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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!

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!

Great Joy!

Have you ever read what many call a simple portion of scripture or maybe a well-known passage and just be struck in awe of one phrase or word?

I did this morning.

I got up for work, a little tired, not really wanting to be at work but to just stay at home in my pajamas – resting. The morning had been blah and dull and I felt very unspiritual, even troubled.  So finally decided to take a break and read some scripture.

I read Luke 2:10 & 11— “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

I could not get past the words great joy. Over and over I read the words great joy and kept asking myself, “What does it mean—great joy? What is the Lord trying to say to me—GREAT JOY? I almost felt a desperation to understand these words. Have you ever felt in your heart, that you had to figure something out for your own well-being?

Sometimes we, as Christians, go through life suffering disappointments, broken hearts, failures, day-to-day weariness, physical ailments, stress of life that bring us down. Often this goes on for years and little by little we are worn down without realizing what it is happening. Song of Solomon 2:15 says, “the little foxes, that spoil the vine.” These things sap us of our vitality, the spring in our step, the sparkle in our eye and the great joy. Oh, not purposely, but we focus on life and not rest of Luke 2:10 & 11—the Good News, a Savior has been born, our Messiah, the Lord!

The word joy can be a noun or a verb but in this portion of scripture it is a noun that means the experience of gladness, happiness, lightnessgreat joy, relief, pressure taken off, a look upward. Couple that with the word great and you have an intense, powerful, life-changing indescribable occurrence and knowledge of change in your life.

I think I am beginning to have an inkling to what the Lord was speaking to me this morning. Most of our lives do have a routine, are fairly mundane and simple but that is NOT what we focus on. Let us look beyond the troubles of this life. “Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

By the power of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit quickening, the Lord is giving me revelation on how to change my thinking, recognize I may be in a rut, not to let life get me down but soar above these “little foxes”

My prayer and desire today is to live in Great Joy, to walk in the Great Joy. I want to be intensely glad, intensely alive. I don’t want to down one day and up the next but to be consistently joyful!

I pray with David in Psalm 51:12, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

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