For the eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
Years ago, I heard a pastor say, “You will know how important God is to you, by how important His Word is to you.” The Bible, God’s love letters to us, is one of the most important ways for us to get to know our Heavenly Father and how much He loves and values us. Recently, I memorized 2 Chronicles 16:9a “For the eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him,” (NIV). One author stated that “if your heart is loyal to God, you do not have to look for Him, He is already looking for you!”* Isn’t that exciting?
The desire of my heart is to have a fully-committed heart and experience the strength of the Lord! This past July, my husband and I attended a worship service that was held in a convention center. When we entered the auditorium, there was a posted sign, “NO OUTSIDE DRINKS ALLOWED.” Certainly, that didn’t apply to me! We had just come from dinner and I had a fresh water - it was in a cup, with a straw and a lid on it. I wasn’t going to spill it. And, besides, I didn't want to pay $3.25 for bottled water at the concession stand. So, after justifying why I could and should keep my water, I walked to my seat and carefully set my water down so I could sing and worship the Lord.
We began singing, “LORD, fill me....” I was thanking the Lord for His goodness… Praising Him for who He was and is….Asking Him to fill me, pour out His strength on me as my heart was fully committed to Him….. Really?…. A heart fully committed to Him?…. Did willfully sneaking in a cup of water against the request of the host organization reflect a heart fully committed? Did that honor the LORD?….. Finally, after an internal struggle, I realized that a heart fully committed to the LORD does not include justifying actions, or making excuses for the things I am doing or not doing in my life. A heart fully committed is completely surrendered to the Lord, seeking Him, thanking Him for His love and all that He has done for me and doing what I know is pleasing and acceptable in His sight. There is no condemnation in Christ, and on that evening, I felt the Lord lovingly reveal to me that there are areas in my life that are not fully committed to Him - He used the cup to get my attention.
Having a heart fully committed to the LORD reveals itself in obedience! So, I picked up my cup, found the nearest trash can, surrendered other areas of my life that I was justifying, threw away the cup and then continued singing, LORD, fill me with a fully-committed heart!
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, have five children, one son-in-law, one soon to be daughter-in-law, and one wonderful grandson. Donna and Bryan have recently moved back to their home state of Arkansas after livingin southeast Alabama the past 23 years. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.