Kidmin Leader Devosby Katrina Miller
by Katrina Miller
As we approach Pentecost Sunday, I’m reminded of Luke 24:49 “And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Have you ever stayed home all day because you were expecting a package in the mail and you didn’t want to miss the delivery driver when he arrived? Similarly, Jesus was getting ready to send a gift the Father promised to the disciples, and they needed to stay put in Jerusalem to receive it.
However, it wasn’t a normal delivery, but one of high priority that would change the way the disciples shared the gospel going forward. It was the beginning of the grand finale after Jesus’s ascension, for the church was about to be empowered to carry on the ministry of Jesus through this gift, the baptism of the Holy Spirit; (Acts 1:5).
After waiting for several days, the delivery came. There wasn’t even a knock on the door. Acts 2:2-4 records, ” And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
We can hear this “sound from heaven” today also! It might not be in a rushing mighty wind, but perhaps in a still small voice (1Kings 19:12) because this promise has our address stamped on it also. Acts 2:39 ” For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” The promise was given, but we have to receive, and not return to sender.
Have you opened your package yet? Those around you will know, because they can see what you are “clothed in.”
What Are You Conforming To?
by Katrina Miller
Have you ever been in a situation where you conformed to something by going along with the crowd? Kind of like when a strong wind comes and trees sway as they conform to the pattern of the wind.
As things sway around us from the current of the world, do we conform to it, or lean in a different direction? In our walk with God, there will be times when a gust of wind comes along and tries to sway us, pulling us into thought patterns away from the place of peace. Romans 12:2a tells us: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It may be something you hear in the news or a mindset conveyed on social media that dislodges your peace and swirls you into anger and frustration.
As Christians, we don’t conform our thoughts and actions to the ways of the kingdom that we were delivered from. Rather, we are to conform to the patterns of the Kingdom of God, and we do this by renewing our minds. To conform is simply to be in agreement or harmony with something. We renew our minds when our thoughts come in agreement and are in harmony with what the Word of God says, rather than what our natural senses say.
As a result of renewing our minds, we will have the strength to stand against the sway of the wind. When we know who we are in Christ, and our authority, we can change the course of the wind and speak to it to be still as Jesus did in Mark 4:39.
So let me ask, what are your thoughts conforming to and influenced by? It will determine the direction of your sway.
by Katrina Miller
Have you ever skipped a stone across the surface of a lake and watched in amazement as it defied the law of gravity as it skimmed across the water?
In the same sense, can you imagine the disciples in Matthew 14:29-31 watching in amazement as Peter and Jesus walked on water, also defying the law of gravity? Verse 29 says that Peter got out of the boat and “walked on the water towards Jesus.” He, with Jesus, superseded the natural law of gravity, “departing from what is usual or normal, and transcended a law of nature.” When they walked on the water, they walked in the supernatural.
Do we as Christians back away from the supernatural because we are afraid of it, or don’t understand it? As Peter was standing in the boat watching Jesus walk towards him on the water, he had a choice. He was either going to stay in the boat where it was dry and comfortable, or step out into the supernatural, in faith, and get out and join Him. He chose to step out, trusting Jesus, but then switched back to fear and doubt in mid-flight and began to sink. As Jesus caught him He said, “Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?” In a sense, he was saying the supernatural (faith) held him up, and then gravity (doubt) brought him down.
Have you ever stepped out of the boat to walk in something God put in your heart to do?
Perhaps it was as simple as praying for a sick person. Did they receive their healing and feel better? If so, this is the supernatural in operation.
Is He speaking to your heart to step out? Do you hear His voice? It isn’t always in the loud boisterous wind, the earthquakes or fire, but it may be in a still, small, delicate voice. (1 Kings 19:11-13). However loud the voice may be, look for opportunities to step out and defy the law of gravity. You might just skip across the water in amazement!
by Katrina Miller
Staying connected is a common theme that could be woven throughout all churches, businesses, families, and individuals. As corporate settings were recently jolted into individualism with no goodbyes, groups found a way to reconfigure and they slowly emerged above the water’s surface and connected their floating life tubes together for the journey down the river.
Many groups and churches have found ways to connect, but how about you as an individual? Have you remained connected to your life source, or are you floating down the river by yourself and reaching out for any branch to cling to as the current tries to swirl you away?
Our Heavenly Father is extending a branch out to you and wants to reel you in and connect you to the True Vine. In John 15: 4-5 Jesus tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches, and as we abide in Him, we will bear fruit, and apart from Him, we can do nothing.
The branch is fully dependent on the vine for every ounce of its life; its food, water, and ability to bear fruit. To receive, the branch doesn’t flail its arms in strife, but rather sits still, trusts and abides in confidence as it draws life from the vine.
Staying connected to the source of life is imperative in all seasons to grow and produce fruit. If a branch is disconnected in the winter, it won’t produce fruit in the spring. Imagine a broken-off branch laying on the ground and thinking that one day it will be big and strong and produce fruit just like its parents did. I don’t think so!
As you stay connected to the large groups in your life, be sure you are also connected to the Vine. You will receive not only the life needed to sustain you, but you will also bear fruit to sustain others.
Listening During Uncharted Times
by Katrina Miller
Can you imagine being on an ark with Noah and all of the animals for 365 days? The smells, the sounds, the boredom. Although we aren’t on an ark, we can glean a few things from the story of Noah as we are weathering the Covid-19 storm.
When Noah entered the ark, he left behind a land clamoring with violence and corruption. After the waters receded and he stepped back onto land, he stepped into complete silence. How do we exit the ark without stepping back into the distractions and busyness that we left behind?
During our nation’s “force quit” many were thrown involuntarily into an unsuspecting rest. After struggling, humming and hawing, kicking and screaming we may have quieted down… and listened.
Some people have mentioned experiencing a new rhythm in their lives. I wonder if this rhythm sounds similar to the rhythm of the waves that gently guided the ark towards land after the storms subsided. For us today, it is in the quietness of these rhythms that we can hear not only our own voice but God’s as well.
What has He been speaking? What dreams are ready to be fulfilled? What has been brewing in your heart that is about to take shape? In our rest, we listen and are aligned to God’s priorities and His promises.
For us, the challenge isn’t being still when it is quiet all around, but remaining in that stillness when the hatch gradually opens to the clamoring noise and distractions waiting for us at the door.
Psalm 46:10a says “Be still, and know that I am God.” We can practice being still and keep our focus on Him as a tight rope walker whose eyes are fixed ahead as they take each step.
Distractions won’t go away by themselves. We have to intentionally turn them off and tune them out. Then we will hear in the silence what God has been trying to speak all along.
Imagine what would have happened if Noah didn’t listen, and obey…
Not Growing Weary
by Katrina Miller
During this season of being shut-in during the COVID-19 pandemic, I can’t help but think about the movie “Cast Away” starring Tom Hanks and Wilson the Soccer Ball. Recently, life as we knew it came to an abrupt stop and abandoned us on a deserted island. The only way to track time is to mark each passing day on the wall of our caves. As we wait for our communities to reopen and “rescue us”, it is challenging to not be weary.
However, it is important to stay strong now more than ever because how we finish one season determines how we enter the next one.
Let’s compare the current season we are in to a race. Do we want to crawl across the finish line scattered and frazzled with our hair in shambles like the mad scientist (well, the untamed hair may be a given for all of us!) or do we want to sprint across the finish line strong and refreshed?
We can finish strong when we wait on the Lord, like Isaiah 40:31 says: “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
As polar-opposite as it may sound, to be propelled forward, we have to pull back. A toy Rubber Band Powered Car is a perfect illustration of this. It uses the energy from the stretched back rubber band to propel the car forward when the rubber band is released. The farther back you stretch the rubber band, the farther and faster the car will go.
In the days and weeks ahead, allow yourself to be stretched back and wait on the Lord. As you pull back and find that place of rest, He will impart strength to you. Then when the time comes, you will be released and propelled forward with power and strength like never before!
The Ephesians Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom
by Katrina Miller
Ephesians 1:3 tells us that the Father has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. As rich as our inheritance is, it wouldn’t benefit us if we didn’t know what we inherited or how to access it. If you inherited something from a relative, you would go to an attorney’s office to hear the Will read. In the same sense, you go to your Heavenly Father to understand what He gave you.
Often we read about “heavenly places” in the New Testament. To understand and access what we can’t touch and see in the natural realm, we need our spiritual eyes to be enlightened and opened. The Ephesians prayer in 1:17-21 shows us how to pray for this:
Ephesians 1:17-21 (NKJV)
“..that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.”
We can pray this prayer daily, and personalize it by replacing “you” with “me or my”. You will see the Word of God in a whole new light. It is like being in a room where one row of lights go on, and then another row, then another, a continual increased illumination.
Let’s “flip the light switch on” by praying this prayer for spiritual wisdom. It will illuminate your heart and bring a deeper understanding of your inheritance and His spiritual blessings!
He is Risen... and So are We!
by Katrina Miller
Easter is one of the most joyous times for Christians as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. The message of Easter can be resurrected from the pages of our bible and woven into our everyday lives… the message of atonement, redemption, forgiveness and reconciliation.
The bible says in Ephesians 2:6 (NIV) “and God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” When Jesus was raised up, so were we. There was an exchange at the cross. He took our sins and gave us His life. This is the miracle of Easter that we are to celebrate!
When we receive Him, we are no longer under the rule and dominion of the kingdom of darkness. Colossians 1:13 says “For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son.” Our citizenship and address changed from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of God. I can’t help but think of Mr. Spock on Star Trek when he would go into a transporter machine and be transferred to a new location. Christ is our transporter machine! Not only did He transfer us to another Kingdom, He put us in the prime seats with the best view.
You can now enjoy the rights and privileges as a child of God. When you receive Him as your Lord, all of the “In Him and In Christ” scriptures are promises to you! We don’t need to be under the oppression of depression and despair. Sin was a barrier that kept us from fellowship with God, but now, as we learned a few weeks ago, we have full access to Him. We can have faith that our prayers are heard by God.
This Easter, when you are celebrating Christ’s glorious resurrection, be sure to also celebrate that He raised you up, too! I encourage you to rise up and walk in it, and “take your seat.”
Being Stable in an Unstable World
by Katrina Miller
With all of the uncertainty going on around us, how do we resist the current mindset of worry and fear in the world? How can we be stable in an unstable situation?
Let’s look at how Jesus handled chaos in Matthew 8:23-27 when He was on a boat with the disciples and a sudden furious storm arose. The disciples panicked when the waves started to topple into the boat, while Jesus remained asleep, unfazed by the storm around Him. He had peace during the storm, unlike the disciples who went into a panic. They woke Jesus up and begged Him to save them, only for Jesus to ask them why they were so afraid and had little faith. Jesus proceeded to take charge of the situation by rebuking the winds and the waves, and then a complete calm came around them. The disciples marveled that even the wind and the waves obeyed Jesus.
Jesus wasn’t influenced by His environment. He stayed steady and in peace during chaos. How do we do the same? Jesus knew His authority and used it, and He gave us His authority to use also! Luke 10:19a says” Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions… ” Because of our redemption in Christ, we have His authority. We just have to intentionally use it.
When we know who we are in Christ, we don’t let situations or other people’s emotions define or influence our situations. We draw our identity and strength from Him, as a branch does from a vine. John 15 has a great illustration of this. Also Philippians 4:6-9 has great advice on how not to be anxious and have peace.
Taking our authority during a storm and setting our mind on Him and His Word will help us to remain steady and strong when the waves of life hit us. We CAN BE stable in an unstable world!
Atonement: A Foundation for our Prayers
by Katrina Miller
Do you remember the song “Do Re Mi” from the movie “The Sound of Music?” It goes something like this:
“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start, when you read you begin with ABC when you sing you begin with Do Re Mi.” If foundational pieces make up our music and vocabulary, couldn’t the same be said of prayer? Often when we pray, we focus on the outcome, without knowing the “individual notes” that are needed to compose the “song” properly.
One of the “individual notes” that serves as a foundation for our prayer life is atonement. Atonement provides the reconciliation between God and humankind through Jesus Christ and describes what happens when something is offered up to God as payment for sin. We were once at odds with God, separated by sin, but the most beautiful thing happened when God sent His Son to make this payment and remove the barrier between us.
Romans 3:24-25a highlights this foundational truth “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith,”
Do we have a realization of what atonement is and how it affects our prayer life? When we pray for healing, for example, we can identify the sickness as something Jesus already bore on His body, and stand on His Word for our healing. 1 Peter 2:24 says “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sin, might live for righteousness -by whose stripes (wounds) you WERE healed.” When we pray, we can “appropriate the atonement,” which means we apply this spiritual reality to our life. Without this realization our prayers won’t have any power.
So let’s end on that note …and learn more redemptive realities next week!
by Katrina Miller
How many of you have ever had a Full Access Pass to a concert? A special badge granted you full access to backstage privileges, to meet the musicians, get their autograph and eat their gourmet food. You wouldn’t dream of missing this once in a lifetime opportunity and just stay outside.
I have good news! Did you know that God provided YOU a Full Access Pass? Ephesians 3:12 says “in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.”
Our Heavenly Father gave us access to His presence, through His Son Jesus! Wow! 2 Cor. 5:21 says that we are made the righteousness of God in Him because He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us! Where sin once separated us from His presence, we can now enter in because we are in “right standing” with Him.
Hebrews 4:16 says ” Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
What Jesus did for us at the cross provided what the bible calls redemptive realities. Atonement, redemption, justification, and righteousness are just a few.
When we become more aware of these redemptive realities in our life we are positioned to enter in, in the boldness and confidence that Ephesians and Hebrews talk about.
Over the next several weeks we will explore these redemptive realities, and as a result, our prayer lives will be revolutionized, because we will learn how to enter in with FULL ACCESS to our Heavenly Father’s presence!