Que Sera Sera

Que Sera Sera

Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NKJV) Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines;
though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

“Que sera sera” is a Spanish phrase translated means “what will be, will be.” You may be familiar with it from the 1956 song of the same name made famous by actress/singer, Doris Day in the fifties. It means that the future is random and whatever happens is going to happen essentially. It is most often used as a fatalistic term referring to a hopelessly unchangeable situation that is accepted. You may be more familiar with the term “it is what it is.” Usually these statements end with a sigh or some other reflective pause. It is a placeholder for whatever comes after that and the resolve that people are powerless in such situations. Do you feel that way today? Stuck between a rock and a hard place? Nothing ever seems to come out in your favor? It seems like you just can’t catch a break? No matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to get ahead. Have you given in to que sera sera? Today – this very moment – could be the defining moment when you change “what will be, will be” or “it is what it is” or even “que sera sera” to Selah! God wants to move your mind from the place of acceptance of all those seemingly hopeless and unchangeable situations to the realm of hope. The entry point is to leave behind hopelessness and step out in faith to the place called Selah.

The word “Selah” is used twice as much as “amen” and three times more than “hallelujah” in the King James Version of the Bible. Why? God’s Word is alive. It is powerful. Sharper than a two-edged sword, the Word of God has the power to do away with the subtle lies that keep us bound by hopelessness so that the Lord can move us into the realm of hope that strips impossibility from our life making all things possible if we only believe. That’s right! If you believe, faith moves mountains. It changes outcomes in our favor. It doesn’t always eliminate the struggle or battle but empowers us to be victorious in all things. Selah marks a turning point. It is found only in Psalm and Habakkuk.

The prophet, Habakkuk, had pleaded with the Lord in prayerful conversation on behalf of the people. The Lord responds to him each time yet the prophet is pressing in for the deliverance of the people. In Chapter 2, he promises to wait in a “watchtower” for the Lord to take action on his request. Sin rampant. Love cold. Sickness and famine in the land. The prophet still cries out for the people in Chapter 3 four times he says, “Selah”. Selah in the Hebrew means “lift up” or “exalt”. I believe “amen” is similar in that it expresses agreement with God by exaltation as does “hallelujah” which expresses affirmation of God with exuberance.

The difference may be as small as a mustard seed of faith but more powerful than any other expression. It is the moment that in spite of the chaos all around us, wars and rumors of war, famine, drought, circumstances, adverse conditions, or even consequences. Or maybe we should get a bit more personal – the infidelity of a spouse, betrayal of a close friend, loss of income, terminal diagnoses, or even death of a loved one – in that moment by faith when I choose to say, “Selah” that it is the very second that His Grace covers me in His Power and He becomes MY Great I Am. Habakkuk 3:17-18 is the prophets declaration as a direct result of his four “selahs”. It took four, mind you, for him to say, “yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” How many will it take you?

Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)  But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

For my own peace of mind, I have a list of those things that happen that I just can’t seem to reconcile by faith. Those unthinkables that happened even though God is good and loves us unconditionally. I know that the list will mean nothing when I meet Jesus face-to-face but I had to put the thought, idea, disappointment or uncertainty somewhere in order to keep moving on. I am only human just like you. There will be things that just don’t make sense in this life. His Ways are higher than our ways. His Thoughts much different than my own. Time has resolved some of the items on my list which are now stricken but there will be somethings I never understand. I must have faith that just because I can’t explain it, don’t understand it or even don’t agree with it that God is God. He is the Great I Am. His Love for me complete and comprehensive. Unconditional. His Grace completely unfathomable. I believe that He perfects all that concerns me. It is right there in His Word. I also believe that because I love and trust Him all things work together for my good. Even those things, I try to forget. Don’t want anyone to know. Faith takes us past those things marked impossible and moves them to the column of possibility. When I choose to stop saying, “Que sera sera” and by faith declare “selah” things begin to change.

Psalm 3:1-4 (NKJV) Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. Selah

Psalm 4:1-5 (NKJV) Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; have mercy on me, and hear my prayer. How long, O you sons of men, will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood? Selah But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the Lord will hear when I call to Him. Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.

Psalm 32:8-11 (NKJV) I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

Selah is the affirmative response when God says, “Do you trust me?” I don’t want to flood this message with verses that cause you to not see the clear relevance of trusting God when your situation seems impossible, irreversible and overwhelming. When all hell breaks loose in your life and everything falls apart – the absolute best declaration of faith is to trust the Lord. When you are going through the valley – it is not human nature to sing, “Hallelujah!” When everything is going wrong, who is going to shout, “Amen!” But in our distress, discomfort, discouragement and even disagreement with God’s Way of doing things that moment, to say simply, “Selah” tells God despite all these “things”, God I trust you. I believe that you are the miracle maker. I believe that no matter what the condition, circumstances or consequences that I am facing that Your Grace is enough for me and Your Power will overcome my weakness. It is spoken in the darkness, despair and disappointment as a white flag of surrender that no matter what God I belong to You!

Psalm 61:1-4 (NKJV) Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah

Selah is a term that is not easily given. It is an offering of all that I am or have left to the awesomeness of the Lord for His Careful Intervention. It is to take that last sense of control or comfort and burn it on the altar so that His Spirit can take over. I love to shout “amen” when the pastor makes a good point, or the Holy Spirit moves in someone’s life. It’s almost like saying, “You go God, I see what you are doing there Jesus!” I love to sing “hallelujah” even when no one else does because the Lord has been so good to me. My life is not perfect, but I have lived long enough to see His Word and His Way make all the difference in my life. However, I can also testify that my faith has grown more in the moments when all I could whisper was “selah” than any of these other times. The days when nothing seems to be going right and all my hope seems lost yet in my prayer closet, on my knees and through my tears cry out, “Selah, I trust you God!” These are the moments that the tiny seed of my faith grows just a little bit more and my hope becomes more confident than it was before.

I don’t know what you are going through today. I know what it is like to feel the pressure and stress of life bearing down on you. I know the breathtaking feeling of anxiety gripping your heart until it can hardly beat. I also have felt the pain of my heart being broken into a million tiny pieces thinking no one could ever put it all back together again. I know what impossible looks like. I know what the realm of hope feels like. It is the moment the breakpoint comes that breakthrough is possible. Are you there yet? Your life is full of possibility and potential yet to be recognized. How do I know? Put your one hand on your chest. Feel that? Your heart is still beating with life. God’s not finished. Put your other hand just outside your mouth – do you feel that? It’s the breath of God that you are exhaling. He is alive and well in you. Without purpose, God would have stopped your heart and carried you home. If you had no further potential, the Lord would not make you suffer here when Heaven is so much better. The fact you are still breathing means there is potential inside of you yet to be revealed and cultivated in your life. The pressure you feel is faith trying to grow so that you will reach the next level that the Lord has prepared for you. If He allowed you to remain comfortable – complacency would take over and your purpose would never come to pass. So rather than saying, “Que sera sera” maybe if you changed your declaration to “Selah” – all those seemingly impossible things might come to life again. Dead dreams begin to breathe with new purpose. Visions become a reality. See God just needs a little bit of faith and trust from you and me to do extravagant things. So I say, “Selah!”

Psalm 67:1-4 (NKJV) God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, Selah That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth. Selah

To Die For

To Die For

Philippians 1:21 (NIV) For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

There is a worship song by Anthony Brown and Group Therapy called Worth that we sang yesterday in church. It says, “You thought I was worth saving so you came in changed my life. You thought I was worth keeping so you cleaned me up inside. You thought I was to die for so you sacrificed your life. So I could be free, so I could be whole, so I could tell everyone I know.” This song is a summary of my experience with Jesus Christ. Is it yours?

There is something about saying, “You thought I was to die for…” Jesus Christ saw me and decided that I was to die for. The first two lines remind me that I am grateful that Jesus changed my life. He shined a Light of His Love so brightly that I could come out of the darkness that once overshadowed me. I am so thankful that the Lord thought I was worth keeping. Like a piece of furniture tossed in the trash, picked up by someone who saw its potential. Taking home they cleaned it, sanded it down, repainted it and reupholstered it taking the time to make it what it should be again. Now someone’s trash has become someone else’s treasure proudly displayed in fulfillment of purpose as a masterpiece in their home. The Lord has indeed cleaned me up inside. I am not who the world told me I was or facing the consequences my life demanded. No, Jesus thought I was worth keeping.

With all these wonderful and awesome things that God has done through His Son in my life, the most powerful of all is that Jesus Christ thought I was to die for. I keep coming back to this verse and am consumed with the revelation that my Savior and Lord thought I was to die for. How is this even possible to an omniscient God who knows me inside and out? Why would Jesus think that I of all people would be worth dying for? The only thing that I can even slightly compare it to is the love that I have for my children. I would die for them. In fact, as our son battled cancer for three solid years, many times I begged and pleaded with the Lord to remove it from him and give it to me. Desperate to see our son delivered of the pain, suffering and possibility of death, I learned a valuable lesson. Jesus would not allow me to die for something that He already did on the Cross.

I Peter 2:21-25 (NIV) To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.  “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Jesus thought I was to die for. He decided to suffer for me. He committed no sin. Even when the very people who He was dying for insulted the Lord, He did not retaliate. He made not a single threat. Jesus trusted God, His Father. The One who judges justly. He bore our sins in His Body on the Cross. Every sin because there is no unforgivable sin or hierarchy chart of transgressions – Jesus died for every single one. His Grace is more than enough for me…and you. He did this so that we could live in right standing with God again. This allows us to be Children of God and be a part of His Kingdom once more. We were predestined to do so. Now we are free to return. By His Stripes, we have been healed. Do you agree? Do you have a sick loved one who is hurting in pain? Do you want to take their burden and ease their misery? You can’t. Even if their sickness fell upon you it would not ease their burden or satiate the misery that they feel, only Jesus can do it. Just Jesus, but we try to do it ourselves day by day.

2 Corinthians 5:13-19 (NIV)

If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

 

For me to live is Christ and die is gain. Think about this verse again comparing it to your life. I am doing the same. Is my life summated in Jesus? Am I reconciling my life to Christ day by day? I have a confession to make. For a long time, I was a casual Christian. I didn’t want this thing to get out of hand though and turn into a crazy Christian. You know the kind that is over the top. They live in church. Always telling people about Jesus. They don’t do anything fun. The Gifts of the Spirit were cool and I desired all the Fruit of the Spirit, of course. I was not interested in operating in them though. I loved God. Jesus was my Savior. However, I kept it under my control. I made Jesus “Lord” over some areas of my life only to discover that He cannot be Lord without a total surrender. I was in control and fooling myself. I was reconciling my life and coming up short.

I wish I could say it was an epiphany or quiet revelation in my prayer closet that brought me to the place where I surrendered my whole life to reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. I would like to be able to tell you it was not a messy and brutal undoing of me including everything I believed, but it wasn’t. It was the moment that I discovered I had no control that I finally surrendered all control to Jesus. I have been a born again and Spirit-filled believer for more than a decade. I did not begin the process of surrender until about five years ago. I had to be broken to be rebuilt and fully reconciled to Jesus. Now I think people think I am “out of my mind”. Christ’s love now compels me because I am convinced that He thought I was to die for and did just that.

I am a new creation in Jesus Christ. Are you? Maybe if each person who comes to Christ could hear the worship song and its powerful message they might understand that it is nothing we do or don’t do that makes us worthy of His Love. Jesus loves us because He thought I was worth saving and keeping. In our pursuit of the Lord and all the benefits that He offers, it is easy to be misled and fall back into the worldly understanding that nothing is free. Free means that there is a catch. Trust no one. Rely on yourself. Before you quickly discredit these statements thinking that they are not the words from your mouth. Think of the situation in your life that stresses you most. What are you afraid of? Do you lack in any area of your existence? Are you dissatisfied? What are you doing about it? Do you say, “I trust the Lord, but…”? The only reason that I am saved, healed, delivered and restored is because Jesus thought I was worth dying for. I can do nothing to earn it or deserve it but must reconcile my life to it in total surrender and acceptance day by day.

“Not counting people’s sins against them.” Jesus covered your sin in His Blood. The same overflow that reached you is available to every other living breathing human being including the most heinous criminal or abased transgressor. It is not our job or responsibility to reconcile these folks to the doctrinal beliefs of our church but to open wide the doors welcoming all who will come. It is with this new mindset that we will see revival in our churches again. When we embrace the ministry of reconciliation with open arms beginning with the understanding that Jesus thought we were to die for…all of us.

Romans 14:7-12 (NIV)For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Every knee will bow before me, every tongue will acknowledge God. We will all give account for our life before God one day. Are you afraid to die? Do you want to put it off as long as possible? In his declaration, “for me to live is Christ and die is gain”, Paul goes on to explain the inner conflict in his life. He longed to be with the Lord in forever, yet felt compelled to stay and finish his work telling others about Jesus. What does your bucket list look like? Do you have one? What are those things you are putting off for later? What if tomorrow never comes?

In John 11:23-27, we are privy to a conversation between Jesus and Martha, sister to the now deceased, buried in the tomb, and stinking Lazarus. The Lord tells the grieving sister, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha quickly excuses it to the resurrection of the dead on the last day. Jesus presses further and tells her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die and whoever lives believing in me will never die.” He asked her point blank, “Do you believe this?” She says, “Yes” but her actions tell a different story. She goes to get her sister. Why? She lived for the future Messiah, not the Living God before her.

Please do not think that I am in any way condemning Martha because most days I resemble her more than Mary. Most people will tell you that they believe in God. The God that we meet after death. The Savior who is at the pearly gates whisking us away in His Grace. However, Jesus Christ is the Living God. He wants to meet us in our everyday life because He is alive. He lives in us. We have the same power in us that raised Jesus from the dead. Why are we not seeing miracles? Could it be that our excuse is rational thinking rather than radical faith? To fully reconcile to God through Jesus Christ is to conform our thinking and shape our life around a living God not a soon and coming King. Yes, He is Lord. Yes He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus is alive today and wants to come to us in the land of the living giving us a new life today. We all live for something. We are slaves to one of three things: sin, man or God in Christ Jesus. Those who choose to give their life to the One who thought they were to die for will live now and forever. We all serve someone or something in life. For me to live is Christ and die is gain. Why? Because He thought I was to die for!

Romans 5:6-8 (NIV) You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I leave this thought with you today and pray it will work its way through your soul. Can you guess? You, my friend, are worth dying for! Jesus did it just for you so you could be free and you could be whole so you would let everyone know that His Love is alive today. Our ability to share the Gospel message is contingent our one’s ability to fully accept His Love and believe that it is unconditional and complete. We cannot give something away that we do not have. As I reconcile my life to Jesus Christ, it is not conformity to the Law but rather the mindset of my value and worth to Jesus Christ. I do not see the potential and promise that Jesus sees in me. It is when I place my life completely in the Presence of God and take my hands off of it that I see what God sees in me. He created me. He desires me. He loves me to the point of sacrificing His Son to save me from myself. Who loves you like that here? I venture to say not many. Even in my love and commitment to my husband and children, I will probably never have the opportunity to give up my life for them completely or sacrificially because His Grace is sufficient for us all. Anything that I can do or give them is small in comparison. Jesus died just for you. He thought you were to die for. Shouldn’t we live our life as such?

Colossians 3:2-4 (NIV) You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Depth Perception

Depth Perception

I John 2:26-28 (NLT) I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.

Who’s right? In world with a wide range of religions and opinions, how do I know that the God I serve is the one true God? How do I know that Jesus Christ is the only way? What a person believes dictates how they live? They can say anything they like freely but it is in our behavior, attitude and actions that our true colors shine through. Jeremiah 13:23 asks “can an Ethiopian change the color of his skin? Can a leopard take away its spots?” What is he saying? No they cannot and “neither can you start doing good, for you have always done evil.”  Oh please don’t be offended. I am in no way implying that you or yours are evil. I am just examining my own heart for relevance today. My life has physical implications. However, unless I develop an understanding of the spiritual implications that impact my life, I can do nothing of importance or significance for the Lord.

As believers, we are given God’s Holy Spirit to live in us and promote spiritual understanding that becomes knowledge and once applied the wisdom that guides our life in righteousness. How we see the world is reflected by one’s depth perception in life. Do we see things only in the natural? Have we dared to peer into our physical state? Do we long for the eyes of our heart to be opened? Light that shines in the darkness reveals the secrets hidden there. Once a lie is exposed to truth it can no longer be entertained as anything else. So we tiptoe as far across the line of fear into faith possible while still maintaining our ignorance and naivety when God has given us the ability to see well beyond the natural into the supernatural realm.

Ephesians 1:7-9 (NLT) He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan.

God in His Rich and Loving Kindness maximized by His Grace purchased our freedom with the Blood of His Son Jesus. He forgave our sins – past, present and future – in that moment. How? God is omnipresent meaning everywhere at once, omniscient meaning He knows everything and His Omnipotent meaning all powerful. It is in His Absolute Sovereignty as God alone that He is able to determine the Sacrifice of Christ acceptable and apply it to our life. He bestowed this gift to humanity. Limited in perception beyond what the five senses, the Lord is determined to connect with us. He not only showered us in loving kindness but gave us ALL wisdom and understanding. God revealed His Mysterious Plan to us. No He didn’t? Yes, He did!

We have the Holy Spirit. He is our guide. He is our teacher. He is significant in establishing depth perception in life that sees beyond the natural to embrace the supernatural. His Understanding reaches past the physical things to take hold of spiritual confidence. We are told to walk by faith and not by sight in a world that defines seeing as believing. Lord help us. Open our eyes to Your Glory, God.

Depth perception is the ability to perceive spatial relationships. It is the ability to determine the potions of objects in association with one another. This is heavily influenced by the development of the human brain and how it sees distance etc. It is also decided by experience. If an animal is exposed to a glass floor, it struggles to walk on it because it challenges their depth perception. If a person who is afraid of heights is given the opportunity to cross the same floor, they may be unable to do so because fear cannot see the floor just the distance between their feet and the ground. The distance between mankind and God is not as far as we think. In fact, it is not far at all because Jesus Christ lives inside of us. He has given us His Spirit to open our spiritual eyes, increase supernatural understanding, and prosper us from the inside out. However, human logic often talks us out of faith. Natural understanding defies the existence of God to the extent of its intelligence. It is because of ignorance that God’s People perish every day many thinking that they know a God that they have yet to see.

John 9:1-5 (NLT) As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Jesus is the Light of the world. Light is the very thing that allows the eye to see. Without light, there is no sight. Light has a complex interaction with our eyes and brain that illuminate our world. Light reaches the eye and signals are sent to our brain. Our brain deciphers the information in order to detect appearance, location and movement of objects. When considering Jesus in such context, He is spiritual light. He shines brightly inside of us shedding light on our heart and soul giving us an opportunity to apply His Love, Grace and Power to all aspects of our natural life.

When Jesus saw the man blind from birth, the man was not crying out to the Lord. He was just sitting there. The disciples asked Jesus, “Why was this man born blind?” We are all born blind due to sin. We have the opportunity to have our eyes opened if we are willing to believe. The Lord used this man as an example. Note the reason that Jesus gave them, “This happened so the Power of God could be seen in him.” Well then… God will use whatever means possible to open the eyes of our mind, and the recesses of our heart, so the Light of His Love can expose anything that is keeping us from God’s Very Best.

A miracle happened that day. Now one might think this would be a happy ending to a life of disappointment. You know everyone would celebrate wildly and declare Jesus as Lord. Not exactly. One man’s healing sent a spiritual wave moving through the synagogue that day. The man’s friends questioned his miracle. Some discredited it as a mistake and that this was not the man they knew. They couldn’t comprehend such a miracle. It made its way to his parents who are called before the Pharisees. They agree that they have no idea what happened. They tell the religious leaders to ask their son essentially telling them to leave them alone. This miracle was quickly becoming their misfortune as their religion was now compromised. The Pharisees asked the man over and over again who repeated the same story. The man was ultimately thrown out of the synagogue.

Jesus met the man just outside of religion and other relationships. He asked the man, “Do you believe in the Son of God? The man answered the Lord, “I want to believe in him.” The man accepted Jesus in that moment. I believe that this occurs regularly in the modern day church when the miraculous overtakes our natural understanding. When Knowledge of God becomes too incredible to accept and His Doing too much to absorb, do we discredit the Lord among people unknowingly. The Lord is doing more than we can ask or think. We must think differently to make revival a reality or miracles will be dismissed by mindsets.

I Corinthians 2:13-15 (NLT) When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.

We must gain depth perception in Jesus Christ. We must understand the spiritual implications in our life. The Light of His Love shows us the areas of our life that are working with God’s Plan and sabotaging it as well. It is through knowledge and understanding that the opportunity for true wisdom to arise. The rippling effect of the blind man’s healing that day is no different than that which occurs in the modern day church every day. God moves and does the miraculous which is quickly shutdown. We overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony. Is anyone talking about the Blood? Where are all the testimonies?

Growing up Southern Baptist, I was inundated with the Word of God, scripture memorization and constant Bible study. However, the Holy Spirit was assigned the title of silent partner and the Book of Acts kept safely shut. It was quite frustrating to spend all that time in God’s Word but remaining powerless in life. Like a tiny boat tossed in a raging storm, my faith was weak and hope nearly gone. When I became filled with the Holy Spirit almost twenty years ago, something changed in me. Suddenly the Word of God began to make sense and became instantly applicable to my life. The more I read the more I wanted to know. The more I prayed the more I listened for His Voice. My life in Christ came together when His Spirit and His Truth began to commune in my life. All word and no Spirit sets up rules and regulations unattainable because there is no evidence of grace other than implied. All Spirit and no word is a highly emotional relationship status that will not be consistent or fulfilling because it lacks promise. The Word is the promises God keeps. We must live with a healthy balance of both to know and understand what the Lord would like to do in us and for us.

Colossians 2:7-9 (NLT) Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.  For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.

If our spiritual life has no depth and is not applicable to our natural life, miracles can happen in us, through us and around us that will go unnoticed. Explained away by chance, fate or misperception and we will miss the fullness of God living in us working its way out of us. Religion must give way to an intimate relationship taking God’s Word applying it to our life liberally and allowing His Spirit to have the freedom to work it through our life unrestricted. Our life cannot be supernaturally inclined without Spirit and Truth. Our life will not worship God without these two key ingredients either. Our perception of God must gain depth in our soul. Roots must grow in us connecting our heart and mind with Christ and His Kingdom rather than trying to make our life in Christ purely natural. If you do what the Word of God says, your life will prosper naturally. If you allow His Spirit to move you along there will be blessing apparent in your life as well. But if what we desire is the truly miraculous when all impossibilities become possible in Christ, we must gain depth perception that allows us to walk by faith and not sight. It will free us from human thinking and release us from bondage to empty philosophies as the Fullness of His Love reaches the inner most hidden places of our heart.

Philippians 1:9-10 (NLT) I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.

Lord, give us greater depth perception of Your Love today. Life our tired hands to praise You and all wonderful things you are doing that we cannot comprehend but hold fast to in the Word. Strengthen our weak knees by Your Grace to stand in faith guarding our hearts and mind until You make it come to pass. Lord, may your Spirit mark out a straight path for my feet so I will not walk lame or limping again. Give me the courage to walk boldly in the Light of Your Amazing Love. To know You more and make You know throughout my realm of influence today Lord. Let me press harder to know how wide, long, high and deep that Your Love truly is. Let me see my life as You see it, live as You designed it and be fulfilled. Open the eyes of my heart Lord that I may live according to Your Word and Your Spirit. I give you the Glory for taking me deeper Jesus.

I John 5:20-21 (NLT) And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life. Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

 

Be Greater

Be Greater

I John 4:4 (NLT) But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

 

Need a pep talk today? Me too. Sometimes as believers who are constantly challenged to have greater faith and confident hope, our humanity becomes overwhelmed in the reality of the endeavor or gravity of the problem. Climbing the mountain, praying it will move, but not looking down leads us to a place greater than our courage. It is higher than our hope. It is massive compared to our motivation. If just for a moment we choose to look down, it is overwhelming. Paralyzing fear overtakes us. What if we fall? Oh, my dear but what if you fly?

 

I belong to God. I am His Child. I have already won the victory in every engagement I encounter. The Spirit of the Living God lives in me confirming these things. His Spirit is greater than any other spirit in the world today. My desire is to be greater to live in the realm of hope and never look back or peer down. I am only human so on those days that I am disobedient or rebel. You know those times that rather than looking at Jesus, my eyes are fixed on the wind and waves, I must choose to be greater. I am an overcomer hidden in a broken human form. God is alive and well inside of me looking for ways to manifest in my life. He pursues me with goodness and unfailing love just waiting for an opportunity to release it in my life. I must be greater. Isn’t this a contradiction? Not really.

 

John 3:30-31 (NLT) He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else.

 

Does being greater contradict these verses? Not at all, it is confirmation of the transforming power of God and wonderworking power of the Jesus’ Blood. It implies that in laying down my pride and power over my existence that Christ in me will become greater which means every promise and purpose for my life can now be fulfilled just like He promised because I am no longer at enmity with God. Through right standing through the Grace of Jesus, I am free to become like Him. It is in the yielding of our life to the Lord that His Power is perfected in us and magnified through us. As I become less and less, Jesus becomes greater in my life.

 

The potter will always be greater than the clay. (Isaiah 29:16) Pride tells us otherwise as we decide to mold and shape our life into what we want it to be with a touch of Christ here and there. What happens is a misshapen, dysfunctional and non-useful life that cannot do what it sets out to do because of conflict. His Ways are not like mine. His Thoughts always higher. I can be greater but it begins by being less.

 

Luke 6:39-40 (NLT) Then Jesus gave the following illustration: “Can one blind person lead another? Won’t they both fall into a ditch? Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.

 

I will never be greater than Jesus. The student cannot be greater than the teacher. But through understanding and knowledge turned to wisdom, the student can become like the teacher. There is a fine line here to be observed. Any time we think or believe that we can “do” something for God, we fall into the trap of self-perceived greatness which is called pride. If you think God needs you – you are wrong. The only power that you have over sin is Jesus Christ. He is the One who establishes our right-standing with God that allows us to enter the Kingdom. We cannot earn it in any way, shape or form. We must simply believe that He is greater in all things and seek to do His Will. God is greater than my feelings. (I John 3:20) It doesn’t matter how great I think I am. There is always that moment when I realize the error and folly in my thinking and come to the realization that I am nothing without Jesus.

 

John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus Christ. He did many things that Jesus would do. He said many of the same things. He even baptized like the Lord would do but only with water. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, of all who ever lived none is greater than John the Baptist.” Jesus admired John. But wait there is more, “Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!” Simply put, John had not made Heaven yet. According to the Matthew Henry Commentary, Jesus was simply pointing out that John was still just a man though he possessed the Power of God. His perfection would come in his acceptance to Heaven because only then could he worship, serve and love God as he should. We must advance the Kingdom of Heaven forcefully. Evil advances many ways. Pride is the root that claims victim inside the church and within congregations. Those who do not need, desire and pursue God’s Grace every single day are worthless to the Kingdom and live apart from it.

 

John 15:12-14 (NLT) This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.

 

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend. I must lay down my life to Jesus Christ to become greater than I am today. It is in the total sacrifice and surrender of self that His Grace becomes sufficient for me and His Power can work in me and through me every single day. It is not me exalting myself but in the exaltation of Christ that others see something of worth that they value and need. Laying down my life will never ever be comfortable. It is how we take up our cross and follow Jesus. To decide that this world holds nothing of worth for me but Kingdom has it all requires transformation and transportation to greater heights of faith and more deeper presence to secure our hope.

 

Psalm 71:20-21 (NLT) You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.

 

Are you struggling today? Did you dare to look down or around and not you are scared that your faith has taken you too far? Is hope becoming a bit shaky and unstable? Good! It is in those times of God’s Gentle or Not-So-Gentle Undoing that we find more grace and become greater. His Power works best in our weakness. We must become weak to be made strong. It is when we come to the end of ourselves yet still manage to take one more step that our faith grows a little more and hope secures itself to Christ again.

 

2 Corinthians 2:7-8 (NLT)  Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life?

 

The Lord is inviting us to seek the greater glory that was promised to us. Knowledge of the Greatness of God calls us to do greater things. Solomon built a greater temple in the revelation of Greater God. (2 Chronicles 2:5-6) Haggai prophesied of an even greater temple that was coming. (Haggai 2:9) The greater temple is comprised of living stones attached to the Cornerstone who is Jesus Christ. To know the Greatness of God and choose to live in it is a harrowing task that yields the biggest reward. I must know that God is greater than any other god in order to operate in the fullness of such a revelation. (Psalm 135:5) Nathanael knew that Jesus was the Messiah instantly when Jesus told him that He saw the man sitting by the tree. Jesus went on to challenge Nathanael to take this little bit of faith and be greater. (John 1:50-51) What will it take for you to become greater today?

 

Hebrews 3:1-3 (NLT) And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God’s messenger and High Priest. For he was faithful to God, who appointed him, just as Moses served faithfully when he was entrusted with God’s entire house. But Jesus deserves far more glory than Moses, just as a person who builds a house deserves more praise than the house itself. For every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God.

 

God’s Greatness lives in us and is looking for a way out. Jesus said that those who believe in Him would do greater things. Are you doing greater things? Are miracles happening around you? Do you find sin less enticing? Do you feel a tug in your gut when you fail or fall short? We belong to God. We are partners with Him for life. Jesus is our Bridegroom. We are to remain in Him and He will live in us. The Holy Spirit represents God’s Holy Inhabitation of His People. As we live to honor this partnership and glorify the Greatness of God something happens to us. Building a life based on the Greatness of God makes the Holy Spirit at home in us. As we continue to defy the enemy choosing to build rather than abandon or teardown, His Greatness is manifested in our life. It is then we discover that decreasing is not a bad thing because His Greatness is better than life. Jesus deserves all the glory and in exchange He makes us great.

 

John 14:12-13 (NLT) “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.

 

To be greater, my life must consistently point to Jesus Christ. Glorying God alone releases His Power in my life so that it can reach the lost, dying, broken and hurting. I can do nothing apart from Him. As I renew my commitment to walk by faith and not by sight, it is with the profound desire to go deeper within God’s Inner Sanctuary to the place where His People dwell. I want to know Him more to day. My desire is that my life effectively represent Jesus Christ and not myself. As I continue to decrease, His Greatness will continue to increase in my life. I will influence others to know the Greater God that I have hidden in my heart. My hope will become stronger and less willing to stop waiting or give way under pressure. I desire nothing more than a total manifestation of God’s Power in my life to transform the lives of others by His Goodness and Love. I can only do that by pressing into His Presence. Establishing His Greatness over every feeling I possess. Jesus, I ask you to make us greater today. Move me out of the way, so that You can have Your Way in my life today, tomorrow and always. Nothing is worth losing my soul. I forfeit mediocrity for the miraculous today. King Jesus, I declare that You are Lord of my life and greater than any challenge, problem or battle I may face. You have overcome. I will overcome by the Greatness of who lives in me. I ask you to seal my heart and mind with the Greatness of Your Name! Holy Spirit give me confidence and boldness in all things that I may glorify the Father and Son in all things! I have total and absolute victory today just because You are greater

 

Hebrews 6:16-19 (NLT) Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.

Pay Attention

Pay Attention

Hebrews 2:1-4 (NIV)

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

 

We must pay the most careful attention to what we have heard so we do not drift away. I am guilty of half-listening and thinking I have the whole-truth. You may do the same thing. Raising five kids demanded multitasking which often required quick evaluation and prioritization of needs based on who expressed themselves most clearly. Our youngest has a knack for drawing the greatest attention the quickest. She is the baby of the family. Always surrounded by her parents and siblings with a crowd of people telling her what to do, when to do it and how to do it, she learned quickly to assert herself within our family structure. But sometimes in the midst of the noise, it is important to note not so much what is said but remains unspoken. We must pay attention.

 

We have two somewhat quiet children. One son and one daughter who for most of their lives have been hidden in the pack. One left for college while there was still a houseful. He is still quiet. What we have discovered about our daughter is now that the crowd has dispersed and only two remain at home, she has come out of her shell. She is very talkative now. Her personality has been revealed in the intimacy of four rather than the chaos of seven. She will fall back in the ranks when everyone is home and doesn’t say quite as much but when she is alone with us – she is very different.

 

This morning, I read the story in 2 Kings 6 about Elisha and the prophets building a new place for the prophets to live and study under his leadership. At first, I didn’t know why God led me to this place just that I was supposed to read about the floating iron ax head. Yawning in the moonlight waiting on the dogs, the Holy Spirit just dropped it in my head. Even after reading the seven verses through two or three times, I couldn’t get the gist of this morning’s conversation so I stopped and asked the Lord to speak to me. I have been asked many times over the last seven years, where I get the content for the blog. How do I know what to write about? Okay, here’s the secret. Are you ready for it? God speaks to people. He is always speaking, we just don’t always listen. Every single day that I get up – I ask Him to tell me something, say anything, and then I wait until He does. It really is that simple. What about the other things in Heaven that we desire on the earth? Could they be just as easy as asking God to come into our lives and change us? What if we looked for every opportunity to see Heaven and earth agree would it make the atmosphere of our life different?

 

2 Kings 6:1-7 (NIV)

The company of the prophets said to Elisha, “Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan, where each of us can get a pole; and let us build a place there for us to meet.” And he said, “Go.” Then one of them said, “Won’t you please come with your servants?” “I will,” Elisha replied. And he went with them. They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees. As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water. “Oh no, my lord!” he cried out. “It was borrowed!” The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float. “Lift it out,” he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.

 

A miracle happened in the midst of an ordinary day. Just men working on a new facility, and right there in the middle of their work – Heaven comes down to earth. How else might one explain an iron ax floating to the surface? After several attempts to discern the significance myself, I turned to good ole Matthew Henry and his useful commentary. My grandmother loved this man’s reflection on the scriptures. What seems like an account of an Old Testament miracle – no frills and chills just the facts opens the door to self-examination today that I did not expect. What if my life is not miraculous because of me? What it I am standing in the way of the unexpected and unexplained intervention of God on my behalf is all my fault? Okay, Lord, now You definitely have my attention.

 

A couple of things that I gleaned about the events of that day from the Matthew Henry Commentary – first, the prophets were hardworking, humble men. In an age were pagan prophets were revered and heavily favored by the government. These men – God’s Men were humble servants of the Most High God. When they expanded beyond the capacity of their dwelling, they went to build a new shelter. This was not a mission trip or ministry event. It was simply to build a housing facility yet they insisted the Man of God go with them. First, thought do I invite the Lord to come with me in everything that I do? Do I desire the companionship of Christ every step of the way even on ordinary days filled with mundane tasks? Am I aware of Him? Do I consult Him? Do I spend time with Him? Do I revere Him? Do I respect the fact that my Savior and Lord is with me always? Good question.

 

The second thing is the prophet. Elisha the prophet was their teacher. He was mentoring these individuals. Two things are noted about Elisha in the commentary. One – “Let no man, especially no minister, think himself too great to stoop to do good, but be tender to all.” And two – “That he was a man of great power; he could make iron to swim, contrary to its nature for the God of nature is not tied up to its laws.” True men (and women) of God are humble and hardworking. They possess a willingness to “stoop” to do good. They are tender to all. Elisha was a man of great power and taught others to act contrary to nature just as he was able to make the iron that day. It is important to pay attention to those who we follow as examples of Christ. Those who lead by example and live among the people are those who are like Christ. They are not caught up in the law but bound by love and commitment living lives of compassion as well we should.

 

“God’s grace can thus raise the stony iron heart which has sunk into the mud of this world, and raise up affections naturally earthly, to things above,” one final thought from Mr. Henry and maybe the most profound. God’s Grace is the miracle maker in our life. Jesus is the Grace of God extended to us. He gave us the Keys to the Kingdom. We have everything we need to bring Heaven to earth. To see miracles, signs and wonders. So why not here? Why not now?

 

Mark 16:15-18 (NIV)

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

 

When our son received chemotherapy, each time I would sit by his side and pray Mark 16:17-18 as it began to makes its way through the tubes into his body. Chemo drugs are highly lethal and deadly. They require special conditions in the pharmacy where produced. Those who handle the bags they are in must where special thick purple gloves. Once ingested if the patient becomes ill one must wear complete protection that no body fluids come in contact with skin, etc. It is toxic. Our son is alive and in remission after five rounds of chemotherapy. He is a documented miracle who has defied medical statistics. I cannot even recount all the horrible side effects that he was promised or horrific aftermath foretold but he didn’t experience hardly any of them. God had His Hand over our son. I give Him all the Glory for his success and survival of the world’s most dreaded disease.

 

Today – I realize that there is more to the story here. The miracle is not the event but what precipitates it. I desire to see people healed of cancer. In fact, I expect it and pursue it wholeheartedly these days as I cry out for revival. The Lord is shedding light on the way. Jesus told us right before He left to, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Unlimited expression of the message of Christ should be pouring from us. Is it? Let’s keep moving. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” This is a definitive statement and not a point of vacillation. We have been equipped and sent to be a disciple and make disciples of others. Our example is Jesus Christ… and men like Elisha. What if the signs that we seek are hidden in the events of our life not captured in a church service or tent meeting somewhere? What if in sharing the Gospel of Christ that changes hearts and makes irony stony hearts rise from the mud causes an outpouring of desire for communion with Christ. Such a trend elevates faith from the things of this world to the Kingdom of God which in turn will cause Heaven to touch earth. What if the next great revival starts in our ordinary life before it comes to the church? Oh friend, I think we are on to something.

 

Proverbs 27:17-19 (NIV)

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit, and whoever protects their master will be honored. As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.

 

A corporate anointing is generated by individual connections to Jesus Christ. Iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another. Perhaps, it is in our discipleship and the discipleship of others that we will begin to see the next great revival. The Kingdom of God is always about one. It rejoices when “one” lost soul is saved. We must examine ourselves for genuine faith before we have anything of worth to give another. The only thing I have to offer another person is the Gift of Grace that allows us to break free from the bondage of sin and shame floating to the realms of the Heavenlies to experience His Goodness and Greatness in my life. Miracles begin in our heart. They begin at home. We will not see revival until our personal relationships with Jesus become constant companionships that motivate us to disciple others and walk them through the process that the Lord leads us through. He does not leave us, forget about us, get mad at us, demand His Own Way but with Grace and Compassion – the Lord sticks closer than a brother.

 

Elisha went with the prophets to complete an earthly task. Jesus will go when invited, wanted and acknowledged. The prophets wanted the prophet with them. Does our attitude and actions invite holy inhabitation or does our lifestyle and habits grieve the Holy Spirit? Those who guard the Fruit of God’s Spirit will usher His Presence deeper than ever before. The closer Christ comes the greater the evidence of His Existence in our life. Whoever preserves the Lord’s Place in their life will be honored. We must look in the muddy river for the iron ax head that is sinking. In doing so, we see our reflection. What do we see?

 

Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

 

We must pay attention. We must evaluate our relationship with Christ and give it the attention it deserves. The warning is clear. There are people who think they have a constant connection to the Lord and live in a relationship with Him who will be devastated one day to find out that Jesus doesn’t know them. It will even be some who we looked up to as great preachers and teachers who could deal the gospel but never dealt with their souls. The more I study revival the less I see me. The clearer it becomes that it is the Christ in me in need of full exposure. Until God’s Love is completely radiated in all I say and do, revival will remain a thought not an event. Revival is not so much a corporate event but an individual calling that gathers in one place on Sunday. What if revival is in me but I am not letting it out? I want to change. I must pay attention. For me to live is Jesus Christ. He has done miracle after miracle in my life. How do I continue to see such things until it is a daily event? Well, all I know is that Jesus came calling when I could do nothing. As I decrease, He increases. When I am powerless and weak, His Grace has been more than enough to change the situation and make a miracle happen. So maybe it is in the continual sowing of my life…all of it… day by day… moment by moment… even in the most ordinary of tasks that my stony heart will change and His Glory will fill more of my life.

 

Acts 5:12-16 (NIV)

The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.

Is Jesus Alive?

Is Jesus Alive

2 Corinthians 5:17-20 (NIV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

 

This morning many children will awaken to find baskets filled with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans. Before getting ready for church, they will hunt plastic eggs hidden around the house. There are even some who will marvel at little powder paw prints left by the mysterious rabbit. No different from Christmas and Santa Clause, parents continue the legend and myth to bless their children and fill their childhood with memories. I am not anti-fun. So please do not get me wrong, but I have always struggled with the idea of these two images with my children.

 

Several years ago, it was a rare occasion when my husband and I were along with our youngest child who at that time was around six or seven. It was a hot summer day and we had decided to take her to lunch spending some time with just her. Sitting in the backseat looking out the window in clear contemplation, she suddenly asked, “Mom, if I ask you a question will you tell me the truth.” I immediately assured her that I would. She then asked, “Mom, is Santa Claus real?” Silence. Now I know to some moms and dads this would be a devastating question, those who thrive on this age old tradition. My husband looked at me as if to say, “What now?” I said, “You know once you know the truth, you cannot ever go back to believing anything else, right?” “So he’s not real,” she countered. “No, he’s not.” Several long moments went by, “You know that Jesus is real right?” I asked her. See this has been my concern all along with the concepts of unreal figures making fiction factual. Harmless fun that might impact her ability to believe in the unseen. I know, I am weird about that. She immediately and confidently replied, “Of course, Jesus is real!” Relief flooded my heart and soul in that moment.

 

Today we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is truly the greatest day in history even exceeding His Birth and Crucifixion because the moment He left the tomb – all things became possible to those who believe. I ask you today, “Is Jesus real? Do you believe that He is alive? Does He live in you?” These are important questions. Many people will set their alarms giving up their usual Sunday morning routine to go to church – one of only a few that they will ever attend. Some will even walk down to an altar and surrender their life to Christ for the first, second, third, fourth or a hundredth time. But without faith, confidence and certainty in the questions above, it will mean nothing. Truth can impact our life only if we believe.

 

What you believe impacts your life? No matter what it is, the nugget of truth we accept creates ripples in the mind like a stone cast onto a lake interrupting the surface and changing its movement. If anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation. A new life begins. A new person begins a process of molding and shaping into the Image of God through Jesus, His Son. New life. Resurrection life requires death of the man or woman who existed before because now our life operates under a new Truth. A new plan. A new identity. As we become reconciled to God, our life takes on new meaning and with that a new message comes forth. We become Ambassadors of Christ who is an authorized messenger and representative of the Living God. So in order to answer the question, “Is Christ alive?” Historically, yes. There is natural and scientific evidence that the tomb was empty. But where did He go? He released His Spirit to live inside of us. Now all things are possible to those who believe.

 

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIV)

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

 

When the Spirit of the Living God, Jesus Christ makes a holy inhabitation of our life. It changes us from the inside out. Faith is the conduit of change. Faith is our confidence and trust in a person or thing that is not based on proof. Do you see my dilemma with the mythical images for our children? Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom to live by three things that are constant: faith, hope and love. We have all three of these ideas in us as God has placed Eternity in our heart. Salvation in Spirit and Truth granted us by Jesus allows us to be transformed by His Glory within us to who we were created to be not who we have become. It makes the impossible possible for those who believe. What do you believe today?

 

Hebrews 6:4-7 (NIV)

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.

 

I can remember landmark images of places and times that I know that God came close to me. When I was eleven years old and felt Him draw me to an altar. I mumbled a prayer with a pastor who honestly all that I can remember are not his words but that he had really bad breath. I remember screenshots of time when I would say or do something knowing it was not me but only later realizing it was the Holy Spirit working on my behalf. I remember giving my heart to Jesus as a teenager and trying really hard to live a godly life just like our youth pastor told us to. I tried to do everything he said so that I could have a right relationship with God. This religious worship held me until my early twenties and then back in the wilderness I wandered. Like got really messy and the message of God’s Perfect, Strict Plan now was barred by the flawed and errant person I had become. I missed it. I could never had that kind of right relationship and must settle for the crumbs of repentance left behind by the perfect. Wrong again. When I met my husband, we both had drifted far but when we met something changed. Though difficult to discern, there was a desire for the Lord deep within us that quickly connected making us inseparable so we married within about six months. We began pursuing the Lord from that moment on. I remember the night that it all came together laying before the Lord at the Altar. There would be no turning back. Would I sin again? Yes. Would I fail at faith again? Yes, miserably. Did God still want me? Absolutely. Is Jesus alive? Yes, He met me right there and I was filled with His Spirit and Life-Giving Power that moment. Things have never been the same. They will never be the same.

 

See once you are “enlightened” and the Light of God’s Love fills you, you can’t go back. I cannot explain it but even in our wanderings – He is there. He never leaves us or forsakes us even when we do not want Him. As many head to church today, the empty tomb is still barren and Jesus stands in all His Glory before us. He says, “Can I come in?” He is wondering if today will be the day that you will allow Him to come in and renew you. He wants to restore you today. He wants to bring dead things to life. He wants to make every impossible thing possible. We must only believe that God has raised Him from the dead and invite Him into our life. Is Jesus alive? Yes. Does He live in you? I have no idea. I know only that He lives in me.

 

John 14:10-12 (NIV)

Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

 

Our little girl, the baby in our family, thrives on truth. She cannot operate without it. She googles everything she does not know in an attempt to end her ignorance. It is really difficult to get one by on her. She requires brutal honesty. She loves Jesus. I know she does because of her innate nature that desires truth in all things. As we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus, I am compelled to examine my own heart and mind for faith. Jesus told His disciples that “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even great things than these.” If my life is not a complete spectacle of God’s Works including signs, miracles, wonders, unnatural grace and ridiculous love – there is more room for Christ in my heart today. Apart from Christ I can do nothing so the barren areas represent room to grow. (John 15:4-5) The Holy Spirit produces spiritual fruit that should be evidence in my life that Christ dwells in me. (Galatians 5:22-25) I should walk in step with God’s Spirit. I cannot base the fullness of Christ in me on the religious condition of my life. Traditions can make us do all the right things and still miss the mark. Anything I can do does not require faith, therefore it is manmade. The Word of God is often twisting just as the message in the childhood game called “Telephone” as people take the Word and put a softer more gentle spin on it to accommodate the compromises and sin in their own life which others adopt as the doctrine for their life. Do you see the problem? (I John 4:1-3)

 

The Fruit of God’s Spirit in our life can only be produced by His Spirit. Without the Truth of God’s Word planted deeply in a heart filled by His Spirit it will produce nothing of worth just weeds. God searches our heart looking for His Spirit. (Jeremiah 17:10) He allows us to know the contents in our words and deeds. (Luke 6:45) What is our message? It must be no less than to confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart. (Romans 10:9) This is salvation. This is the beginning of life. This is evidence that Christ is alive in us.

 

2 Corinthians 13:4-6 (NIV)

For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him in our dealing with you. Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.

 

To reconcile our life to Jesus today requires that I compare the evidence in my life, heart and mind to God’s Truth and yield to His Spirit for confirmation. Faith is the evidence that I believe. Once we discover the Light of God’s Love and experience His Grace in person, there is no going back. Not because He grabs us violently but because He holds us so tenderly. His Love makes us want to love Him back when we allow the Lord to enter an intimate relationship with us. He will not force His Love on us for that would not be love at all. His Spirit sets us free from sin and begins to produce those things in us that God desires. The fruit that He longs to consume. Jesus wants to reveal Himself to us. He longs to let His Love change us from the inside out. He went to the Cross thinking only of us and came out of the tomb pursuing us. His Love drives Him to possess us. By faith we discover this love, in that moment every impossible thing becomes possible. Imagine. I have been married for many years. God blessed us in our partnership. My husband instills in me things that apart from him I would never have discovered about myself. He builds my confidence. He has taught me to trust. If that much can come from an imperfect relationship, imagine entering into a relationship with a perfect Lover who teaches us to love perfectly, too. The Lord longs to set you free today. He doesn’t want to change the way you act just what you believe. In doing so, an impossible life becomes one filled with miracles, signs, wonders, fulfillment and completion. Is Jesus alive? Yes. You will determine if He lives in you!

I choose today and every day to let Him live in me. Even today, I ask the Lord to examine me and see if there is any more room to bring the dead to life.

 

Psalm26:2-3 (NIV)

Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.

Give Me a Sign

Give Me A Sign

Mark 16:16-20 (NKJV)

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

Like a soda can being shaken until it is ready to explode, longing for someone, anyone, to pull the top and release the pressure. This is my spirit today. It began last night. Enough is enough. My heart is pounding under the force of desire. I am absolutely convinced that it is God’s Will for us to “lay hands on the sick and they will recover.” Let’s review. In My Name, Jesus told us that those who believe will have certain signs that follow. They will cast out demons. Been there, done that. They will speak in new tongues. Check. They will take up serpents. Some things are just not within a person’s gifts and anointing so I will leave this to the professionals. I hate snakes. They will drink deadly things and it will by no means hurt them. Praying and believing for over three years of chemotherapy and radiation being pumped in our son, who now is in total remission, completely healed by the Hand of God probably is confirmation for this one. My bucket list is down to this: “they will lay hands on the sick AND they will recover.” This is my desire.

I am a believer. I am saved. I have been baptized by water and by fire. I have everything I need to see signs and miracles come to pass. It says that these signs “follow” those who believe. It is not something I must chase after but according to this life that I live. In the couple months, the Lord has been stirring with in me though I will admit I really didn’t know it. Like a frog in a pot of water on a slow boil, I didn’t really notice that it was getting hotter until now. Hurting, sick and even dying people thrust into my midst yet just beyond the reach of my human hands. So much so that when the call came last night from my daughter, my heart cried, “Enough!” Her best friend’s mom has entered Hospice. I have a love/hate relationship with this wonderful group. I love what they do and their ministry to families in their greatest time of need. Truly selfless people bound together and making a difference. I want to put them out of business.

Looking back over the last five years, I cannot help that in the midst of circumstances, consumed by self, that the Lord was conditioning me for the future. Burning away the insufficiencies of faith that trusted Him for natural things rather than the supernatural promises hidden in His Word, Will and Way. I was settling for life goals when all along He had Kingdom Principles in mind. I sat in waiting rooms, surgery suites, and hospital rooms. Roaming the halls of the sick and dying feeling heaviness in the midst of their anguish. My focus, naturally, was on our child. Fighting for his life, yet I had such peace and resolve that God’s Promise would hold us to the end whatever that may be rather medicine was the catalyst or the Saints of God laying hands on him in the end – I knew that our son would make it. I just did. When God speaks to me in an audible voice, I grab hold of that. If the Lord can do it for my son, I know He can do it for all His Children. Show me a sign, Lord. Speak to us today. Let those signs that follow me as a believer soon overtake me just as Your Word says.

John 3:5-8 (NKJV)

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus, a Pharisee, came to Jesus. He believed that no man could do what the Lord was doing unless God was with Him. He shared the Gospel Plan with Nicodemus that night in the cover of darkness. You must be born again. I know that many people offer many ways to God’s Kingdom. There is only one Way and His Name is Jesus. Repentance is to turn from the darkness and sin of this world and enter the Light of His Love. Grace is the grease that turns the wheel of our life as we move in a new direction. I have walked to many altars but only two stand out in my mind. When I was eleven years old, I asked Jesus to be my Savior and Lord. I did not really know what that meant but felt something warm and inviting deep in my belly telling me to go so I did. After my husband and I got married, we began attending church again after many years. It was in a revival one evening that I gave it all to Jesus and in return He filled me with His Spirit. I have never ever been the same. I think before we can expect God to move visibly around us – He must begin His Work within us. There must be a change of heart so radical that it can only be at the massaging of its Creator as He molds and shapes us removing the old and making way for the new. This is the birthplace of faith that will lead to confident hope. Many begin here and choose to remain here.

Hebrews 2:1-4 (NKJV)

Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

How does one “neglect” their salvation? To come to Jesus and then walk right back into their natural life with no regard. The modern day church has decided that grace is our exception allowing us to remain comfortable and complacently positioned in the gray area of life. Grace facilitates a change in us that is otherwise humanly impossible. His Grace is enough for me. I must learn to live in His Grace rather than trying to use it as a buffer allowing me to sin without consequence. Every sin bears a consequence. Jesus bore the weight of our sin.

The Word of God nowhere indicates that grace promotes sin without consequence. We must take “earnest heed” or pay attention to how we live if we truly desire His Kingdom to come here on the earth. Primarily, we must do so in order to make it into His Kingdom in the first place. Doing nothing to earn my salvation requires acceptance as a Gift, I must maintain a connection to the Giver. His Spirit inside of me making His Way out of me is a strong indication of whether I am one with my Heavenly Father or drifting back into the world. The Book of James describes in best – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.” To experience the signs, wonders and miracles promised in His Word requires doing what He says over and over again as we develop our true identity in Jesus Christ.

John 20:26-29 (NKJV)

 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

To be completely honest, I was not a true believer in the beginning. People would testify about sings, wonders and miracles including healing and deliverance, but I was not convinced. I decided from the beginning that it would take the completely impossible to believe. Boy, did I come to regret that quickly. I did not realize just how hard and stubborn my heart once was but not anymore. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. He is faithful. Completely able. Right on time.

When Thomas heard that Jesus was alive again, he told the others – “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” Two sayings ring true in my head here – be careful for what you wish for and never say never. Our words hold power and never means impossible. Jesus came to His Wayward Disciple and said, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” I am convinced today more than ever before that my belief in God must move far beyond my five senses and emotions to experience His Kingdom on the earth and spark a revival in my heart and community. We must believe without seeing Him. We must go on His Word.

I Samuel 10:6-9 (NKJV)

Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you. You shall go down before me to Gilgal; and surely I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and make sacrifices of peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, till I come to you and show you what you should do.” So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day.

When Samuel anointed Saul to be King of Israel, he has a long list of instructions to go with it. He told Saul that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon him and that he would be turned into a new man. Change was coming. Obedience would be required. Saul did exactly what the prophet told him to do, “when he turned his back to go from Samuel (obeyed) that God gave him another heart. Saul’s heart changed with his first step of radical obedience. He turned. He did not look back but turned his back and started walking out God’s Plan for him. Obedience will be required. Signs, wonders and miracles are orchestrated by God and put in order. They are following those who believe enough to obey God and will soon overtake those who remain committed. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and made Him Lord through obedience, you are in alignment with His Kingdom so His Kingdom will come to us if we continue. Saul did not. His anointing turned him into a madman outside of faith.

To be transparent, I have struggled for many years with God’s Calling on my life. I have ran ahead and fallen behind more times than I can count. I know that my faith has been a comfort and challenge many times. I am old enough now to see that obedience is the catalyst of change in our life. We endure the changes of life by faith and confident hope in King Jesus. His Power and Authority is the only strength I have. This life is hard. It is unexpected. Darkness is unrelenting and requires constant attention to the Light. Fear can drive the most dedicated and devoted Christian to the edge of rebellion. Not because they do not love the Lord and want to serve them, faith takes us beyond our self and natural control. Psalm 65 talks about God’s Mighty Works and Awesome Power as it identifies those who are afraid of God’s Signs. He sees you wondering. He has sparked a desire for more. Most people will not understand. You may even be ostracized by those who told you to believe in the first place. I locked myself in years of bondage to the opinions of others who thought I was some “spooky spiritual” person. It was locked away that I endured the greatest battle I have ever faced. It was not cancer. It was the enemy trying to take my faith in God. I won if even only barely. Now a warrior is rising up who does not care what others think of me, my primary concern is what God thinks of me. How about you? Do you feel like there is more to all of this than meets the eye? You are right. There absolutely is. Do you want to see His Kingdom on the earth? Me, too. We are part of a remnant. A small group of believers that want His Power to touch the earth and save all people.

Daniel 4:2-3 (NKJV)

I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me. How great are His signs, and how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation.

Daniel 6:26-28 (NKJV)

I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, and steadfast forever; His Kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His Dominion shall endure to the end. He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Are you ready for signs and miracles to overtake you? Am I? Well, there is a message from our friend, Daniel that must be taken into account. “I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.” It was this mentality that thrust Daniel in the midst of lions. It knocked Joseph face down in a pit. Endurance is born of perseverance. Are you ready to persevere? Are you okay with being pressed? Can you take the hits that come from ridiculous faith and radical obedience? In Daniel 6, we see the reward of Daniel’s faithfulness and obedience as King Darius issues the order that all men and women shall serve the God “who has delivered Daniel from the power of lions.” What happens when you are put to the test? What is your vocabulary under pressure? Until the signs and wonders of life point directly to Jesus Christ, we will not experience them. Faith under pressure. What does it produce? Until it is all about Jesus – nothing really.

John 6:26-27 (NKJV)

Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

Seek the Son and not the signs. In seeking Jesus and only Jesus wholeheartedly, miracles will come. It is the intensity of our pursuit with full expectation in the impossible being made possible that we discover them all around us. The signs followed the disciples and touched people they did not even stop to lay hands on. It can happen in you and me when we become lost in Jesus and not by public opinion. We live in a day and age when the signs of the times are all around us including false prophets and teachers saying that they produce is of God when it is clearly not. The Fruit of God’s Spirit must be evident for it is the food of everlasting life. We must strive to know Jesus more and more and become like Him to spark a true revival. Revival in each human heart will produce the kind of atmosphere where miracles are present, signs seen, and wonder experienced. We have the Light of His Love all cooped up in us who are just ordinary people going through life together. If we can somehow manage to break free of fear and all the busy distractions to turn completely from this life and pursue the Lord wholeheartedly body, mind and spirit – His Glory that has been following us will soon overtake us.

Galatians 3:4-8 (NKJV)

Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?—just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”

Back on Top = A Devotion

Back on Top

I John 4:4 (NLT)

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

 

There are days in this life that make it tough to remember that the Spirit who lives in us as believers is greater than the spirit who lives in this world causing chaos and hardship in our life. I belong to God. I have already won the victory. But I will be the first to raise my hand when asked who sometimes forgets and walks in defeat. The Lord knows are trials and pain in this life. He was subject to everything we face and more. On the Cross, He bore the guilt and shame of every time we fail and fall short. There is nothing but transparency where Christ is concerned. He sees our hearts. He knows our weaknesses. The Lord has handed us victory but we don’t know what to do with it so we continue to fight battles already won and move mountains on their way to the sea. The only thing standing between us and the victory that we are promised is disbelief. On those days when we dare to think that the problem we face is greater than the Spirit of God living in us, these are the days we need to be shaken. These are the moment meant to endure as our faith comes alive putting Jesus back on top of the throne of our life. It is His Rightful Place. It is the Position that we need Him to be in our life to really live.

John 3:30-31 (NLT)

He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else.

 

He must become greater and greater. I must become less and less. This is not a call to a Jesus beat down but rather holy exaltation of the God in us over our flesh. My belief that God is greater comes most often in my weakness. Those times when I have tried everything I know to do and can do nothing more than wait on the Lord. Not my favorite times because it requires waiting but totally necessary to elevate the Lord and have His Way in me. Sometimes the outpouring of self is slow and other times it feels like the unceremonious dumping like mop water. The Power and Placement of God is never in question anywhere else but man’s own heart and soul. We have been given the privilege and right as His Children to choose whether to live in His Power or die in our sin. While there doesn’t seem to be dilemma here as no one wants to die and everyone wants to live, I wonder why we are so challenged to believe? Is it possible that somehow, somewhere deep within us we do not really believe in this God we serve and the power that brought His Son Jesus from the grave? It is not only entirely possible but probably the one thing holding most of us back from all that God promised. Today He must become greater and greater in my life. I must become less in my own evaluation. Relying on His Strength by faith in His Love, Mercy and Grace will impact my life and thrust Jesus back on top of all my problems. I am no longer king of that hill when I allow the Lord to take His Rightful Place as Lord of my life.

John 14:11-13 (NLT)

Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do. I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.

To believe in the Power of God over any other problem that we have is a monumental task because we cannot do it with any other power or plan but faith. We have to trust the Lord at His Word. We must believe that what He says is true enough to do what He says by faith. Faith is worthless if not tested and used. To say that I have faith in a chair and never sit in it is not an act of faith. It is when I rest all my weight in the furniture believing that it can hold me without holding on myself that faith is fully evidenced. I think of my children young and old as they walk in our family room and plop down on the couch or in a chair. They never give it a second thought as they throw themselves completely into the structure. This is how our faith must become to put Jesus back on top of our life and all its details. He promised to make good of every detail of life but can do nothing with the ones that we hold on to in distrust or disbelief. The Lord promised that anyone who believed in Him would do the same works that Jesus did and even greater works. Where are those works? Last time I went to the hospital with our son, it was still full of folks fighting cancer and other horrible diseases. Sin is rampant. Love has grown cold but it doesn’t mean that the Word of God is dead or dull. We just don’t use it by faith anymore because if we did – the Bible says that we would ask for anything in the Name of Jesus and He would do it just to bring glory to His Son. The desires and cries of our heart lack fulfillment until they bring glory and honor to the Lord.

John 15:13-14 (NLT)

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.

There is no greater love than to lay our life down for a friend. Jesus did that for us. He deserves the highest ranking in our life. But not only that – perfect love casts out all fear. “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” (1 John 4:18) If we had perfect love for Jesus and received His Love fully by faith than we would not fear. If we did not fear than could be filled with faith and truly believe. We are called to love one another. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend. Jesus is not asking us to do anything that He has not already done for us first. Until we believe there is no greater love than that of Jesus, we will continue looking for love in all the wrong places.

2 Corinthians 3:7-9 (NLT)

The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God!

 

Religion is always comfortable because it allows us to do something. Our relationship with Jesus Christ is solely based on faith. We trust that the Lord loves us and died for us. His Grace is a Gift that cannot be earned in any way, shape or form. We are not comfortable with such a thing. We must rightfully own something which requires a price, right? The Holy Spirit gives us life. The Glory of God lives in us and there is nothing we can do to reproduce it just let it out. We suppress the Spirit of God when we lack faith and rely on our feelings. God is greater than our feelings. However, our emotions have a loud voice called the flesh. We must silence our flesh and live by faith to experience the Glory of God that will satisfy our life. Have you been struggling lately? Are you looking for the Glory of God in your life? Do you want His Promise but grow tired of sowing? Don’t give up. It’s time to get back on top of this thing called faith and stay there. We do this by putting Jesus back on top. Above every problem, hardship, disappointment, fear and doubt. Putting His Word in place of the lie that the enemy keeps shoving at us. By refusing to give up but stand strong in faith you be back on top of those wayward emotions and wandering thoughts in no time. As He becomes greater in our heart and mind – He fills in those blank spaces and voids that we allowed to be occupied by less than His Glory allows.

I John 3:19-20 (NLT)

Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.

There are many days that we do things that we do not feel like doing. Maybe you didn’t feel like getting out of bed today, but you had responsibilities. Perhaps you didn’t feel like going to work, but you have bills to pay and others who depend on you. Maybe you didn’t feel like obeying the law, but didn’t want to get a speeding ticket. There are a lot of things in the course of this life that we do not feel like doing. The trouble is we allow our emotions and feelings to rule our life rather than deciding to work God’s Word. It doesn’t matter whether or not it seems to be working by faith we know that it is even when it doesn’t feel like it. We forget about His Way when our way feels better and offers more comfort. We exact our will in our life because after all we are our own person and the Lord did set us free. But if we do what we feel, we will never experience the Greatness and Glory of God available in our life by believing even when there is no seeing. It is always more than we think or ask so it is better than we can imagine. Maybe that is why we have such a tough time waiting and watching for the Lord. So today, I have decided to get back on top. No longer will I let my feelings rob me of God’s Best for my life. He is greater than my feelings. His Way is best. His Will is for me to prosper. His Word shows me how. I will be confident standing in faith on these things so that I will see the Goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Who’s with me?

Psalm 27:13-14 (NLT)

Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Snow Globe – A Devotion

Snow Globe

Matthew 5:14-15 (NLT)

 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.

 

Snow Globe (By Matt Wertz)

Chorus

Sometimes I wished I lived in a snow globe
Where the wind blows … It’s wonderful
And every single time that you shake it
You’ll make it so beautiful.

 

When I heard this Christmas song the other day, the chorus stayed with me. Mingling with my thoughts, playing in my head, and writing on my heart. We are to be a light to the watching world. The Lord places us like a city on a hill that many can see even those far from us. His Purpose is not for His People to live obscure and mundane lives but rather to shine His Glory and share Jesus with the world. But if our life is sedate and ordinary, would we ever develop a passionate desire for the Lord. I mean really – lets be real. Most people call on the Lord like some kind of Santa Claus who will give them the stuff that they desire or pay a bill or two. Others want Him to be their Prince Charming who comes to the rescue, sweeping them up out of their situation to carry them off to a faraway castle and distant land to live a fairytale life always happily ever after. One day Jesus will return to whisk away His Bride. The Bride must be read with a heart on fire for her Lover rather than mixing things up in the world. So God in His Infinite Wisdom and Divine Grace allows us to be shaken from time to time. It’s in those times we are forced to leave our comfort zone. Complacency dies in our need to survive and desire to thrive so we embark on a journey to know Him more. Shaking is a part of the process by which we grow. But like a snow globe, all the elements are in place for a beautiful life for the world to see. Sometimes we just need a quick shake to see its beauty.

I Chronicles 16:30-32 (NLT)

Let all the earth tremble before him. The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!” Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!

 

In our freedom, we forget who is in charge around here. God reigns. He has given all power and authority to His Son, Jesus Christ. Even though by His Grace and Mercy we are given the freedom to choose death or life, it does not change the end that is coming. It decides our future in that end. Choosing life is a commitment to follow Jesus Christ. To confess Christ with our mouth not meaning it our heart is a decision to die when the world comes crashing to an end. I know, I know it sounds so barbaric. God is serious. We do not take Him seriously or it would impact how we live. Unfortunately with the advancements in technology and humanity’s self-exaltation, nobody knows what to believe anymore. Convinced they can make the world better and that they have unlimited lives, we live in the moment rather than planning for forever. Sadly the church has been impacted as well. Religion is rampant. Remnant relationships are nowhere to be found. Church is big business yet few tarry at the Cross. It is time to get back to basics. It’s time to allow God to shake up our lives and have His Way which He already promised will be good with a future and hope. Every detail will be good. He will perfect all that concerns us. What will you do when God shakes you up? We must remember that although we feel in control of our life. It is God who set things in order. When He said it was finished, everything completed from beginning to end. We have but one thing to live for. His Name is Jesus. He is our only way to exchange this snow globe life for a glorious forever with God in Heaven forever. It doesn’t matter if you believe me. It only matters if by faith you believe in Him.

Psalm 16:7-11 (NLT)
I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.

 

Growing up with many struggles as a young child made me a control freak by nature. I fight the urge to take over every situation. It is how I survived. Eliminating the element of surprise by depending only on myself was my answer to it all. Well, that doesn’t work in my relationship with the Lord. He must be in control. For many years, God would shake my life and I would quickly work to restore proper order according to my survival plan. He continued to try to put things in proper order according to His Will and His Way. God wants to bless me. He loves me. He desires me to always be successful and live in prosperity. But in my effort to control my life so I would not be destroyed – I fell into religious disobedience. Doing all the right things, but never fully trusting the Lord. We do it all the time. We speak the Word one day. Complain, grumble and gripe the next day killing our seed in the ground. We do what the Word says but with a hard and unforgiving heart voiding the blessing of obedience. We live for Christ claiming to love Him but love no one else as He instructed us to do. So God shakes us.

I have been shaken many times in my life, carefully putting the pieces back together to paint a pretty picture worthy of the fridge but that is not God’s Plan and Purpose for my life. I am to be a Masterpiece.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

 

My life is being made into a Masterpiece by God. One worthy of a place in a famous museum on public display. Why? I am the light of the world. I am to be a city on a hill. Not just me but you, too. People will intentionally look at our life because of the Glory that God is working in it. Signs, wonders and miracles are for those who submit their life to Christ. Words are not enough. Religion will never do. Actions must have the right attitude. Our minds must change from thinking about this life in its comfortable little package to the potential of forever with an enormous God! So He shakes us up to make us what He planned for us to be. I understand these words and instructions the Lord is sharing with me today but I cannot see beyond the “snow” right now. Our life has been forever changed in the last three years. It will never be the same. I must be okay with that and come to terms with it to step into the future that God has for me. When I am shaken, self-control must kick in not to try to make life as it has always been. We are beginning with Christmas this year. How appropriate as we celebrate the birth of Christ marking a new beginning for all mankind. Our traditions are changing. We are embracing each other more than gift and routine. I am thankful that we have been shaken but not sure where the pieces will fall into place. If you are being shaken, please be encouraged today. The best is yet to come if we let the Lord have His Way. Everything is going according to His Plan and it will all be okay – if we choose to remain still in the storm holding our anchor of hope. We must remain faithful in the wind and rain as He makes our life beautiful in the midst of the storm. We will be His Masterpiece. We will be His Light. We will be the city on a hill that He promised. And yes, we will be shaken again and again until He comes as He looks in our life and makes us right once and for all. We may not live in a snow globe… but every single time that He shakes us – it will be beautiful!

Psalm 62:1-2 (NLT)

I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.

In the Midst of a Miracle – A Devotion

Image

 

Galatians 3:6-9 (NLT)

 In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God. What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.” So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.

 

I believe I stand before you today in the middle of a miracle. I have the word. I have the faith. The Lord is working on my hope so that it will be confidently assured in the hope that I have in the Lord. It is tough out here. I feel as though I am in a drought. It seems that all I have is His Promise and nothing more. There is no comfort in reality. There is no confirmation in the natural. I believe God but I cannot see Him right now. I have faith in Jesus Christ although the blessing I am to receive seems somewhat distant. I am tired of walking so now I am crawling. I am weak in my flesh so my spirit drags me along. I feel my strength waning and my confidence shaking. My heart is trembling on the verge of falling apart. I look to the example of Abraham. God counted him as righteous because of his faith. I wonder if Abraham ever felt like this, too. He must have because he was only human just like you and I. Yet the Lord does not recount his weakness but continues to revel in one man’s ability to trust Him. The Word does not tell of all the times Abraham failed and faltered but glories in the times that his faith flourished and he lived in confident hope. In the midst of this miracle that God has prepared for our life, I must take His Word and believe it. I then must take the seed of faith that comes from His Word and plant it in my heart. I must cultivate the Word into faith that will die and give way to confident hope. Oh Lord, help me to survive this process so that I may be called righteous, too.

 

I Kings 17:1-7(NLT)

Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, “As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!” Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.” So Elijah did as the Lord told him and camped beside Kerith Brook, east of the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he drank from the brook. But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land.

 

God told Elijah to declare a drought so the Man of God did just that to King Ahab and hence the land fell into a terrible trial of no rain. But the Lord had already provided what Elijah needed to survive this test, so the prophet obeyed the Lord and went to the brook as instructed and ravens brought him food as he drank from the flow of water. However, the brook dried up and I assume that the ravens stopped coming. It was time to move on. In that moment, do you think Elijah maybe thought what have I done? Now I am thirsty and hungry, too! God sent out His Word. At the time, the outcome was uncertain so now it was time to obey the Lord and see what happened next. A miracle would happen next. Are you in a season of drought? Have the ravens stopped feeding you as they once did? Could it be time to move on to the next season of your life? Yes, I do believe that it is. God is moving you into a miracle. Are you willing to go?

 

I Kings 17:8-16 (NLT)

Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.” So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.” But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.” But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!”

So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days. There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.

 

The oldest “trick” in God’s Book. Feed their hunger, quench their thirst and they will follow you just about anywhere. God doesn’t trick us but gives us the opportunity to live a life of undeserved privilege. The Lord sent Elijah to a widow in Zarephath who was preparing the last meal for her son. She was convinced that they would soon perish from hunger in the midst of the drought. She was not hostile to God in this moment or surely should have slammed the door in the face of His Prophet. Instead, she was more than willing to share all that she had with the Man of God. Elijah asked for all that she had. She gave it all by faith. He gave her a Word from God, “There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and crops grow again!” He did not tell the woman to stop what she was doing just to offer what she had to the Lord in the form of feeding the prophet first. She did just that. God’s Word became active in her life and just as the Lord had promised there was always enough flour and oil in her containers.

 

Matthew 13:158-23 (NLT)

“Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

 

You have been given a seed of faith for such a time as this – it is called God’s Word. The Word will not return void and will do everything that He said that it would do. (Isaiah 55:10-12) You must decide what to do with God’s Word to determine what will be harvested in your life. The parable of the farmer planting seeds is a great illustration. Those who take the Word of God and plant it in good soil by faith will produce a great harvest called hope. It is in this place that miracles will happen. Note that I did not say that they might happen! They will happen but we must not allow God’s Word to be thrown away or put in shallow ground. It must be planted deep inside the human heart and even allowing our self-confidence, human rational and even pride to die in order to produce faith that becomes confident hope. (1 Corinthians 15:36-37) The trouble is nobody know what God is saying anymore. His Voice is drowned out by the world. His Word is ignored. Yet we wonder where signs and wonders called miraculous are? Today is the day that everything could change in your life simply by taking God’s Word and planting it deep inside your heart. God is not a man that He would lie or change His Mind so it is important that we do not allow the enemy or this world to cause doubt, fear and worry to consume our seed that is the Word of God.

 

Matthew 17:20 (NLT)

 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

 

We take that little bitty seed called the Word of God and by faith plant it deep in our heart as the Promise of God for our life. We must not waver from our position that is looking for that Word to come to pass and this is how we demonstrate belief just as the farmer watches his field. The enemy wants to abort the harvest and devour our crops but if we stand firm in our faith without wavering – he can do nothing but standby and watch our harvest grow in the salvation that we have been promised. It doesn’t take much faith at all just about the size of a mustard seed which is tiny. Do you have enough faith? There is another story in the Bible much like the one in I Kings 17. It is about a large group of hungry people and a group of men who took a boy’s lunch of five loaves and two fish to feed them. (Mark 6:37-44) The disciples wanted to naturally feed all these people, but Jesus knew that they had all that they needed except faith. Faith is the catalyst to supernatural prosperity in all forms. Without faith, what’s the point our life is ordinary and common. But with faith, anything that we ask in the Name of Jesus is ours just because we asked. (Matthew 21:21-22) They just didn’t get it. (Mark 6:47-52) I lack nothing in my life. God has provided everything that I need from my birth to the day that I meet Him face-to-face. I have an inheritance that is secure and well-protected from the enemy. I am in the middle of a miracle just waiting on my faith to grow to meet the level of blessing and promise God has in store for me. This should be a peaceful and joyous place. So why am I still struggling?

 

I Kings 17:17-24 (NLT)

Some time later the woman’s son became sick. He grew worse and worse, and finally he died. Then she said to Elijah, “O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and kill my son?” But Elijah replied, “Give me your son.” And he took the child’s body from her arms, carried him up the stairs to the room where he was staying, and laid the body on his bed. Then Elijah cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, why have you brought tragedy to this widow who has opened her home to me, causing her son to die?”

And he stretched himself out over the child three times and cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, please let this child’s life return to him.” The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived! Then Elijah brought him down from the upper room and gave him to his mother. “Look!” he said. “Your son is alive!” Then the woman told Elijah, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the Lord truly speaks through you.”

 

Yep, there I am! Standing right with the widow of Zarephath, her son grew sick and died. Now when the prophet came things were a little different. No hope is better than false hope. God gives us His Word to plant in our heart. Faith grows from the Word but now must become confident hope. Why? “And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.” (Romans 4:19-21) and “ It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, even though God had told him, ‘Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.’ Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.” I am in the middle of a miracle. The woman could believe God for sustenance. How many times do we pray for God to give us more resources and even money? But now her whole life was on the line as it would be with any parent facing the loss of what is most precious, her child. Her response to this miracle, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the Lord truly speaks through you.” The woman now had confident hope. We are called to be Children of God who says that we have the blessing of Abraham on our life. To be that person requires acceptance of God’s Word, production of faith, and a harvest of confident hope that keeps us faithful and not wavering in our commitment to God no matter what we are faced with even the unthinkable.

 

Hebrews 6:13-19 (NLT)
For example, there was God’s promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying: “I will certainly bless you,
 and I will multiply your descendants beyond number.”Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised. Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.

 

It is impossible for God to lie, change His Mind, or go back on His Word. By faith, I receive that Word and choose to bury it in my heart. I will nurture it, protect it and hang on to it until it comes to pass. I will be patient to watch and wait for what the Lord has promised. When my faith dies and turns into confident hope (my ability to trust the Lord above and beyond what I know, see and think) then I will have real and genuine faith that keeps me righteous at all times. I have nothing to fear and everything to gain just as like the Blessing of Abraham. This is the real miracle that I am after to be able to trust God, put my faith in Him and have continual, confident and committed hope that is an anchor for my soul! This leads me into the Presence of God where by faith and hope I will have all I need and more than I could think or ask. Those who truly love God will never fail to have faith and hope in Him. (I Corinthians 13:7)

 

Romans 5:1-5 (NLT)

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

 

Now that I understand the process, I will not lie and say that it is any easier to accept. But then again, when I am weak it is then that I am strong. I am in the middle of a miracle. Lord, thank you for your Word. Give me the faith to keep it safe in my heart until confident hope is ready for harvest. Hang in there friend! God’s Word will come to pass. Your faith will be tested and found to be genuine and you will have confident hope. His Love never fails!

 

I Peter 1:6-8 (NLT)
So be truly glad.There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.