I Still Believe…..

My thoughts this morning:

After losing my only earthly sister this past weekend to Covid, I have grappled with all the “why” questions.  I have questioned God about why this happened, why my prayers for Lynda did not yield the results I wanted, and why even pray if it’s not going to make a difference?.  I’ve told several people this week that I am “emotionally drained and that I have nothing left to give”, and have been assured that no one expects me to give out at this time, but to rest and receive healing for my broken heart. 

As I have continued to pray and seek the Lord this week for answers to my questions I feel that He has given me some insight into these instances where it seems that all we do is for naught and our prayers really do matter.  He reminded me of some scriptures that He had shown me at a similar time in my life and reiterated to me that He sees and knows all; where I have only a limited perspective.  Maybe you’ve had times like this yourself, where you lost hope through a similar disappointment.  With that in mind I open myself to you through this transparency with the hope that I might offer some encouragement to you from God’s Word.

Isaiah 57:1, 2 NKJV 

            The righteous perishes,

            And no man takes it to heart;

            Merciful men are taken away,

            While no one considers

            That the righteous is taken away from evil.

            He shall enter into peace;

            They shall rest in their beds,

            Each one walking in his uprightness.

This is the first scripture that God brought back to my remembrance.  I do not know what would lie ahead of Lynda if God would have answered my prayer for her to live and not die.  I do not know if she would have had long lasting damage from the time her oxygen level was so low.  I do not know if she might have faced irreversible heart or organ damage from this illness that would have limited her quality of life or caused more pain than what she was already experiencing.  I can’t see into the future to know the full ramifications of what she might have been facing had she lived.  But I do know this:  That God in His mercy already knew what was ahead of Lynda and He chose to take her out of this evil world and usher her into His heavenly presence!  I can be sure of that because I know that her life was lived in relationship with Jesus Christ and that a home in heaven is promised those of us who have surrendered our lives to Him.

Isaiah 63:7, 9 NCT  I will tell about the LORD’s kindness and praise him for everything he has done.  I will praise the LORD for the many good things he has given us and for his goodness to the people of Israel.  He has shown great mercy to us and has been very kind to us.  9 When they suffered, he suffered also.  He sent his own angel to save them.  Because of his love and kindness, he saved them.  Since long ago he has picked them up and carried them.

This portion of scripture has given me such comfort.  God hurts when we hurt.  He cries with us.  We see that happening when Lazarus died and John 11:35 says “Jesus wept.”  He is as disappointed with the fallen world we live in as we are.  He knows that there was no sickness before sin entered our world.  He understands our hurting hearts and He weeps right along with us.  My sister, and maybe your loved one as well, through their relationship with Jesus now are in peace and at rest where there is no more sickness or disease, no more tears and no more pain.  We can rest assured of this promise and know that God is walking with us, comforting us, and giving us hope for a new, better day ahead.  Even though we won’t see our loved ones for a little while, we will be rejoined when we reach heaven’s portal, and the Father’s arms stretch open wide to welcome us to our heavenly home with all those that we love who have gone on before us.  We win in the end!

In conclusion I want to say that I still believe…..that God’s word is true and that healing is the children’s bread according to Matthew 15:22-28.

I still believe that Jesus took stripes on His back to secure our healing for the whole man, spirit, soul, and body according to Isaiah 55:4, 5 and 1 Peter 2:24.

I still believe that God’s word is true when He says one of the signs that shows that we are believers in Him is that we will lay hands on the sick and they shall recover according to Mark 16:18.

I still believe that as Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  Sickness and disease is not abundant life by any means and this is one way the devil comes to steal from us.

I still believe that God would have us to be healthy and prosper, just as our soul prospers, as is recorded in John’s third epistle, verse 2.

I still believe that the Lord prompted me to pray for Lynda according to Luke 5:17-25 where the friends of the paralytic brought him to Jesus when he couldn’t get to Jesus on his own and the Word says that “He saw their faith” and forgave the man of his sins and healed him.

I still believe that my prayers are needed and effective according to James 5:14-16 AMP version.

I still have faith in God and believe that Mark 11:22-24 is true and applicable to our lives today.

I still believe that the promises of God are “yes and amen” according to 2 Corinthians 1:20 and that we receive the promises of God as we fight the good fight of faith according to 1 Timothy 6:12.

Friends, I am back, and I am madder than ever that the devil is still stealing, killing, and destroying lives today! 

For those who may be experiencing the heartbreak of loss today I would leave you with this last scripture:

Romans 15:13 AMP May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.

For without hope we have no reason for faith….without hope we are no different than those in the world who do not know Jesus, but we have the assurance that we will see our loved ones again.  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 says that they have “fallen asleep” and that we will be reunited with them when Jesus returns to take us all home to live forever with Him.  Verse 18 says that we are to comfort one another with these words.

I hope that you will be comforted, Dear Loved One that might be sorrowing today.  Death is a part of living and grieving is a natural process that God has given us to relieve us of our sorrow.  He cares for you and me and He is there to carry us through the difficult days.  Jesus came to “heal the brokenhearted” (Luke 4:18; may you receive that healing today.

Take Me Deeper, Lord!

Take Me Deeper, Lord!

     Are you lonely and dissatisfied with life? Do you feel dry and empty within your heart? Do you know that God has placed within you an inner desire for contentment that can only be found in Him?  Many people today are searching for answers and a satisfaction that can’t be met in any way but through a living and vital relationship with Jesus Christ, the lover of your soul. The Psalmist says it this way:

     As a deer thirsts for streams of water, so I thirst for you,
God. I thirst for the living God. When can I go to meet with
Him? ~ Psalm 42:1, 2 NCT

     The Psalmist paints a picture here of a deer caught out in a desert setting, longing for a stream of water to quench the thirst of being in such a barren place. Desert walking sets the stage for human thirst and, longing to fulfill it, the thirsty soul looks for a place to meet with it’s Creator, it’s Savior, it’s All in All! There’s only one person that can fully satisfy your thirsty soul, My Friend. His name is Jesus!

God, you are my God. I search for you like someone in a
dry, empty land where there is no water. ~ Psalm 63:1

     Again, the Psalmist expresses his desire for quenching the barrenness of his soul.  His search is for God, not a counterfeit that only brings temporary satisfaction, but the genuineness of fellowship with Almighty God…..his God.  A personal God to fill his personal longing.  How can you know that kind of contentment?  Scripture tells us in James 4:8 that if we will draw near to God, He will draw near to us. Do you know that all He needs to come into your life is for you to ask Him into your heart? Has anyone told you that you can walk and talk with God, your Creator; that the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, wants you to receive Him into your heart so you can walk with Him through your earthly life and then live with Him in heaven for all eternity?  Jesus, the Savior of all mankind, told the Pharisee Nicodemus, that he must be “born again” in order to see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3) When asked how a person who is already living in an earthly body can go back and enter the womb a second time, Jesus told him that it wasn’t a physical birth that he needed, but a spiritual birth. There is a physical birth that we experience in our earthly lives, but since God is a Spirit, we must have a spiritual birth to be able to know Him and to have that living and vital relationship that brings contentment into our hearts. It’s through prayer that we invite Jesus into our hearts to fill that void that only He can fill. Then it’s through prayer and Bible study that we learn how to walk and talk with Him. He gives His Spirit to live within us when we ask Him into our hearts and then we continue to talk with Him through that spiritual connection.

But to all who did accept him and believe in him he gave the right to become children of God. They did not become his children in any human way—
by any human parents or human desire. They were born of God. ~ John 1:12,
13 NCT

     You, My Friend, can have satisfaction and contentment in this earthly existence. Jesus makes that possible. Won’t you come to Him today? He longs to fill you to overflowing with His love, His mercy and His grace. You can know Him today. If you are dry and thirsty within, won’t you pray with me and invite Jesus to come and fill your thirsty soul?

Lord Jesus, I acknowledge to You that I am dry and thirsty within. My heart is longing for satisfaction and contentment and I acknowledge that You are the only One who can give me a purpose for living that brings healing and wholeness to my dry soul. I ask You, Father God, to forgive me for seeking to fill that longing in my heart with other things and relationships that have been broken and wounded through my efforts to fill a longing that only You can fill. Please forgive me for living my life according to my own desires and efforts.  Please come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and give me new life, a spiritual rebirth that only You can give. Fill me to overflowing with Your Spirit and help me to walk and talk with You daily as long as I have breath within my earthly body. Teach me Your ways that I might know You more fully. I give You my heart today and I vow to follow You all the days of my life. I look forward to having a living relationship with You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

     My Friend, if you prayed that prayer with me and meant it in your heart, you have now been “born again” and you can now walk and talk with Jesus all the days of your life. Salvation comes to all who call on the name of Jesus! Welcome to the family of God.

     If you, as a born again believer, have reached a place in your life where you are dry and thirsty, you can re-commit your heart to Jesus and find that living water to refresh your soul. Open your mouth wide and He will fill it! Drink from the wells of salvation and enjoy a new-found refreshing from the Giver of Life! He’s waiting for you and He will not fail to receive you unto Himself again, anew and afresh!

“Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I
will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The teaching that
I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.” ~ Matthew
11:28-30 NCT

Jesus is waiting for you! Release your heavy load to Him and enjoy His refreshing rest!

I Believe….

BElieve

I BELIEVE…..

But you are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the LORD. “And you are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God; there never has been and never will be. I am the LORD, and there is no other Savior. First I predicted your deliverance; I declared what I would do, and then I did it – I saved you. No foreign god has ever done this before. You are witnesses that I am the only God,” says the LORD. “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can oppose what I do. No one can reverse my actions.” Isaiah 43:10-13 NLT

Christians throughout the ages have been known by different names, such as “Christ followers”, “people of faith”, “followers of the Way”, “ disciples”, “believers”….. All of these different names denote Christians as people who listen to and follow Jesus Christ. We are called “believers” because we place our hope, faith, and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ as payment for our sin and the “redeemer” of mankind. We are known by what we “believe”. The above verses of Scripture say that we have been “chosen” to know Him, believe in Him and understand that He is the Supreme God, the only One who can save man.

Taking all of this into consideration we must ask ourselves some personal questions: Do I believe in Jesus Christ? Have I placed my hope, faith and trust in Him personally? If so, what do I believe about Him in my personal daily relationship with Him? How can I know Him in a deeper way and follow Him more closely?

The Bible has been described as being an acrostic meaning “basic instructions before leaving earth” and I have found that in reading and meditating on God’s Word that my knowledge of Him and what He expects of me as a Christ-follower, a believer of Jesus Christ, has deepened through the years. Something happens on my insides, in my spirit, when I pray and meditate on God’s Word. Romans 10: 17 describes this action as being a growth in faith: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” When I read God’s word, meditate on it’s truthfulness, and speak of His faithfulness my spirit man is fed, renewed and grows stronger. Every challenge that comes to me in this life is an opportunity for me to grow closer to Him, stand stronger on His Word, know His character more, and believe that He is greater than the challenge that I am currently facing. It is an opportunity for me to declare that I am a believer and not a doubter.

This past week I had a major faith challenge when my husband went through open heart bypass surgery. This came upon us suddenly, without any symptoms or indication that he needed four heart bypasses. Had it not been for his doctor who suggested he get some diagnostic tests to determine why his cholesterol was elevated we could have been facing a heart attack or possibly a sudden fatal cardiac event. We viewed this as God’s warning of “danger ahead”, “take note and heed the warning”. As it was, we were able to go into this major surgery with him having a strong heart, rather than one weakened or damaged by a previous cardiac event.

So, here are some things that I believe:

I believe Jesus died for me to be my own “personal” Savior and Lord and I have confessed Him as such through prayer and before men. Romans 10:6-10; Romans 10:13

I believe that God is greater than anything the devil or the world can bring into my life. 1 John 4:4

I believe that God’s Word is the standard by which I live my life. Psalm 119:11

I believe that Jesus is the only way, the truth, and the life! John 14:6; Acts 4:12

I believe that Jesus secured my victory over sin, death, hell and the grave! 2 Cor. 5:21; Col. 2:11-15

I believe that God is for me and has made me more than a conqueror through Jesus who loves me. Romans 8:31; 37

I believe that it is the Spirit and the Word together that brings life into my situation. John 6:63

I believe that the devil is the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy and Jesus came to give me abundant life. John 10:10

I believe that God is the giver of good things. James 1:17

I believe that as God expects me to not just hear His Word, but to put it into practice in my life. James 1:22

I believe that I will never have to navigate the roads of life by myself because God has promised to never leave me nor forsake me. Hebrews 13:5

I believe that even though troubled times come into my life that Jesus walks with me through them and the fire and flood of this world will not overtake me because He is with me. Isaiah 43:1-3

I believe that faith is, according to the definition given in the Amplified Bible, is the “leaning of their entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness”.  Hebrews 13:7 AMP

I believe that my faith is victorious as I stand firmly on God’s Word to overcome the world and its difficulties. 1 John 5:4, 5

I believe that my attitude affects my altitude, or how I rise above what I am facing in this life and it has a direct effect on my speech going through and coming out of difficulties. Mark 11:22-26

I believe that my speech is a reflection of what is going on in my heart. Matthew 15:17-20

I believe that as I pray and believe that I receive the requests that I have of the Father. Matt. 21:22

I believe that God cares about the intimate details of my life and He is directly involved in it. 1 Peter 5:6, 7

I believe the devil watches for weak areas in my life so he can get a toe-hold into it to wreck his havoc in trying to destroy me and I believe that God has given me authority over him. 1 Peter 5:8; Luke 10:19, 20

I believe that God wants us to live healthy, prosperous lives and that under His direction and guidance we can do that. 3 John 2

I believe that God gave me my husband as a life mate and that He will satisfy him with long life as well as showing him His salvation. Psalm 91:16

I believe that I can trust God with my life because my times are in His hand.  Psalm 31:14, 15

I believe that the promises in Psalm 91 from verse 1 through verse 16 belong to me as I am one who dwells in the secret place of the Most High and I abide under His shadow.

These are just a few of the “promises” of God’s Word that I remind myself of often. I can feel an uprising of faith within my heart as I reflect on God’s promises to me. There have been a lot of difficulties in my life, but God has always been faithful in bringing me “through” them so that I was not overtaken “by” them. He has been so faithful in His goodness to me.

I pray that if you have believed in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for you personally and that you have confessed Him before men as your own personal Lord and Savior, that you will get into God’s Word and see what you believe and are trusting in Him for in your life today. He is bigger than anything you will encounter in this life and He has a good plan for your life.

I believe that JESUS IS LORD!

At The Tomb

Mary meets Jesus at the tomb

Image courtesy of http://3.bp.blogspot.com

Today is the day that Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  In the Bible, John the beloved, writes of Mary’s encounter with Jesus when she went to the tomb early on Resurrection Day.  John 20:1-18 tells this story, how she went early in the morning while it was still dark and saw that the tomb was empty.  In verse 11, the story picks up with her being emotionally distraught because she thought someone had stolen His body.

John 20:11-18 NKJV  But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb.  And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.  Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”  She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”  Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?  Whom are you seeking?”  She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”  Jesus said to her, “Mary!”  She turned and said to Him, “Rabonni!” (which is to say, Teacher).  Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God'”  Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.

As this story progresses there are several important points that I see revealed to us through the Scriptures that apply to us personally in coming to know Jesus as Savior and Lord.  Mary was searching for someone in particular, not just anyone.  She was seeking the Lord.  Have you searched and sought to know Jesus?  Have you looked diligently for Him, to see Him personally as your Lord and Savior.  Salvation begins with a heart hunger that seeks to know Him.

Mary saw Jesus first as a person, but came to know Him personally as she encountered Him and heard His voice speak her name.  You may know Jesus as a person but until you have a personal encounter with Him where He calls your name and you see Him as the Savior, you have only really known Him about Him.  Once you encounter Him and recognize Him, acknowledging Him as Lord and Savior, you will truly know Him and receive His salvation.

Jesus met Mary where she was in her humanity.  He took the time to seek her out, to speak to her personally that her eyes might be opened to see Him in His resurrected form.  When she left that place of encountering Jesus she told the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”.  Jesus wants you to know Him personally, even more than you think you want to know Him.  He desires for you to have a personal relationship with Him!

Today I would like to ask you some questions:  Have you come to the place in your life where you are seeking Jesus, your Savior and Lord?  Are you hungry to know Him?  Have you heard Him call you by name?  Have you encountered Him, met Him and received Him personally into your life?  If so, are you sharing with others that you have seen Him, met Him, and received Him?  These are all things that happen when we personally come to know Jesus.

If you have not had a personal encounter with Jesus as Savior and Lord, today is the perfect day to invite Him into your heart and life.  If you will pray and ask Him to come into your heart as your own personal Savior, He will do that.  Your life will be changed and you will become born again, born anew and saved from sin and the darkness of a life without Him.

Romans 10:8-13 says that “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.  For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

Do you believe that Jesus died for you, was raised from the dead, and lives today?  Have you confessed Him as Lord?  Have you called on His name for salvation?  If so, you have been born again and are a part of the family of God.

If you have not made Jesus your own personal Savior and Lord, I urge you to do so today!  Don’t let another minute pass by without Him.  We can see by the signs of the time that His return is imminent and only those who are born again will go with Him back to Heaven when He returns.  Don’t miss out!  Believe and receive Him as Savior and Lord today!  Make this your day of salvation.

Father God, I thank You for sending Your very own Son to die for us.  I thank You, Lord Jesus, for laying your life down for us willingly, that we might be saved from our sins.  Thank You for such a great sacrifice and salvation.

Father, I pray this morning for all those who may be reading this blog that have not yet received Your free gift of salvation.  I pray that You will pull down the blinders that are covering their minds and eyes that they might see Jesus as the one true Savior of the world.  Open their eyes to see, their hearts to receive, that they might truly be born again.  Give them the courage to boldly confess Jesus as Savior and Lord.  I pray that they will believe in their hearts and confess Him with their mouths to receive salvation.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Her Sins Which Are Many…..

cryingathisfeet

(Image compliments of photobucket.com)

Luke 7:47 “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

Luke 7:36-50 tells the story of Jesus being at a Pharisee’s home when a woman comes in and expresses the great love she has for Him through weeping and wiping His feet with her tears and anointing His feet with oil. The Pharisee couldn’t understand her expression of love for Jesus or why He would allow such a sinner as her to do that. Jesus contrasted the way the Pharisee had welcomed Him without expressing a love for Him by not even giving Him water to wash His feet, and the way she had expressed her great love for Him, by saying, “her sins which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” He was telling the Pharisee that sin, whether small or large in his viewpoint, could be forgiven and this woman understood the devastation of her sin and His ability to forgive and save her from it.

There are two key words in this verse of scripture that, through looking at their definitions, can give us an understanding of the magnitude of what Jesus was saying: sins and forgiven.

The Greek word for sins is hamartia – which means literally “missing the mark”, failure, offense, taking the wrong course, wrongdoing, sin, guilt.

The Greek word for forgiven is aphiemi – it means to let go, send away, remit, forgive.

The woman who came to Jesus  had committed many sins throughout her life. She had missed the mark of God’s righteousness and had taken the wrong course in life evidence by the way she lived. It was clearly known that she was a sinner. The Pharisee had spoken to himself in verse 39 that if Jesus were really a prophet He would have known who this woman was and what manner of lifestyle she was living, for “she is a sinner”. He had judged her sin as being greater than his. Jesus brought clarification to this man’s understanding of sin; it being simply that sin is sin, regardless of whether or not we think one sin is greater than another, and when a person understands the enormity of their sin and how much He has forgiven them, their expression is much love.

In our humanity we often categorize sin as being little or much. But regardless of whether we view our sin as small or large, we all are sinners and in Him there is forgiveness. The depth of our sin has no limitation on His ability to forgive. This woman placed her faith in Him to forgive her sin and in return expressed her great love for Him because of His love for her. He later told her that it was her “faith”, her confident trust and belief placed in Him, that had saved her. When she looked to Him, knelt at His feet, anointing His feet with oil, she expressed her confident assurance and reliance on Him to deliver her from spiritual death and to give her new life.

Friends, none of us are able to overcome or change the course of life we have taken. Romans 3:23 says that we have “ALL” sinned. We have all fallen short of God’s glory; none of us, through our own human ability, is able to change the course of our life. I had a very dear friend, Betty, tell me one time that you can’t pick up spilled milk and you can’t unscramble eggs. We can’t go back and change any part of life regardless of how much we would like to. But there is One who can change our lives, who can wash away the sin that taints us. His name is Jesus.

Just as Jesus forgave the sin of that woman in the scripture reference so He can forgive your sin and mine. He forgave when He went to the cross to pay for our sin. But it’s not appropriated, or made effective, in our lives until we acknowledge that sin, ask Him to save us and confess Him as Savior and Lord of our lives. We do that through prayer and confession.

Romans 10:9, 10; 13 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

Jesus told the woman in our story in Luke 7:50 that it was her “faith” that saved her. Faith is placing your complete confidence in the finished work of Jesus on the cross that paid for our sin and then evidencing it through the belief in your heart and the confession of your mouth. To be “saved”, according to scripture, you must believe in your heart who Jesus is, what He did for you, and then by personally confessing Him as Savior and Lord you make that belief yours.

My friend, have you personally received the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ? Have you acknowledged your sin before Him and ask Him to be your own personal Savior and Lord? If not, today can be your day of salvation. Today can be the day that you see all your wrongdoing washed away through the blood of Jesus. It’s very simple, just pray and confess your sin to the Father and ask Jesus into your heart to be your Savior. If you would like to receive Jesus as your Savior today, please pray this prayer with me:

Father God, I come before You today acknowledging that I am a sinner. I have missed the mark of Your righteousness. I have lived my life to please myself, doing my own thing, living a life that led me down the wrong course, away from You, instead of towards you. I believe that Jesus is Your Son, that He lived a sinless life on this earth and went to the cross to pay the penalty for my sin. I ask You, Lord Jesus, to forgive me and cleanse me of my sin. I ask You to come into my heart and life to be my own personal Lord and Savior. I thank You for loving me and for forgiving me of my sin. I confess You, Jesus, as my Savior and Lord and I promise from this day forward that I will live my life to please You. Thank You for saving me! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer for the first time today, you are now a part of the family of God. Welcome to my family! You have made the most important decision of your life! Your eternity is sealed by the Holy Spirit and you have a home awaiting you in the presence of God in heaven. Congratulations!

Strength To Strength

Psalm 84 7

Psalm 84:5-7 NKJV Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, They make it a spring; The rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion.

I was thinking this morning about how our walk of faith is like a pilgrimage, just as this portion of scripture describes. This faith walk takes us to different destinations, some of which are good and some, not so good. But as the scripture says when the man reaches the Valley of Baca, or weeping, he passes through it after turning it into a spring. And the rain covers it with pools, or blessings.

The people that are able to go through difficult times have set their eyes on the victory that is on the other side of the difficulty. They have determined to look for the blessings while in the midst of the weeping, or difficulties. They are the ones, who on this pilgrimage of faith, are able to go from strength to strength because they don’t allow the difficulties to break them down, but instead they use the difficulties to strengthen them.  The scripture says this man, whose strength is in the Lord, TURNS his valley of weeping into a spring.  He doesn’t just passively endure his problem, but he turns it into the opposite of what it normally would be.  He strengthens himself through the difficulty instead of resigning himself to the problem and just enduring.

We all experience difficulties but the important thing to remember is that they will not last forever, we will pass through them, and how we come out of the difficulty is much more important than the difficulty itself. Will we come out stronger or weaker; will we look for blessings or see nothing but doom and gloom?

2 Corinthians 4:17, 18 NKJV For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Whatever you are going through today, keep on walking by faith, not dwelling on the things that you see happening around you, but by focusing on the eternal weight of glory that is being formed out of that difficulty that will strengthen you and give you blessings that can only come from standing strong and relying on a living and vital relationship with Jesus Christ.  He will sustain you and turn your trials into blessings!  Take a proactive approach to the problems of life, viewing them as stepping stones to a greater destination, rather than stumbling blocks to hold you back.  Pass through the Valley of Baca (weeping) by faith, from faith to a position of stronger faith!

If you don’t have a relationship with Him, start out your faith walk today by inviting Him into your heart to be your very own personal Lord and Savior.  Pray and ask Him to come into your life and give you the peace of knowing the One true God.  He is waiting to be Your all in all if you will invite Him in.

Father, I pray for those today who may be going through trials and difficulties.  I pray that they will know You, the One who sustains and gives strength and peace in the midst of the storms of life.  Father, I ask You to draw them by Your Spirit into a living and vital relationship with You and fill their hearts with the satisfaction and contentment that only You can give.  For those who are in the midst of the storm I pray that they will feel renewed strength and a vision of the victory You have stored up for them after passing through the storm.  Help them to keep their eyes on You and know that this is a temporary place that they are walking through and not one in which they camping out.  May they experience Your peace and strength.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Are You Listening?

Spirit to spirit encounter is God speaking directly to our spirits as we wait in His presence. His Spirit speaks to our spirits and His direction comes to our minds.

Romans 8:14-17 NKJV For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

The subjective and objective voice of the Spirit are both in operation today. We hear His voice through the written word and He speaks and leads also through the subjective voice of His Spirit. One without the other leaves a person lacking, but when the two are combined there is a fullness of guidance that is recognized and realized. The subjective voice of God’s Spirit speaks directly to our spirits. He sometimes comes though a prompting, other times an inner voice and if necessary can be heard almost as an audible voice. God is still speaking to His people today when they will quiet themselves before Him and wait for Him to share His heart with them. Do you hear the subjective voice of God’s Spirit or have you limited Him to only speaking to you through His Word? His subjective voice will always line up with His written Word. He is the speaking Spirit of God who will always guide you into all truth.

John 16:13 NKJV “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

God’s Spirit wants to tell us those things that are yet to come. Will we take time to listen and hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church in these last days?

 

Father, I pray this morning that we each will quiet ourselves before You and give You the time to speak to our hearts through Your Spirit’s interaction with us.  Help us to be more sensitive to Your voice.  Cause us to lay aside the distractions of this world to give you quality time each day to reveal to us what we need to know for guidance according to Your way and Your word.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

My times…..are in His hand!

My Times Are In Your Hand

Psalm 31:14, 15 NKJV But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, And from those who persecute me.

Regardless of what happens in this world, I trust in the Lord! My times are in His hand. What comfort that scripture gives me in the tumultuous times in which we live. Along with that scripture is another of my favorites: Psalm 31:19 NKJV Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men!

His goodness is “laid up” for those of us who fear Him! That means that in difficult times when we don’t know or understand why things happen the way they do that we need to look for His goodness! It’s there, laid up for us!

And then there is Psalm 138:8: NKJV The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

God will take those things that concern us and bring them to perfection or maturity. In the good times and the bad we can trust Him to work all things out for our good. We are in the hands of the Almighty, where no foe can touch us. His goodness surrounds us and causes us to prosper even when things seem to be going “down the tube”, so to speak. God is for us, not against us!

Maybe you would say that I am overly optimistic or maybe you think I have my head stuck in the sand. No, I just choose to believe and stand on the promises of God. He is a positive God and in His economy He works all things out for my good! I choose to trust Him and place my faith in Him because I know Him. I have experienced His goodness in troubled times and He has proven to me that He has my best interest at heart.

Father, today as we are aware of the terror that continues to present itself in our world, we see the opportunity to cower in fear and dread going about our daily affairs.  But I pray that we will all turn our eyes and hearts to You, knowing that You alone, Lord Jesus, are our Savior, Protector, Provider, Deliverer and Healer.  You alone know what faces us today and in every tomorrow in which we live and it is in You alone that there is peace.  I pray that the hearts of people will turn to You and trust You for their every need and for the safety and security that they long to have.  Draw people to Yourself and bring salvation into their hearts that they may know You, truly live in relationship with You, and place their trust, hope and faith in You.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Set Your Eyes

Eagle soaring

Image courtesy of:  <a href=”http://www.freechristianimages.se/”>FCI: Free Christian Images</a>

What you set your eyes upon is what you will walk towards! What are you fixing your eyes on today…..success like the eagle soaring above the earth or as the chicken with eyes fixed on the ground where limited opportunities for success exist?

The Greek word for “eyes” is atenizo and it means look steadfastly, behold steadfastly, fasten (one’s) eyes, look earnestly on, look earnestly upon, look up steadfastly, behold earnestly.

To set your eyes would mean to fasten one’s eyes earnestly upon something, such as a goal, or a direction in which you desire to go, or to incline toward a certain person, thing, or destination.

Proverbs 29:18 KJV Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

The vision that God has given you is what you will walk towards when you fasten your eyes upon it. He directs us by His Spirit as we focus on His word, His presence and His guidance.

Hebrews 12:1, 2 NKJV  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We have a great example of soaring above the challenges and obstacle of life when we look at Jesus who set His face like flint to do what God had called Him to do.

Isaiah 50:7 NKJV “For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.

Luke 9:51 NKJV  Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,

Does setting your face or fixing your eyes on what God has planned for you mean that you will not encounter difficulties, failures or discouragement?  No, that is why the scripture says to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”.  Challenges will come and we will have to “lay aside” the things that try to hold us back.  We will have to be determined to reach our goals and run our race to win, but the key is in the promise that Jesus is ahead of us drawing us and leading us by His Spirit, strengthening us for the journey.  With God on our side, what or who could possibly be against us?!

Romans 8:31, 32 NKJV  What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not freely give us all things?

This portion of scripture goes on to say that nothing can separate us from God’s love.  He is for you, not against you!  He wants you to run your race to win, not to be defeated.  Look unto Jesus and fix your eyes on the goal of fulfilling the plan that He has for your life.  With God nothing will be impossible (Luke 1:37) and all things are possible to him who believes (Mark 9:23).

Today I pray that you will set your eyes on what God has for you, the plan that He has for your life, to live above the circumstances of life that have hindered you from becoming all that He has designed and created you to be. Look unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of your faith and walk towards the goals that He has given you!

Apples Of God In Settings Of Silver

Apples of Gold

 

Proverbs 15:23 NKJV A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!

Make your words work for you! We can either encourage or discourage those around us by the words that we speak! Proverbs 25:11 says that “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver.” How precious is silver and gold? We see beautiful jewelry pieces set in both gold and silver! Many precious stones have their settings in silver or gold and are a beautiful adornment to whomever is wearing them.

 

Our words can be the settings for our lives and those that we come into contact with when fitly spoken. Likewise, our words can tear down the spirits of those when we speak harshly or out of our own hurt or disappointment. I pray that my speech might always be with grace, seasoned with salt as is instructed in Colossians 4:7, that I might know how to answer every person in ways that will be gracious and kind. I can’t say that I always exhibit that gracious nature but my goal is to express the character and nature of Jesus to everyone that I come into contact with. God’s word gives us guidelines to live by and goals to achieve!

 

May you have grace-filled conversations with those around you today!

 

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