. That would be manipulation if you are only loving for something in return. The scripture says, “Perfect love casts out fear” 1 John 4:18. If you still carry some fear to freely love your spouse then you need to grow in God’s love. No one is keeping count on who loves who more and shows it more often. Sometimes we just need to realize we love each other differently and accept love differently. The best way we learned to understand our love languages was when we read the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. I was loving the way I wanted to be loved instead of loving the way my husband needed to be loved. He was showing me love the way he desired to be shown love. When we have a heart to serve we will go to great lengths to learn to love in their language.

Whether you are single, married or starting over it’s never too late to improve your relationships or future relationships. Be Loved & Love Freely!

Scroll To Top