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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In Quiet is Strength

"End your hurried pace" He speaks to my tired heart, "and find rest in me. Rest quietly and wait for me. Wait until my power fills you once more. In the quiet with me, your strength will return, and will remain. Many believe that my strength is seen in action. But my greatest strength is given to you in that quiet moment of time with me. It is true that in the quiet times of refreshing you will find confidence and strength to rise up again and fight your giants. But in this moment find rest and know that I am God."

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Now I Trust in Faith!

Faith is what I trust in now!

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is confidence. Assurance is trust.

What do I hope for? I have confidence it will be provided. What do I have assurance and trust in which I cannot see or feel or touch? I have trust in God's faithfulness to me. Hence, I can be faithful to have confidence in His faithfulness to provide for all my needs. I will trust and not doubt. Even though my eyes and ears tell me, "no way", I believe because my heart tells me "yes". I know in whom I trust, and I believe He is able to keep me safe in His loving arms.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stepping Out

I must pray daily for His faith. He is trustworthy, and I must be faithworthy. Faith is the greatest requirement to see His hand move. To have greater faith, I must pray and have that close communion with Him. In that time with Him, I learn that I can truly trust Him in every moment and every struggle. I learn that because I trust Him, my faith brings forth His work in my life. I can step out in faith knowing that He will provide all that is needed.

Faith is my weapon to overcome all that might come against me in this life. It is my power to accomplish His will, and in doing so, learn that He is constant and trustworthy in every moment of my life.

Not only prayer is needed. "Faith without works is dead." I must reach out in His name to fuel my faith. As I step out in faith, I realize my helplessness, and I turn to Him for power to accomplish what I cannot. And then my faith must grow!

Faith is His gift to me. My works is my gift to Him. I will not grow tired in serving Him. I know that once I have done His will, I will receive His promise.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Perfect Love No Fear

It is impossible for love and fear to exist beside each other. It is one or the other. Evil may come against me, but love is the powerful force which defeats it.

There is a human love which can be tormented by fear, but there is a perfect love which conquers fear and trusts in God's faithfulness to overcome all the I face.

The only way to obtain this perfect Love that conquers fear is to have Christ in my heart. If His love is growing in me, I learn more of His perfect love and its ability to conquer my fears. I can only banish my fears with His presence.

I will pray to Him, and think of Him. I will share His love, and dwell on Him instead of my fears. His perfect love and power will rise in my heart until no fear can claim my mind. I will remain strong in His perfect love that casts out fear.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Upward to Your Promise

Don't dwell on the little problems that come up each day. Recognize each struggle for what it is: a lesson to carry you further to the goal. When you climb a mountain and concentrate on the hardship of each step, you never see the beautiful reward waiting for you at the summit.

Regard each step up your mountain as a springboard toward the top, and don't dwell on each pain. Keep your eyes on your goal, and then as you climb, each step will become another solid foundation of growth. If you consider each step as a means to carry you to the promise at the peak, your climb will not bring despair, but great hope.

The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. Habakkuk 3:19

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Abundant Life

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

Do you see God as being generous? He is! He gives abundant life for earth, and abundant life for eternity. This is the reason He came. To give His life for souls! To give us life instead of death! To give us victory instead of defeat! To speak peace instead of turmoil! To bring rest in the midst of the storms of life!

Jesus Christ came so that we may know overflowing life in Him. He gave all for that purpose. He sacrificed all He was for all the ugliness that we are. In His gift to us He becomes the vine that empowers. We are the branches. When the life of the vine flows into ours, we bring forth new growth! We flourish in His presence. Our being becomes one with His.

Whatever you might face today, He has already given victory. He is Peace. Joy. Strength. Power. Healing. Patience. Forgiveness.... He is everything you cannot be alone. But when you are one with Him, He is all you lack. His Life flowing through your veins is all you need. So look to Him, the Author of your faith, and take courage. It is only in Christ that you can have the greatest peace, strength, power, healing, patience, forgiveness. But you must live with Him, and in Him. Then and only then will His life accomplish the miraculous in your life.

This is abundant life!  This is your purpose, and your promise. This is the reason He came. For you.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Present My Request

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:6).

I will not beg. I will present my requests to Him, believing and trusting that no matter what I lay before Him, there is an answer. He has provision that He longs to supply. All I must do is ask in whatever faith I can supply, and He will supply beyond anything my limited mind can imagine. His supply takes my little mustard seed of faith, and brings a great harvest.

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him" (1 John 5:14, 15).

Friday, October 19, 2012

I AM NEW



“Behold, I stand at the door and knock” (Revelation 3:20).

I consider His priceless words. He stands and knocks at the door to my heart. He invites me to a life which I cannot comprehend with the human mind. It is a life of utter peace and trust in His abundant faithfulness–a life of spiritual joy. His invitation promises to carry me beyond my avenue of analytical thought to one of rest that no matter what happens in this life all is well. This invitation offers respite from the hectic pace of this world. “Be still and know that I am God” takes on a whole new meaning. I don’t have to struggle to understand anymore. I can find peace in just knowing He is my God, and He is in control. "Come to me,” He whispers in my tempest, “and I will give you rest." 

I long to relinquish this struggle–this pain, but my stubbornness resists that which promises release. I fight losing control, because it means that I no longer have the answer. Even when I shut the door of my heart to His knock, He never stops knocking.  Even when I reject His offer of peace, He never turns away. Even when He finds my heart all closed and barred behind my fortress of pain, He continues on in His constant offer of peace. “Let go, and let me,” He whispers. 

He begs me to let go. He begs me to trust Him. He begs me to quit trying to reason what my mind can never understand. The harder I struggle the stronger His constant knock. The harder I resist the greater my pain. Suddenly the exhaustion of my battle is too much. Suddenly I can no longer bar that door.  Suddenly, surrender is my only option. It is my only hope. It is all that I have left. I must let go and believe. I must open the door to His knock. 

So I let go of all I have tried to handle. I open the door, and incredible peace floods my heart. The peace which has waited patiently on the other side of that door is now mine. What took me so long? No more war inside my heart. No more need to know any answers. No more trying to be what I am not. I am free in Him. I am free of all which I have been.  All that has defined me has ended. I am not the same. There is only one word that describes this freedom. I am NEW.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Seek and Find

If I seek Him I shall find Him. He rewards my journey with the grace of His presence. He is my God, and He will never fail me. His strength and joy will conquer all that comes against me.

He is my guide through the pitfalls. No weapon can rise against me. No discipline can tire me. No problem can terrorize. I shall persevere, and hold on. I will make it through this difficulty because I have sought Him in all moments. He is my strength because I have none within myself, and in my lacking, I have discovered His.

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. - Jeremiah 29:13

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Help My Unbelief!

“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24b

This is the cry of my heart. It reveals areas where I lack faith, but it also reveals how my faith has grown. Sounds like a paradox, doesn't it? "I do believe, Lord, yet I need MORE faith to believe." Think about it. As I grow closer to Him, I know Him more, and understand what His power means in my life. But at the same time I am more conscious that I fall short of complete trust in Him. This is the soul's growth. There is increased ability to believe, and then comes a plea for greater faith. It is a cry to overcome all my unbelief. It is a cry for complete trust in Him. My heart's cry is heard, and He answers my prayer with more faith. He also reveals where I still lack in faith, and imparts the power to walk the path that leads, step by step, upwards and closer to Him.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Finding Joy in Obedience




Do you know this story?  I know I do, and if I honestly admit it, at times, it is my own. God tells me to do something that I find terribly difficult, and I find a reason not to listen. If God is the greatest reason for my life, then my obedience is not an option, and it does not just happen. It is born of deep commitment to God. It certainly calls for my personal sacrifice. When it is born of sacrifice, obedience speaks my willingness to submit to God’s desires instead of my own. Often obedience contradicts the desires of my heart.

            We all can find reasons not to obey. “It is too hard for me to do that! I can’t give it up, Lord! I don’t have time to study the Word and pray. Lord, what would others think of me? What if I fail you, Lord? I can’t see how my doing this will help, Lord. I don’t feel the need to do that, Lord.”  The excuses mount until God’s voice echoes like distant thunder. With our backs firmly turned, and our hearts grown cold, we suddenly declare, “I refuse to do that, Lord.”

            Refusing God means the loss of God's presence in our lives. David, when confronted by Nathan for his sin with Bathsheba, immediately repented. “Do not cast me from your presence,” he cried out to God, “or take your Holy Spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11). He understood the danger of being separated from God was the loss of God’s presence. His cry for forgiveness speaks of his loving respect for God and his commitment to God’s desires (Psalm 51).

            Solomon refused to listen to the Lord, and allowed his weakness for the things of the world to destroy his relationship with the Lord. Near the end of his life, he looks back on wasted years and declares in Ecclesiastes, Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)! The life of Solomon is a sad account of how he blew the undeserved opportunities God had given him. Chuck Swindoll refers to Ecclesiastes as a “graphic portrayal of a life lived apart from God.”
 
            Jonah ran from the Lord’s instruction to witness to the depraved city of Nineveh, and he ended up in the belly of a whale. It took disaster to bring Jonah a repentant heart. Even following repentance, Jonah argued with the Lord and his obedience was less than perfect.

            The Lord yearns for me to have an obedient heart—one that listens to the conviction and direction of the Holy Spirit as David listened—one which, unlike Jonah,  follows God’s will without argument. I certainly do not wish my life to be likened to Solomon’s—one lived apart from God. It is our responsibility for holiness of heart and obedience to God to be the most important disciplines of our lives.

            Disobedience stems from pride. Longing for personal acceptance by others, it says “no” when the sacrifice involves humility. However, true obedience reveals respect for the cost of Jesus’ sacrifice, and goes where disobedience never will— into the very heart of God. This is where the joy of obedient sacrifice is discovered.

            “Remember this,” Paul wrote, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (II Corinthians 9:6-8).
           
            God loves a cheerful giver who invests richly in His kingdom through obedience in every area of his life. My compliance to God’s will speaks of joy in my own sacrifice. If I invest with joy, I shall receive the grace of His total supply.  I shall discover His joy in giving—the joy of giving as He gave His life for me.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thirst No More

If I drink of the water that He provides, I will never be thirsty. His water not only soothes my shattered spirit, but it heals me completely because it is living water.

"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness," He whispers, "they shall be filled."

"Oh Lord," I cry, "just as a deer pants for streams of water, my soul pants for you. My soul thirsts only for you."

This is a thirst that shall always be filled. It shall always be satisfied.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Real Discipleship

Real discipleship is taking care of the little things. Sometimes that is the last thing I understand. In my heart and mind I may tell myself I am ready to die for Christ, but then I don't live for Him in the the small details of my life. So many times this is the way it is toward those we love. We are ready to make a big sacrifice, but not make the smaller ones.

I must learn to sacrifice my own desires in every area of my life. I will rejoice in all things for this is His will for me. I must overcome prideful wants and surrender to Him in the smallest areas. He desires my service in the smallest things of life. I will learn to be His servant in the least thing, and then I may learn to be His servant in the greatest.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Life? A Message or a Mess?



Is my life a message or a mess? This is a question that makes me look intently at my life. What am I to other people?  What is my life saying? Is life about me or about other? I don’t want to be a part of the “me” generation, but what do my attitudes and actions render? Does my life have an anchored purpose or is it like flotsam- floating around with no anchor?  These questions challenge me to examine my life–each moment, each thought, and each action to really see if Jesus is my reason for existence.

Is He my anchor–the core of my very being? If He is my heartbeat, then His faith and His love within my heart have nowhere to go but outward. It cannot be inwardly directed or it will destroy me. If He has broken the selfishness of my heart so that I may be filled with His love, then how can I not want my heart to be broken for others? James was explicit when he penned that "faith without works in dead". Likewise, he lets me know that works without faith has little meaning. If I love Jesus, then my life is not about me. It is about the needs of others. My life should reveal the Savior who redeemed me and filled me with His love and promise. I should live His love in each moment, in each thought, and in each action. If He is my first love, then my life will show it.

So where am I now? He knows where I am, and the state of my heart–whether it is claimed or unclaimed. He knows whether my life is a message of His love or a mess that needs His focus of purpose. Ask yourself this same question. Jesus knows where you are, just like He knows where I am. Are you ready to be truthful with Him? Are you really ready to examine your own heart? Do you long to be His message instead of a mess with no anchor or purpose? Today let’s be real with Him so that we can be real with others. With open hearts let’s become His hands and feet.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Rise Above!

Rise above your fears into His peace and joy. You will discover His healing for the pain from your trials and struggles. Refuse to remember your shortcomings, and your mistakes. Refuse any feelings of failure, and the hurt from the past. Trust only in Him.

Your life in Christ is a race. It is a race that grows you into the discipleship He desires. So..... "Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls" (Hebrews 12:2-3, The Message).

What would you think of the runner who gave up when faced with the first obstacle in a race? That hurdle is meant to give you a lift upward... not pull you back. It is meant to inspire you to greater growth.

Are you ready to really run your race? Will you move forward, facing and springing over each obstacle with greater spiritual growth? Or will you run and hide and never discover the power He wishes to impart?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

SOME CAN LOVE MORE

"Some" can love more. "Some" discover that submission to the Holy Spirit means more in their life instead of less. "Some" learn that His control in their life is better than their own. "Some" find that listening to Him keeps them from choosing life instead of death. "Some" discover that submission to His control and knowing what He desires empowers them to move in His will. And when they do, they are filled to overflowing with His Spirit and love. Am I "some" of this kind, or am I the "other"? I want to be one of the "some" who love more.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Practice His Presence




In the midst of change, Christ is with me. In the midst of the storm, He is my safe harbor. He keeps me from the breakers that would crush me. But He is more than just a secure sanctuary. He is my strength to not only endure, but to overcome. I can never fear change when He never changes. He is the one great constant in my life–the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). As I give Him my fearful heart, His peace calms my restless spirit (Philippians 4:6-7). Abiding in Him, He claims my thoughts and I discover that I, too, can be strong. I can be steadfast and unchanging. I can know His peace that carries me above the fray.

I must practice the presence of God, and seek Him daily in prayer, study, and devotion until His presence becomes like a habit–unconsciously rendered. I unconsciously learn to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). He is just “there” at the moment I need Him. He is just “there” in moments of sudden fear when
, without Him, my world would cave. But practicing His presence has brought His immediate peace in that moment. My heart has prayed unconsciously and He has heard its cry.

I don’t know always know to give Him my suffering and fear, but the Holy Spirit intercedes for me (Romans 8:26b). He prays my heart’s cry when I am unable to mentally render a thought. It is in a moment like this that I understand His peace. I have practiced His presence until He is always with me–unconsciously and consciously. I may go through my busy day with no problem, and my conscious mind is busy with my job, my schedule, and my list. I learn something that rocks my world, and the Holy Spirit immediately arises from the depth of my unconscious spirit to calm my shattered mind. Practicing His presence has brought His presence. I am steadfast in Him, and unchanging in my trust in His faithfulness.

A Revelation of His Love

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. —John 3...