by Susan Sampson

On behalf of self.  No, that isn’t what God’s word says is it?  Yet, this is how I live.  Recently the Lord brought back to my mind the time when Jeff and I got married, 18 years ago this coming November.  After being almost 30 years old and living on my own for many years, I remember thinking how happy I was to have somebody to take care of ME.

This weekend I am out of town with Jeff as he took me with him on a business trip so we could have time alone together.  Such a precious gift from the Lord.  As I was walking back to our room this morning after he left for work, suddenly it occurred to me that my thinking all these years has been the complete opposite of what the Lord’s will is for me.  I must no longer think, “how can Jeff meet my needs!”  Instead I must now change my thinking, taking my thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ, and completely reverse my thinking to “how can I serve him, how can I live on behalf of him knowing that Christ died for me?”  Clearly, this is only possible through the grace of God!!!

“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this; that one has died for all, therefore all have died, and have died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”  2 Cor. 5:14-15

We all once lived for self, alone, separated from Christ, alienated, without God, strangers.  “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Eph.2:13).

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Jesus has made us partakers of Himself through His death and resurrection!  We are in Him, a precious part of His body, the church!  He is in us!!!

Most of you have probably seen the Disney movie “Frozen,” but the Lord brought the lyrics to “Let it go” to my mind yesterday.

A kingdom of isolation and it looks like I’m the queen…
Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.
Well, now they know!
Let it go, let it go!
My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractiles all around
And one thought crystalizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back, the past is in the past!
Let it go, let it go!
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn.
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand, in the light of day
Let the storm rage on!

By the grace of God I no longer live in the kingdom of isolation I once did!  By the grace of God He continues to show me that there is no good in me, that is in my flesh (Romans 7:18).  By His perfect and unconditional love for me in Christ, He is working in me to help me to let go of my fear and trust Christ.  By His grace, He is working on my continued fear of man and giving me the desire to no longer hide and live in darkness concealing my sin, pretending to be the perfect girl, but confess it and bring it into the light.  “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light” (Eph. 5:13-14).

We are no longer in the flesh!!  We are now in Christ!!!  This is His work!!  His grace!!  His glory!!!  “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17).

“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.  For one who has died has been set free from sin” (Rom. 6:6-7).

Lord, please help us as partakers of the promise to believe the truth of your words by faith and receive the truth of the gospel into our hearts that these seeds of truth would come to life in each of us and that we would bear fruit for your glory, living no longer for ourselves, but on behalf of Christ who died for us!

May we have more grace to now live humbly on behalf of those whom you have placed in our lives!

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.  Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21).

Thistlebend Quiet eMoment

by Laurie Aker

Focus Scripture: Luke 10:1-12 ESV

1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others
and sent them on ahead of him, two by two,
into every town and place
where he himself was about to go.
2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful,
but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord
of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
3 Go your way; behold, I am sending you out
as lambs in the midst of wolves.
4 Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals,
and greet no one on the road.
5 Whatever house you enter, first say,
‘Peace be to this house!’
6 And if a son of peace is there,
your peace will rest upon him.
But if not, it will return to you.
7 And remain in the same house,
eating and drinking what they provide,
for the laborer deserves his wages.
Do not go from house to house.
8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you,
eat what is set before you.
9 Heal the sick in it and say to them,
‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
10 But whenever you enter a town
and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say,
11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet
we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this,
that the kingdom of God has come near.’
12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day
for Sodom than for that town.


If someone mistreats one of Christ’s own,
it is as if they were mistreating Christ Himself.

When we are scorned, mocked, ignored, or slandered
because of our devotion to Christ, His Word, and the gospel,
it can be so very painful and so heartbreaking.

We can at first take it so personally.
We feel like a social pariah.
We second guess the things we said and how we said it.
We wonder crazy things like,
“Was it my hair? My outfit? Bad breath?”
It can take us back to junior high when
we were rejected from the “in” crowd.

Sometimes it is worse than that.
We can be passed over for a promotion,
lose a job, or lose a relationship with a dear family member.

In other countries, it is much worse.
They can be tortured or lose their life.

But if we are truly speaking and acting and living in
the Spirit of Christ, the rejection is profound.
It isn’t due to any temporal or passing thing,
it is a matter of life and death.
Eternal life and eternal death.


Rejection for the gospel should remind us that we all are sinners,
all guilty, all deserving of eternal punishment and death.
Without God’s mercy and grace we all would reject Christ.

Take a moment and look back to that day in Jerusalem.
The day when everyone cried, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
It is a reminder to each of us that had we lived at that time,
apart from God’s grace, we would have been in that crowd.
Those words would have come from our lips.

The next time someone rejects us, condemns us,
or mocks us because of Christ,
let us remember that we did the same–
and much–more to Him.


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


Father, please help me to remember
that the only reason I received you is because of your grace.
Please grant those around me who are still rejecting you
that same saving grace.

In His hands for His glory,

A Thistlebend Ministries eMoment devotion. To have eMoments emailed to your inbox, subscribe on the bottom right of our Home page.

by Susan Sampson

Some days he just shows up without warning. We
can wake up happy and have a great morning; And
then he is there; and it feels like it’s storming.
The Grumpy Bug is back; he has come to steal our joy.
He silently creeps in to carry out his ploy.

What exactly is the reason he shows up?
Perhaps it’s to keep us from filling our cup.
From filling our cup with the joy of the Lord.
When the Grumpy Bug is around, it’s hard to hear God’s Word.

The Bug knows how much we want our own way.
And when we don’t get it, he can ruin our day.
Difficulty and pain, sickness and stress; just to name a few.
He wants our heartache and sadness to always stay in view.

It’s a choice that we make to keep the Bug around.
To continue to complain; it just goes ‘round and ‘round.
Why do we choose to serve the Bug?
Wouldn’t it be better to just give your loved ones a hug?

There is another choice that we can make.
There is a joy that no one can take.
Ask and you will receive. And
your joy will be complete.

Make a new choice to be joyful always.
Pray continually, for the rest of your days.
Give thanks to the Lord in every circumstance. Then
your heart will leap for joy, and not just by chance.

Love each other as God has loved you.
And then your heart will be filled with joy anew.
Stand in awe of our Lord who is so glorious.
Shout for joy when you are finally victorious.


This poem appears in the Thistlebend Discipleship Study Falling in Love Again with Your Lord available here.