Thistlebend Quiet eMoment

by Laurie Aker

Focus Scripture: Luke 9:10-17 ESV

10 On their return
the apostles told him all that they had done.
And he took them and withdrew apart
to a town called Bethsaida.
11 When the crowds learned it, they followed him,
and he welcomed them
and spoke to them of the kingdom of God
and cured those who had need of healing.
12 Now the day began to wear away,
and the twelve came and said to him,
“Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages
and countryside to find lodging and get provisions,
for we are here in a desolate place.”
13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.”
They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish–
unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.”
14 For there were about five thousand men.
And he said to his disciples,
“Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.”
15 And they did so, and had them all sit down.
16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish,
he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them.
Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples
to set before the crowd.
17 And they all ate and were satisfied.
And what was left over was picked up,
twelve baskets of broken pieces.


Do you need rest?
Do you feel the need to take time away?
Perhaps you feel as though you can’t
even take the time to rest
because there is too much to do,
too many responsibilities,
too many pressing concerns.

Where do you take your rest?
What do you do to rest?


Take a moment to think about what
you like to do to rest.

We think of Jesus as the Son of God,
our Prophet, Priest, and King,
our Lord, and our Savior.
But we may forget that He is also
our Living Water, the Bread of Life, and our Rest.

We can think of our quiet time in the morning
as a “task” we need to accomplish.
Going before the Lord in prayer can seem
like hard work and discipline.
The effort that seems to be required to read our Bible,
the faith we need to muster to go to the Lord in prayer,
and the battle that rages as we seek to
resist the things the flesh desires,
all seem to be too much work in order to find rest.

But Jesus truly is our All in all.

He is the way, the truth, and the life,
and He is our food, our sustenance,
our strength, our power, our hope.
And He is our rest.

He is all we need.

Matthew Henry writes:
“…but food, for all those that by faith apply themselves to him;
he not only heals them that need healing, cures the diseases of the soul,
but feeds them too that need feeding, supports the spiritual life,
relieves the necessities of it, and satisfies the desires of it.”

Jesus truly is our All in all.

Psalm 73:25-26
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.


Chose one truth from today and apply it to your heart.
Take it with you throughout the day.


Lord, may I turn to you to be my everything.
May I not overlook you.
Please be my portion, my everything, my All.

O Lord, I need you.
Even to show me the way.

In His hands for His glory,

by Laurie Aker

Why is it that when we say we love the Lord and He is our God, we don’t put Him first? Why don’t we set aside time to be with Him in His Word? We allow our affections to wander, and our desires drift off to the temporal. Is sleep more important that sanctification? Is entertainment more edifying than the eternal? Are passions more satisfying than Christ?

It is an ever-present sin struggle that we will experience until we reach heaven. Even when we desire this joy, this fellowship, and this communion, the world and its pressures, our worries and our cares, and our passions and our longings can almost seem to put an invisible, super-strong cellophane wrap around our hearts that is clear but seemingly impenetrable. The words of God are right in front of our eyes. They enter our minds, and we try to apply them to our hearts, waiting with anticipation for them to pierce the outer layer, only to discover there is yet another layer and then another. We may even feel the Spirit’s touch, but it seems as though our hearts are incorrigible. We know God is all-powerful and His Word is effective. Why is it that we feel beyond its reach? Mentally, we know this isn’t true, but the wall that appears to be present, the excruciating pain, or the apparent numbness or deadness in our hearts becomes discouraging. We are dis- tracted, pulled, tossed, turned, and even tormented. We long to be satisfied by the Lord. We long to truly pursue an ongoing communion and oneness with the Lord that would not only glorify God, but draw others to Him. However, we allow other things to detour us time and time again.The temporal things the Lord has given us to enjoy we misuse. We hold and cling to the temporal solution. We let the temporal come between us and the eternal.

Will we ask the Lord to help our hearts have the same conviction as Joshua: “Choose this day whom you will serve . . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Josh. 24:15)? The Bible tells us that Joshua followed the Lord fully. Will we follow the Lord fully? Will we be willing to pursue God and His righteousness with our all, that we would be fully satisfied in Him that He would be greater to us that even life itself? Will we set our eyes upon the Lord and seek after Him with all of our heart to foster and develop the soil of our hearts, that we too might know the deep and penetrating satisfaction of the Lord in the depths of our souls? The goal is that God, and only God, would be our greatest satisfaction and our greatest delight— better than the finest symphony or your favorite food.


This blog post is an excerpt from the Thistlebend Discipleship Study Falling in Love Again with Your Lord available here.

Thistlebend Quiet eMoment

by Laurie Aker

Focus Scripture: Luke 9:7-9 ESV

7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening,
and he was perplexed, because it was said by some
that John had been raised from the dead,
8 by some that Elijah had appeared,
and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen.
9 Herod said, “John I beheaded,
but who is this about whom I hear such things?”
And he sought to see him. 


Herod thought to himself, how can this be?
“John I beheaded, but who is this…?”

John had confronted Herod about marrying his brother’s wife,
but Herod had no intention of leaving her.
It is interesting that he felt so threatened.
Guilt has an interesting and insidious way of spitting fire.
We need to be wise and careful about confronting someone
who is in sin — he or she might take your head off.
Probably not literally.

When someone is in sin they are often want to continue in it.
It is a part of their world. It is familiar.
Sin is blinding and binding to all of us.
We self-protect unconsciously, we hide our sin from others,
we dress it up to look like something else,
we build a 12 foot thick wall around it,
and if necessary a moat.
We do anything we can to block anyone who might be a threat.

Thankfully, most of us don’t go to the lengths that Herod did.
But our defenses are still multi-layered, varied, and masterful.
Ever wonder why it can take so long to change
when you finally do confess your sin
and turn in genuine repentance?
There are layers of sin to remove.


Would you allow these thoughts
to cross the moat of your defenses,
enter beyond the gate,
and penetrate the wall of protectiveness?
Would you be willing to ask the Lord
to search your heart today?
Would you be willing to ask Him
to reveal areas of sin in your life,
in your heart, in your thinking?
Would you be willing to ask Him to show you
any actions, words, or deeds
that indicate any unrighteousness?
That would speak of ungodliness,
idolatry, self-centeredness, or ….?


Choose one truth from today and apply it to your heart.
Take it with you throughout the day.


I confess that I am a sinner
in need of your grace daily.
Lord, have mercy.
“Hear my prayer, O Lord;
give ear to my pleas for mercy!
In your faithfulness answer me,
in your righteousness!” (Psalm 143:1)

In His hands for His glory,