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Archive for the tag “Christian Growth”

Today is the Day!

Since I got up this morning I have thought about the scripture in 2 Corinthians 6:2: For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. (NIV)

The New Living Translation says, “For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.”

Notice that in this scripture God says, NOW, TODAY! How often as Christians, we believe for something but maybe down the road or eventually or maybe in Heaven we will see it. Over the years we get sluggish or disappointed and we let our faith wane a little.

I believe God is wanting to do a work in us of immediacy.  Sometimes we just need to stir ourselves and remember the promises God has given us. Today is the day, now is the acceptable time! Sincerely ask God if that Word is for you. Say to the Lord, “Do I need this Word for my life today that I might prosper in the things of God?”

Today take hold of His Word. I heard a sermon on being “fully persuaded” speaking of Abraham and Sarah having Isaac, Romans 4:20-21says: “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”

Do we believe God is able to do that which He promised us TODAY? Romans 4:17b is speaking of Abraham: “who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.”

By God’s grace, power, favor and protection, I am stirring my heart, my spirit, my mind to believe God’s word TODAY! I am asking God to bring to remembrance the things that He has promised me NOW. I am asking God to call into existence those blessings and truths that do not seem to exist in my life!

I am not ordering God but beseeching Him to move in my heart and life that I may be more like Him. Hebrews 11:11 says, “And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.” NIV

Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” NIV
What are the promises God has given you? Here are some promises the Lord put in my spirit in the past but that He has brought to my remembrance this day:

Jeremiah 30:17: “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD, ‘because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.’ “ NIV

I am the healed of the Lord!

Joel 2:25: “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm,..”

God is restoring to me the things that were lost, taken, eaten, stripped and gnawed from me!

Isaiah 54:13: “All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace.”

God is moving in my children’s lives and bringing them to Him! Praise God!

 “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” Psalm 2:8

Those that are lost God is giving them to me as my inheritance!

“The Sovereign LORD has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will.” Isaiah 50:4 (New Living Translation)

Let us listen to God, believe His Word, stir up that faith He has given you, love God, be kindhearted toward others.
No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD. (NIV) Isaiah 54:17

 

today

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Let the Dead Bury the Dead!

The other day I read an interesting scripture that really spoke to my heart.

Luke 9:60 “Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” King James 2000 Bible

Sometimes as we grow older, we live in regret, we let past failures haunt us, all the what ifs, should haves, could haves, and if onlys weigh down our minds and hearts. In fact, all these things clog our hearts from receiving the new blessings God has for us. God cannot move us into new realms if we are back with the dead, the old, the past. We often go into depression and darkness even though we still believe the Word of God and love the Lord Jesus Christ with all are hearts, we are slowly being choked from the newness of His Love and freshness of his Sprit.

Lamentations 3:22, 23 says, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.”

God’s mercies, love, blessings are new every morning but do we receive them every morning or are we still in the past? Are we dwelling on loss, failures, grievances, even past conflicts or perhaps past successes?

When I read that scripture, Let the dead bury the dead, God told me to let go of all those things that are hindering me from receiving that new revelation of Him and His Sovereignty in my life!

If I did that then I would see a mighty move of God in a fresh anointing in my life. Remember the second part of that scripture? But you go and preach the kingdom of God! Praise God!

Earlier I wrote about a word God gave me in January 2012, “Your latter end will be greater than your former!!!” What a great journey God has me on! How can I go forward if I am dwelling on the past whatevers? I can’t. I think that is why Luke 9:60 spoke so strongly to me. The Lord is saying: Get on with God’s business, blessings, freshness, fresh revelation and let the past go and not only be gone but dead and buried!!! Amen? Amen!!!

Wreckage and Mercy

The other day I heard a sermon from the book of Jonah. All week I have thought on the truths found in the book of Jonah. I want to share two particular truths the Lord has shown me.

First, a person’s rebellion against God’s will and especially a Christian’s rebellion against the directives of God causes wreckage in others lives as well as his/her own.

Secondly, God loves repentance and mercy over justice.

 The book of Jonah is found in the Old Testament. It is not a parable or a fictional story but a truly historical narrative. The names and places in the book are historical.  Jesus also spoke about Jonah not as a fictional story or parable but as history.

Jonah was a prophet of Israel and God. God told Jonah to go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it because it was so wicked. Ninevah was the capital of Assyria, a very wicked and immoral nation. Israel considered the Assyrians a threat and hated them. So when God told His man, His prophet, Jonah to preach to them, Jonah in his rebellion and his own wisdom decided to not do what the Lord asked of him but to run the very opposite way.

Jonah 1:1-3: “Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.” (KJV)

 We see Jonah rebel and go his own way. Have you ever God, “No, Lord, I don’t want to do that”? Have you gone your own way instead of God’s way whether through sin or slackness or fear or just saying NO to God? Oh, maybe you justify the waywardness or sin but deep down you know it is wrong, you feel guilty and shame but it is not enough to stop you or turn you back to complete surrender to the Lord’s will.

          FIRST TRUTH–when a person rebels against the Lord there will always be wreckage!

Jonah 1:4-6 says, “Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.

But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish.”

Now we start seeing the wreckage in other’s lives caused by one man’s rebellion against God. Because of the great storm the crew lost their cargo and was in peril of their lives. What was Jonah doing? He was sleeping!

 Romans 14:7 says, “For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.” What we do affects others whether for good or bad. Most of us would like to ignore this fact but it is a truth! When we are in rebellion or sin, we don’t pray as we should, we don’t set the example as we should, a lot of times we become very selfish and self-minded and say, “It is my life! Leave me alone!”

  We don’t want to acknowledge that what we are doing affects others adversely and most of the time it is the ones closest to us that is affected—our family, our children, our spouse, our friends, our church, our community! Exodus 34:7 says “…Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”

 Not only is there wreckage in other’s lives but in our own when we rebel against the Lord. We see Jonah going down to Joppa, then down in to the ship and eventually, down into the ocean.

Jonah 1:11-16:  The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they (the sailors) asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”

“Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”

Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried to the Lord, “O Lord, please do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O Lord, have done as you pleased.” Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him. (NIV)

Finally, Jonah mans up and says—Hey, this is my fault and I am going to own up to my mistakes, my rebellion, my sin even if it means my death.

           SECOND TRUTH– God loves repentance and mercy over justice.

Jonah 1:17,“But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.” (NIV)

God showed mercy to Jonah. Instead of a watery grave for Jonah, God sent a great fish to preserve him. Inside of that fish, Jonah repented of his sins, asked God to forgive him and surrendered his life, his will, his ambitions, his hopes, his all once more to God.

Jonah 2:9,10: But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord.”

And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Jonah 3:1-4: Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”

Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city—a visit required three days. On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.”

 Then the Lord brought Jonah back to where he should have been and gave him back his ministry. Praise God!

Sometimes our place of preservation is not the most pleasant and it certainly wasn’t for Jonah—inside the belly of the fish. Jonah called it the pit. Have you repented and are spending time in the place of preservation and it seems like things are not going your way? You wonder why? God is teaching you, fortifying you and perhaps even testing you to see if you will stick to the course this time, if you will prove true to Him, if you really will love Him above all else? I am sure being vomited out of the place of preservation wasn’t fun either but Jonah was a true man of God and listened for God’s voice and was obedient to do what God had called him to do.

 Our Lord and Savior Jesus is not a hard taskmaster but loving, kind and merciful. Psalms 91:4 says, “His huge outstretched arms protect you – under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm.” (The Message Bible). He puts us in the cleft of the rock and keeps us from harm. (Exodus 33:22) As we want the best for our children and when they mess up or make a mistake, we correct them and instruct them, most of all we love them. How much more does our Creator, our Heavenly Father, want the best for us? He knows our talents, our character, the direction that our lives should go. If we go the wrong direction and go down instead of up, our God will do what he needs to do to correct our paths so we can go up and see His glory!

 Jonah preached to the people of Nineveh and they heard the word and repented—the whole city! Yet, Jonah became extremely angry. He knew these people had greatly sinned! They deserved punishment! Have you ever seen perhaps a Christian leader, someone whom you admired and respected, get caught in some bad sin? You were hurt. Then they repented, God had mercy upon them, even though they had to pay the price for their sin, you didn’t think it was enough. You despised them in your heart? Perhaps you were like the Sons of Thunder, the apostles James and John, who wanted to call down fire from heaven on a group of people for the disrespect to our Lord and Savior Jesus? (Luke 9:52-56)

I have been there and done that. I’ve had to repent over my attitude of wanting God’s justice instead of God’s mercy and forgiveness. The Lord pointed out my own failings, my own missing the mark, my own rebellion. When He opened my eyes and showed me His great mercy to me, how He restored me, how He brought me through; I fell on my face and wept. Who was I to point a finger at my brother?

God wants to show mercy to a clueless people, He wants people to repent of their sins. He wants to restore people to who they should be.

 John 3:17 says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (NIV)

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:10

 Let us be a people who shows our neighbor, friend, brother or sister God’s compassion, mercy, kindness instead of judgment and harshness. Let the following verse be our creed in life—to love mercy!

Consecrate Yourself

Have you heard God tell you something? He just drops it into your heart and mind faster than you could even say it to somebody and you know that you know it is God!!!

The other day I was visiting with a friend. It was a good conversation about the things of the Lord. Then without expectation God spoke to me the following words:

 

Joy leapt up in my heart! With these words I felt the Lord was taking me deeper in Him. I am a mature Christian but I felt like the Lord was dealing with me in a strong way. Sometimes, we go about our daily lives and maybe get lax or complacent or even self-satisfied. I thought I knew what to consecrate myself meant but wanted to do more of an in-depth study on consecration. During my Christian walk, I want to be real, honest, open.

When God speaks to you like He did me, He wants you to ponder the words, seek His face, be obedient to what He tells you. I don’t believe I know the whole of the message right now but I do want what He wants for my life.

Let’s study a little about consecration.

 What does it mean to be consecrated?

The word consecrate means to be set apart for the service of God. There were four main words that were used in the Hebrew to describe this:

  1. Haram – to devote
  2. Nazar – To separate
  3. Qadhesh – To set apart
  4. Mille yadh – to fill the hand: used to describe the ordinations of priests

The term consecrate was applied to several aspects of the Jewish life:

  • Places: Holy of Holies – The inner most part of the temple
  • People: Priests and prophets
  • Things: Altar of Incense and the Ark of the Covenant
  • Times: Various feasts and special days such as Yom Kippur or Passover

Consecration is for all Christians. It is not optional but required since we are all priests for God.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

“For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

And that he died for all, that they who live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again.”

The Constraining power of the Lord’s Love—

Constrained means “pressed on from all sides,” tightly confined on all sides. Christ’s love binds us. He shed His blood because He loves us. Because of that great love, we are His. We are wrapped in His love. Praise God!!!

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

“Love is a basis of consecration. Love has bound us up, and we cannot run away. When a person is in love, he will have a sense of bondage. We are bound by Him; we have no way out. He has died for us, and we should live unto Him today. Hence, love is the basis of consecration. A man consecrates himself to the Lord because of the Lord’s love. No one can consecrate himself unless he first touches the Lord’s love. A man must touch the Lord’s love before he can consecrate himself to Him. When one touches the Lord’s love, consecration spontaneously follows.” (Watchman Nee)

The Lord’s expectation of Consecration in our lives:

1 Cor. 6:19-20

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

Because the Lord bought our lives with His own sinless blood, he has the right to ask us to consecrate ourselves.

Consecration unto service to God—it is the receiving of the ministry of service to God. It is to say to the Lord, “Because you have loved me, saved me, brought me out of darkness into your marvelous light, because you protect me and keep me, because You have so drastically changed my life for the better, because you have made a new person of me—I will serve you and do what you ask of me!”

In order to be consecrated we must first ask Jesus to forgive us, to cleanse of all unrighteousness, of all sin. Repent! We have been bought with a price—The Blood of Jesus. Our entire beings belongs to Him alone.

The Hebrew word consecration means “to have one’s hands filled”. “I exhort you therefore, brothers, through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing to God which is your reasonable service” Rom. 12:1

A saturation of Christ is what God calls consecration. God calls us to service and we answer, “Yes, Lord I am yours body, soul, will, emotions. I am grateful and privileged to serve you however you see fit.” See Romans 6

Consecration is service or to “wait upon the Lord”. Be prepared to serve. We present our bodies to serve God in whatever capacity the Lord has for us. We need to be flexible. The Lord comes first.

“Our entire life is directed toward the service of God. Consecration is not how much we can give to God. It is being accepted by God and being granted the honor of serving Him.” (Watchman Nee)

Consecration means that we say, “Lord, You have given me the opportunity and the right to come before You and to serve You.” It is saying, “Lord, I am Yours. My ears were purchased by the blood; they belong to You. My hands were purchased by the blood; they belong to You. My feet were purchased by the blood; they belong to You. From now on I can no longer use them for myself.” (Watchman Nee)

(Watchman Nee was a devout Chinese Christian who died in 1972. He spent the last 20 years of his life in prison being persecuted by the Communist in China. He wrote about the Christian life and founded many churches in China.)

Jesus is to be first in our lives!

Let’s look in Mark 10:17-31. A rich young man came to Jesus and ask what must he do to inherit eternal life? The young man told Jesus that he had kept the commandments but Jesus said he needed to go and sell everything, give that to the poor and then follow him. The young man didn’t do it.

Jesus looked into the heart of this young man. Jesus wasn’t saying that you couldn’t have money to be saved but that you must not have idols or anything that was more important that the Lord. The young man wanted to go to heaven but he put riches and wealth above the service and love of the Lord.

Consecration is putting Jesus absolutely first in your life, above all else, be ready, be prepared to serve him and do what He asks. Christianity is not casual. Christ asks us to take up our cross daily. Luke 9:23 “Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

Following Jesus, being a committed Christian is not burdensome. When the Lord said take up our cross daily, He was saying, “die to self” each and every day. Surrender your will, ambitions, life, politics, opinions, dreams, hopes, fears, to the Lord each day. Listen to his voice and do what He says. The Cross represents death. Jesus died on the cross. Living a Christian life is great joy but the dying to self is often what is hard. Discipleship is sacrifice. It means taking all idols out of your life like the rich young man and following Him.

If you wonder if you are ready to take up your cross, consider these questions:

  • Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing some of your closest friends?
  • Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means alienation from your family?
  • Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means the loss of your reputation?
  • Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your job?
  • Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your life?

In some places of the world, these consequences are reality. But notice the questions are phrased, “Are you willing?” Following Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean all these things will happen to you, but are you willing to take up your cross? If there comes a point in your life where you are faced with a choice—Jesus or the comforts of this life—which will you choose? (taken from GotQuestions.org)

Consecration is putting Jesus first, setting yourself apart from what you once were, dedicate yourself to the things of God, prepare yourself to be sensitive to the voice of God and when He calls—answer.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

Joshua 3:5 says, “Joshua told the people, Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

God wanted them to:  Turn their hearts to God. Put their faith and trust in God and His promises. Put away sin and do good as the Lord showed them. Make a true commitment to God’s ways! Be an overcomer! Many of us look good on the outside but harbor anger, bitterness, unforgiveness.

We often manipulate people and try to be in control of every situation. To see God’s amazing works in our lives, we must examine ourselves and motives and commit ourselves to Him in every area. This surrendering involves every part of our lives—physical, mental, and spiritual.

God wants us to grow and not remain spiritual babies but become His useful servants. Absolutely know you have been bought with a price! The Bible says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit…, and you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price. So then glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Romans 14:8 says, “Whether we live or we die, we are the Lord’s.”

In other words, we are owned by Christ. Not unwillingly but we give our lives to the Lord when we ask Him to forgive us and save us from our sins.  We consciously and willingly become God’s servants or slaves. Yet, many people say, “I only want to serve God or do for God a certain extent.” They want to go to church, feel good about themselves, but still keep a part of their lives and hearts apart so they can do what they want. They want to be independent instead of acknowledging to God, to the world, to themselves that they have been bought with a price and they are literally owned by our Savior Jesus Christ. So they stray away, or never grow as a Christian because they are always fighting against God’s service.

When we consecrate ourselves to God, we sacrifice our desires not because we have to but because we want to. We are in a love relationship with Jesus. Because we love the Lord, we are willing to lay aside our own wishes and do what the Lord asks. It is not grievous; it is a joy because we know the Lord has our best interests in mind. He is divine, He knows what is ahead, He is Sovereign.

Exodus 21:1-6 shows us a picture of our love relationship with the Lord. Verse 5 – 6 says, “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.”

If only all of us would say of our love, “I do not ever want to be free of the Lord. I am His man or woman forever. I am His servant, His slave. Do with me what you want! Your way is the best for me!” Not making this commitment in just words but in deeds!

Consecration is not just for our own benefit but also for the Body of Christ. When we consecrate ourselves, we are able to help other people whether Christian or the ungodly. Through consecration we will be in the right place at the right time because we will hear the voice of God and know what to do.

How can we consecrate ourselves?

  1. Be willing to spend time alone with God. Try to set a time that you will not be interrupted.
  2. Examine your life. Ask God to show you things that you are thinking or doing that would come between Him and you.
  3. Ask forgiveness for wrong attitudes, wrong thinking, unforgiveness, busyness, any idolatry. Idolatry is anything you set above doing the will of God in your life—whether it is wealth, the accumulating of wealth, your family, your pride.
  4. Want to be used of the Lord regardless of whatever way. Not everyone is called to be a missionary or be a pastor but everyone is called into service someway.
  5. Grow up in the things of God, surrender all to Him, read and study your Bible.

These are but a few of the ways to consecrate yourself to the Lord. Ask God to help you!

“Solitude, silence, and unceasing prayer form the core concepts of the spirituality of the desert.”

Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart

 

I am desperate for the Lord and I want hear his voice! I want to be constrained by Christ! I want to do what the Lord said to me and have the results of what the Lord said to me!

Jeremiah 33:3

The Healed Heart

The other night when I was in church the Lord gave me a prophetic vision that I would like to share.

Broken HearIn this vision I was weeping with a great sorrow and praying for the Lord to help me. I saw myself take my heart out of my body and lay it on the church’s altar. The heart I laid on the altar was cracked, broken, bleeding, creviced, hurting, splintered, laboring to beat, not whole. I then saw the Lord Jesus take up the heart I had offered him. He so tenderly picked it up with his hands and put it in the crook of his arms as he would hold a newborn babe. Jesus started carrying around my heart. He spoke softly, gently caressing that broken, bleeding, creviced, splintered, hurting heart of mine that beat so irregularly. As he lovingly touched my heart, I could feel the healing and tremendous compassion He had for me.

He spoke and said, “I am healing your heart, no longer will you be out of sync with me, I am pouring my blood into your heart, into your situation, into your life. As you have given me your heart, as you have poured out your sorrow and hurt to me, know that I am here for you. I see your every need. Lay your head upon my bosom, hear my heartbeat. Let your heartbeat be in sync with my heartbeat. Give all to Me and I will do a great healing in your life.”

I then saw the Lord take my heart and it was no longer bleeding, broken, creviced. It was new and pure, it had beautiful wings as if it could fly. The Lord with His hands took my heart and placed it back into me and I felt a great lightness in my body.

I wasn’t sure why I saw my heart this vision as I didn’t feel like I had broken, hurting heart. The Lord spoke to me and said it was for me to share to hurting people. He let me feel their hurt and His great compassion for them.

Psalms 143:3

The Lord wants us to give Him our broken hearts; to give Him our needs, our concerns, our dreams, our goals, our lives. When we do that, we allow the Lord to do a work in us. We grow in grace and knowledge of the truth.

Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Our Lord Jesus will turn situations around, strengthen, heal and guide us. “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalms 73:26

In Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.”

 Jesus has walked where we have walked. He has experienced the pain and hurt that life can bring and he handled it correctly, He put his trust in God, His Father. He did not sin. Because He did not sin is why we can trust Him. He knows how to help us in those broken times, He knows how to cleanse us and create newness in us. He knows how to make us better and not bitter. We can trust our Lord with our heart whatever condition it is in.

Jesus is our heart-healer, our heart-maker, our heart-cleanser, our heart-restorer, our heart-deliverer, our heart-renewer, our heart-tuner, our greatest heart-love!

Bow before the Lord, ask Him to help you, give Him your cares, burdens, heartbreaks, be obedient to His word, repent of any sin. All you have to do is sincerely say, “Jesus, I need you! I can’t do it on my own. Help me! I will listen to you!” As you seek Him, you will hear His heartbeat and you can be in sync with Him. He loves and cares for you!

“Leave the broken, irreversible past in God’s hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.” ~ Oswald ChambersHeart Healer

What is Peace?

Have you ever said, I just need peace! or I don’t have peace!? If you are a Christian then I will admonish you and tell you that you have peace!

What is peace? What does the word peace mean to a Christian?

Jesus said to us in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Peace is a power word for us as Christians. It means to be whole, complete, in harmony with God, ourselves and man, order in our lives, unity, goodwill, prosperity, well-being, full, nothing missing, impaired, or damaged.

How often we let the enemy of our soul, the devil steal, rob, encroach upon our well-being, our peace. Sometimes we don’t allow the Holy Spirit to do a full work in our lives.

Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

What does “let the peace of Christ rule” mean? Rule means sit as umpire there, govern and control. Let the peace of God rule, judge, or umpire all our human passions and emotions such as anger, wrath, revenge, anxiety, restlessness, bitterness, dissatisfaction, discontent, disputes and questionings of our heart. God says bring all unruliness under the control of the Word of God, that we might walk in order, meekness, long-suffering, forbearance , forgiveness and prosperity. By letting peace rule our hearts we will have tranquility in the face of turmoil, calmness in the storm, faith in the good times and the bad.

“Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:7

Beloved, if you are a Christian and do not feel like you have peace, ask for prayer from trusted members of your church, seek God and see if there is something you haven’t surrendered to Him, be obedient to what He asks you. Keep your mind on the Lord!

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3

Do Not Be Afraid!!!

 

 

 

Has the Lord ever asked you to get out of your comfort zone? Do something that is unusual? Make a complete lifestyle change? Go into the ministry?

What did you think about? Did you feel fear and wonder what would happen? I think most of us would weigh out that kind of decision, perhaps be fearful, wonder if we were doing the right thing?

What about Mary and Joseph? What did they think or feel?       

When the angel Gabriel came to Mary, he said in Luke 1:28, “…Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary didn’t doubt that she saw an angel but she didn’t jump for joy either. She knew God was asking something from her.

Luke1: 29 says, “Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be the great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.

Mary realized the consequences of saying yes to the Lord. She was a virgin and everyone would think she was impure and had committed adultery. Joseph probably wouldn’t marry her and she might very well die from being stoned as was the custom at that time. Her reputation would be ruined and there would always be gossip if she didn’t lose her life. Yes, this decision was life-changing and would have serious consequences.

The angel encouraged her though and said do not be afraid! God will take care of you. Mary said yes, Praise the Lord! Even though her life was totally changed, God blessed her. “God has blessed you above all women,…..You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” Luke 1:42b and 45. (NLT)

Joseph also was ministered to by an angel in a dream. The angel also told Joseph to not be afraid, Mary was with child by the Holy Spirit and to go ahead and marry her. Joseph was obedient to the Lord and took Mary as a wife but had no sexual relations with her until after Jesus was born.

Who knows what was said about this couple, the innuendos, the gossip, the persecution they faced throughout their lives? They didn’t know the future but said yes to God probably when no one else supported them or even understood. They had faith that God was in control and whatever happened, He would take care of them. They knew that life would not be without trials but to say no to God would be rebellion. They loved God too much to say no.

Mary and Joseph were greatly blessed then and we are greatly blessed now by their surrender to the God’s will for them.

Whenever, God is speaking to you, things look impossible and you say “Who am I that You could use, I am no one, I am the unlikely, I am poor, a woman, not smart enough, strong enough, good enough?” Remember, the Lord knows what is ahead, what is needed and He is in control.

Do Not Be Afraid!!!

Astray?

1 Peter 2:25 says, “For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (NIV)

The word astray can mean anywhere from led into  error and sin, to be deceived or as severe as to fall away from truth and become a heretic.

Astray can also mean to wander or roam about. Sometimes we as Christians don’t fall from truth, we don’t fall into sin and error but we do roam or wander. We get away from the express calling of God on our lives. Many times it seems right at the time to follow a certain path, to perhaps get caught up into the work of our ministry and stop following the heart of God.

We humans are so very fallible, like sheep we lose sight of what God had intends for us. I read a well-known minister’s statement about his ministry and the myriad changes in it. His ministry had grown large and prosperous. He was doing good works and reaching a lot of people. He wasn’t in sin or error but had lost sight of where God intended for him to go. God stopped him one day and said you have strayed from what I have called you to do. So God took him back to His original mandate for this minister’s life. God didn’t condemn this minister, He directed him. That minister just grew in in love, grace and Christlikeness through the obedience to God’s will and purpose for his life.

If you feel like you have failed, strayed, lost sight of God’s express will for you, ask God to help you get back on the right path. Our God is compassionate and loving. Jesus knows our wants, wishes, desires and the many dangers to our souls. He is our Shepherd, He feeds us, guards us, directs  and is there even when we might take the wrong fork in life for awhile. He lovingly tends to our hurts, scratches, wounds, binds us up and carries us when we are weak.

How to return to the Lord and His express purpose for your life?

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “We all, with open face beholding as a glass the glory of the Lord”.

Behold the Lord’s glory! Enter into devoted, focused worship of the Lord. It means fixing your gaze on the Lord. David Wilkerson said, “It means deciding, I won’t move from this position. Before I do anything else, before I try to accomplish a single thing, I must be in God’s presence.” Yearn and long to be in the presence of God. Lay on your bed or walk around your home, just spend time opening your heart to God. Many times all you need to say is, “God, I need you!!!”

The Lord will direct you, comfort you, lead you, give you insight. He is your Shepherd and the Bishop of your soul! God loves you!!!

Relax in the Lord!

 

      RELAX IN THE LORD!

 

 

 

 

Yesterday, a friend of mine gave me a word found in Daniel 12:13 (The Message Bible) that the Lord had given her after praying about a certain matter in her life.

“And you? Go about your business without fretting or worrying, Relax. When it’s all over, you will be on your feet to receive your reward.”

The Lord told her to Relax! My friend is taking God at His Word. Sometimes it takes more faith to just go on about our business, quit fretting, and let God work it out.

Do you have that kind of faith? Very often, we think great faith is doing something spectacular, marvelous, heart-stopping. We admire the pushers & movers but looking at God’s word in Daniel 12, great faith many times requires us just to take our hands off, stand back, relax and let God work.

Trust God whether it is finances, relationships, your own personal growth, health, or any number of numerous things that happen in our lives. God loves you and want only the best for you.

I found a personal word the Lord gave me several years ago when I was going through some things in my life:

“Oh, my daughter, you are mine! Relax in Me, put your trust in Me, put your hand in My hand. Whatever storm may blow, I am with you and I uphold you. The storm is brewing over you, but I am with you. You will see victory and good! You will eat the good of the land because my favor is upon you! My seal is upon you! I love you!”

I was encouraged then and I am encouraged today. Our God is a good God and loves us and wants the best for us!!!

 

Face-to-Face Encounter with God

The other day a friend of mine’s church prayed for people to have a face-to-face encounter with the Lord. The congregation spoke names of people they knew or who the Lord led them to speak.

In Exodus 3 Moses was in the desert tending the sheep. Moses had a good life, great family, making a good living but he wasn’t in the ministry-something was missing, he wasn’t fulfilling God’s purpose for his life. Then he had a miraculous encounter with God. God spoke to him from the burning bush and told Moses’ to return to Egypt do the work of the Lord.

I have had a face-to-face encounter with God in the last couple of weeks. God has put a great desire and a burning in my heart to go deeper in Him. He has lifted burdens off my heart that have been there for years. I go to bed with Him on my mind and wake up with a song in my heart-a burning desire for His Word. I know that I know that I know, my life will never be the same!

Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

God “fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” (Psalm 103:5)

I am renewed, I am refreshed, I walk in Great Joy. I am Intensely Alive in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Beloved, I pray that whoever reads this message, receives what I have from the Lord and that you have a Face-To-Face Encounter with God!!!

Haggai 2:9—

The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”

Amen!

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