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Author: Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

Jesus Is Our Moment-by-Moment Sustainer

Jesus Is Our Moment-by-Moment Sustainer

Our God is an awesome God. For real. I just experienced it myself this morning. I was a bit out of sorts as I started my morning devotions. But God picked me up by showing me he is the God of miracles as I read about Jesus feeding the crowds with two fish and five loaves of bread (Mark 6:30-44). The Holy Spirit whispered to me that God will be also my moment-by-moment sustainer. And just like that, I was…

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How to Be Always Hopeful

How to Be Always Hopeful

Sometimes I am accused of being too joyful and hope-filled. But come on! Is there such a thing as being too hopeful? Not in my book because my hope is in Christ and there is not such a thing as having too much Christ. You see, my joy or hope is not based on circumstances, wishful thinking, or denial of pain. My hope is based on God and his Word telling me God will have the last word and not…

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Prayer to Know God’s Will

Prayer to Know God’s Will

Do you ever wonder what God wants you to do? We might think God’s will must be something complicated so that’s why we don’t even try. That’s sad, isn’t it? Because then we miss our purpose as well. For a long time, I’ve been trying to figure out the simplest way to know God’s will for me. And, yes, it’s prayer, of course. But what kind of prayer, right? Let’s find out. And then, just the other day, I came…

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Peace and Joy Are Byproducts of Obedience and Faithfulness

Peace and Joy Are Byproducts of Obedience and Faithfulness

It seems everyone is seeking peace and joy for themselves. And they are good things. But they are byproducts of obedience and faithfulness and not something we can reach on our own. How then can we go about them then? Simply put, when we seek Christ and keep him in our lives center, we are blessed with peace and joy. Paul Tripp has said, “Putting yourself in the center and making life all about you never leads to peace and…

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Reasons to Guard Your Heart

Reasons to Guard Your Heart

There are valid reasons to guard your heart. You see, throughout Scripture, the heart refers to the very essence of one’s being. The heart includes your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers. King Solomon said it clearly: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23, NIV). If our heart gets damaged, we are damaged. And that’s as far from ideal as possible. So what to do? How can we guard our hearts…

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Only God Gives Real Rest

Only God Gives Real Rest

Work is a blessing because it gives us purpose, a rhythm for our days, and, of course, a means of living. But even if we love our work, we can burn out. Hence proper rest is a necessity. Even God rested, why wouldn’t we? Sometimes rest is out of our reach and that is hard. But sometimes fear keeps us from seeking rest and renewal. As you know, fear is not a good guide. Fear usually leads us astray. Only…

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Holiness Is Christ in You

Holiness Is Christ in You

As I am preparing to teach Christian Ethics starting next week, I have been thinking of holiness a lot. We are called to be holy like our God is holy, right? It is a tall order for human beings but there is no way around it. No one is excused from pursuing perfect holiness. The Bible clearly tells us to be holy over and over. My life experience tells me it’s undoable on my own. I need help. Thankfully, God…

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Why Do We Need God’s Face to Shine on Us?

Why Do We Need God’s Face to Shine on Us?

It’s been exactly two weeks since our family landed in Ethiopia. It’s been a fantastic experience so far. People are friendly and the coffee is strong, so what’s not to like? Well, the rainy season is a bit tiresome but it will pass. Other than that there’s only one thing that has been tough. You see, there are beggars wherever you go, they even knock on car windows when the traffic slows down. The easiest way to deal with this…

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Coming Home to God

Coming Home to God

As I was preparing to move to Ethiopia, I was reflecting on the story of the burning bush. God told Moses to remove his shoes because the ground he was standing on was holy. I get that. But I don’t think God’s only purpose was to teach Moses some religious etiquette. He had some deeper meaning behind the order. What could it be? Let’s use some Biblical imagination. Maybe it was all about coming home to God. Now Moses was…

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God Is Ready to Bless Us

God Is Ready to Bless Us

Summer is here. I love it. And I need it. Or, more accurately, I need time for rest and restoration. How about you? Are you exhausted too? Thankfully, the month of July can be a month for renewal. God is ready to bless us the way we need to be blessed. And those blessings may surprise us in a very good way. May those who delight in my vindication    shout for joy and gladness;may they always say, “The Lord be exalted,    who delights in the well-being…

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