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Saturday, November 30, 2013

HIS PERFECTLY DESIGNED WORK


 Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a).

Do the work that you are given, my child, and leave the result of that work to me. The work that I have given you has been designed for you. When you carry it out faithfully and obediently, the result will be what I planned.

Always follow my guidance. Don't follow anyone else. Even those who are wise on earth are not wise in heaven. They do not know the work that I have designed for you. They have enough trouble sometimes understanding and following their own.

I know who you are, my child. I know you intimately....your heart, your character, your capability, your greatest potential. When I direct you to do something, it is done with full knowledge of just who you are. When you follow me and give me your best, the result is glorious and rewarding beyond anything you can imagine.

Go forward in faith and follow my path. Be strengthened by my power. Keep your eyes on me. I started this faith and this work in you. If you continually surrender your heart and will to me, I will perfect my work in you. I have called you, and I am faithful to complete my work through you. Faithfully allow it to be completed.



 

Friday, November 29, 2013

WORTH IT ALL

“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).
If I climb a mountain and concentrate on the hardship of each step, I never see the beautiful reward waiting for me at the summit. That summit is my goal! I will not dwell on the little problems that come up each day. Each struggle is a lesson to carry me closer to my goal.

Each step up my mountain is a springboard toward the top, and I will not dwell on the pain of those steps. Keeping my eyes on the goal, I will move upward, and as I climb each step will become another solid foundation of growth. If I consider each step as a means to carry me to the promise at the peak, my climb will not bring despair, but great hope.


The promise at the summit is my greatest reward. One day I will reach that greatest height, and know that all the struggle has been worth the promise. I shall look down on my rocky path, and know that the effort that I gave to get to this goal, has been worth it all.
 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I AM THANKFUL

I am thankful for the moment you came into my life. Everything changed in that instant. I was no longer alone. I was no longer bound in the dregs of my past. In that instant... in that moment, I knew I was loved no matter what I had done or been. Your love has set me free to be me. You always see my potential and lift me above the circumstances that try to destroy me. You walk with me everyday, but more incredibly and wonderfully you live inside me. It is your heart that loves through me, and it is your forgiveness that flows. I have none of my own. You make all the difference. You make my life complete, and for that I cannot give you enough thanks.

Today I give you all the praise and thanks I can. You are my life, and my God. I love you, Jesus, for loving me beyond measure... beyond anything my limited mind can imagine. You just are, and in your constant promise, I am fulfilled.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

LIVE HIS LOVE

"The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
The world has heard about Jesus Christ, but what it needs is to know Him. We try to share His love, and are surprised when our words don't make a difference in lives of those who need Him. They are just words about Him. They are not His words living and active in our lives. They are not Him living through us.
The world needs to see Christ in my life. It doesn't need to hear about His power, but it needs to experience it through me. It doesn't need to hear about His peace, but it needs to see it alive in me. It needs to see a calm reassuring faith, no matter what the circumstances. It doesn't need to hear about His joy, but it needs to see His joy spring up from depths of faith in His faithfulness to me. It doesn't need to just hear of my love, but it needs to experience His love through me.

If I love Him and live Him, the world will see Him in me. They may accept or reject Him, but they will have experienced His love and witnessed His power. It is not my place to save. It is my place to live what He has done in my life. If I am His vessel, He does the work. All I have to do is allow Him to live completely through me.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rejoice in the Rain

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus . Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you ” (Philippians 4:4-9). 
Do you realize that life is not about waiting for the storms of life to just be over? There will always be storms. Life is about learning to rejoice in the rain. It is about bringing the Lord a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15) no matter what storm rages in your life. You can't wait the storms of life out. You must launch into the fury in faith, trusting the Lord to help you handle it with grace.

Jesus Christ is the very best truth for your life. His truth is not lessened by trials and suffering. If you practice what is right, continually dwell on what is good, and trust the Lord, you will discover God's promise of peace and joy in the midst of any trial.

Do you rejoice in His faithfulness or does worry anchor your mind in fear? If God is with you, why should you be afraid? This Scripture from Philippians imparts the truth that if He is with us we can have perfect peace of mind and heart.

“It is absolutely impossible to worry and live in peace at the same time,” Joyce Meyer writes. Anxiety and worry will destroy peace of heart and mind. God, however, assures those who have made Him Lord, that He is constantly with them as they face the raging storms of life. If we know Him, and serve Him, and live for Him, we have His constant care, and faithful promise to carry us through to the end, or either intervene when the way is too rough (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Let's rejoice in Him always. Let's give Him our fears with thankfulness in our hearts that He will handle what we are unable to handle. Let's dwell on what is good and worthy and noble, and put these into practice in our lives. Our God of peace will be with us. All will be well.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Today I Touch

 
Today I almost touch your garment.
You are as close as my next breath.
I have seen your glory in the sanctuary,
I have known it in suffering and joy.
The pain brings the promise of release.
It is through pain that I discover
Your strength to stand strong.
But in this moment I need you now.
This pain has overwhelmed me.
I need to know with all my heart
That you are truly my healer.
So I reach up and grasp your hem,
And in that one act of faith,
Your life becomes my life,
Flowing, healing, redeeming,
Your glory is within me.
That which had promised death
Now promises life!
Today I touched the hem of your garment.

Matthew 9:19-21

(dedicated to a friend who reached up and touched the hem of His garment)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

HE MAKES ALL THINGS NEW

    The call came in the middle of last night. James Davis is in surgery right at this moment for new lungs. It has been a long road, and it still will be. For the last several weeks, Edgewood Church has been undergoing a renovation in the sanctuary. Many have sacrificed time, money, and love to see it completed for today’s worship service.
    And it will be worship!  Not only a new sanctuary, but the gift of new lungs for James!  God does make all things new in our lives. We may not always perceive how His hand does this, but it is His promise.  Sometimes the route to our promise is long and hard, but in the end the reward is very great.
    Whatever your struggle....whatever your question....whatever your promise.... HOLD FAST!  He who promises is faithful. We are new in Him because He has saved us from our own self-destruction. We are new because He has made us His own.
    Be renewed everyday with the touch of His Spirit!  Be renewed with His love.  If you are able, come worship with us at Edgewood today, and rejoice in the miracle of His presence.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Offer Help

Do you have a friend who is struggling with an addiction of some kind? Maybe you don’t believe you can help him experience freedom, but you can. You don’t have to be a spiritual giant.

Pray for him and with him. Intercession on behalf of this person not only gives you spiritual insight, but builds faith. Pray regarding what you share, and be sure it is confirmed by or does not violate Scripture.

Listen to him. Take time to understand what he is saying. Many times we don’t hear because we are planning what we are going to say next.
Do not judge. If someone confesses to you, do not criticize him. Realize that he reaches out to you because the Holy Spirit trusts you.

Keep his confession confidential. Whatever he reveals, don’t tell others. Treat his confidence as a sacred trust.

Encourage. Never forget to remind him that there is deliverance and healing in Christ.

Persevere. Don’t give up. Believe in him when he is at his lowest. Don’t allow him to isolate himself from other believers because of his addiction.

Share the Word. Assist him in Bible study, and help him discover God’s promises.

Be holy. Keep your own relationship with the Lord pure. If you are not open to the Lord’s correction, you cannot help him.

“Remember this,” James affirms. “Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins” (James 5:20). When you share the heart of Jesus, the Lord does the miraculous. Not only will the Lord save a person lost in sin from spiritual death, but Christ’s forgiveness for your own failures will take on an incredibly deeper meaning. Remember that the grace of Christ is more than sufficient to meet the challenge (II Corinthians 12:9).

Friday, November 22, 2013

MADE RICH TO GIVE

Even though I am not rich in what others might call rich, I am rich in Christ. I can't contain such rich fullness, it just overflows. It is a fullness of His Spirit that must be given away. He calls me to give all of myself away.... my heart, my thoughts, my possessions, my life....for His sake. He is the greatest giver, and He is my greatest example. He gave of His time, so I will give of mine. He gave up personal comfort, so I will give up mine. He gave all of Himself for me....His perfect life for my sinful one. He still gives all of Himself for my comfort, for my healing, for my understanding, for my sorrow, for my weakness, for my need. Because of what He has done for me, and His love that continues to abundantly flow, I also give. And in giving, I receive. I receive more joy and move peace and more love to give away. It is a never ending cycle of richness that only comes with complete surrender to the Savior who died for me. In Him is fullness of life.

”Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together and running over, shall men give unto your bosom” (Luke 6:38).
 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

HERE IN THIS MOMENT

Here in this moment I am still.
Here in this moment all that has bombarded my mind is silenced.
Here in this moment there is only you.
Here in this moment my heart is at rest in your love.
Here in this moment the voices that have plagued my mind are silenced.
Here in this moment I find peace that passes my human understanding.
Here in this moment I discover your joy that is my strength.
Here in this moment my prayer takes flight straight to your heart.
If not for your moment of surrender, I wouldn't have this moment.
If not for your moment of sacrifice, I wouldn't have this moment.
Here in this moment I surrender all I perceive.
Here in this moment I sacrifice all that has held me.
Here in this moment I am loved as I long to love you.
Here in this moment I have you.
Here in this moment I have eternity.

Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Molly


My mother passed on in February of this year. She lived in a specialty care at Autumn Cove, an assisted living residence here in Anniston. For years I had visited my mother almost everyday of the week, and taken care of many things for her. With his consent, my father had allowed me to make decisions regarding my mother's health care. She had always needed me, and now in February she was suddenly gone. The emptiness in my life was very great.

A few weeks after her death, a friend from church found a bedraggled and shivering dog in the road. She posted the dog's picture on Facebook to try to locate the owner. The moment I saw the picture of that little schnauzer my heart was drawn to her. I couldn't stop thinking about her. I already had two little dogs, and I lived on a street with a strict covenant. We could have no more than two little pets. Besides my husband was the president of the homeowners association, and I couldn't put him in that position. I took a picture of this lost dog to my groomer Kathy. The dog had a damaged ear, so she immediately recognized the dog as one she had groomed a few days earlier. Kathy said that someone had found the dog. She had been all mangled and obviously a stray for a long time. Kathy couldn't say who the dog's rescuer was. But it it was obvious that the person who had rescued the dogs had also lost her. And my friend, Donna, had rescued her again.

When I first saw this little dog in Donna's living room, my heart filled to overflowing. My mama came to mind, and then this little dog just looked at me and I knew in my heart that she was a gift for this time in my life. There was nothing pretty about her condition. Her skin was just a bunch of sores. She had bitten herself raw. Her damaged ear was mangled and infected. Donna couldn't keep her because of her large dogs. Mama was gone, and now here was this little dog needing love and care. According to our covenant, we couldn't have another pet, but I took her, knowing that one day I might have to give her up.

We named her Molly, and took her to our vet. After treatments for her skin condition, and ear, Molly began to feel better, and fit into our lives with our other two dogs just perfectly. It had always bothered me that we had broken the covenant when we brought her home, but no one had ever said anything. I knew if anyone ever did, I would have to let her go. That thought was devastating, but I understood.

Loving and gentle she lays by my side watching me as I write this. Her paw rests on my leg as if to say, “it's alright. It's time for me to move on.” And it is time.... for that is what has happened. Her presence was questioned two weeks ago. We were asked if we were not aware of the covenant. For these past months she has been my companion and my friend during a time when I desperately needed someone to love and take care of. God had sent Molly to fill a time of great loneliness in my life.. And she has been my healing balm. She has been right beside me as I right devotionals each morning. Often after praying I open my eyes to see her totally concentrated on me as if to say, “I'm here for you.” She has been God's gift during one of the most difficult times of my life. The pain at the thought of separation has been devastating, but I have found through all the tears, that it is time.

Molly has been my gift to help me through grief, and now it is time for her to love and help someone else. I had Mama for awhile, and then had to let her go. It is as if I hear Mama saying, “It's OK to move on now, Lynn. It's OK.” So with Molly's incredible love and help over these last months, I can now move on. I pray that the sweet family who receives her is blessed as much as I have been by her sweet presence. And that they discover the wonderful gift that Molly has just for them.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ask In Faith

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

Don't beg. Ask in faith believing He will supply all that is needed. Trust His love for you. Trust His faithfulness to you. Bring to Him your needs knowing that to lay them on the altar means immediate help in your time of need.

His desire is to supply what you need, but you must ask, believing that He will supply what is best for you. Faith is the key that unlocks the door, but it is only found in intimate contact with Him.

"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, NIV).

Monday, November 18, 2013

Prayer Changes


Prayer Changes
Prayer is your closely personal time with the Lord. It is a privilege that imparts a close relationship, and brings you into the very presence of a faithful God. (Hebrews 4:16).  Prayer is God's gift to your struggling spirit. Without it, you have no strength, no guidance, no purpose, no peace, and no victory. With it all things are possible.


We often pray for God to change circumstances. Sometimes there is a change in circumstance, but often there isn't. C.S. Lewis discovered a precious truth with the impending death of his wife. When an agnostic colleague asked him why he bothered to pray when it was obvious that God was not changing the circumstance of his wife's cancer, C.S. Lewis said, “I don't pray in order to change God. I pray because God changes me.” And that is the beauty and gift of prayer. As we draw closer to God in prayer, we find ourselves changing into a person who is able to hold on to the incredible peace of God in all circumstances. Prayer changes who we are. It changes our heart, our attitudes, our desires, our choices, and every aspect of our lives.

Don’t become discouraged in prayer. Paul writes, “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will” (Romans 8:26a-27). Allow Him to search your heart, and He will pray for you.
 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

NO LIMIT


"Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
(Matthew 17:20)

Do you sometimes feel limited in what you can do in your Christian walk? There are times I feel limited. But I must understand that there is no limit to what I can accomplish (Philippians 4:13). If God has called me to do something, He will supply the strength that I need (1 Thessalonians 5:24). I will never give up because something seems beyond my power to accomplish. In my weakness, I shall realize His strength and power that moves mountains.

I love pansies. They bring color and beauty in the coldness of a winter morning. Sometimes, when it is freezing, they are shriveled and withdrawn. As I pour warm water on them, they open to the winter morning and stand strong in the frigid air. I might be weary and shriveled, but I still stand, and wait for the warmth of His Spirit to bring new life to whatever task He has given me.

And as He pours His power into me, I realize that in Him all things are possible.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Take Care of the Little Things

For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest” (Luke 9:48b, NIV).
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 believe we are ready to make a big sacrifice, but discover we cannot even 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.

Friday, November 15, 2013

HE CAME FOR YOU

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 encourage when despair darkens! To bring rest in the midst of the storms of life!
Jesus Christ came so that we may know Him and the power of His resurrection.... for the promise of heaven, and the promise of overflowing life in Him NOW. He gave all for that purpose. He sacrificed all the perfection 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 very being 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.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

HIS LOVE IS GREATER THAN MINE

Have you ever done something to help a friend, and ended up hurting him instead? Was it something you were certain would bring relief, but all it did was bring more pain? Sometimes in an attempt to lessen a friend's pain and ease a breaking heart, we attempt to fix something that we don't really understand. Only the Holy Spirit does. Sometimes the Holy Spirit does guide and give direction to encourage our friends, but it is always His place to do the work. We can't fix anything. Only He can. Look at Job's friends. They thought that were helping Job with their advice, but they were only hurting with their words and accusations. They really didn't understand the larger picture, and neither do we. The best we can do is just be there and listen.
“Friendship is one of the sweetest joys of life,” C.H. Spurgeon wrote. “ Many might have failed beneath the bitterness of their trial had they not found a friend." This is the kind of friend I wish to be.... one who knows he can't solve the problem, but one who realizes that in listening to my friend's heart, I have given the very best I can give.
Lord, help us to be able to always say....
"So today, please forgive me, friend, if I make mistakes that hurt you. I don't do them on purpose. I try to be the best friend that I can be, but I often fail in my attempt. My heart hurts for you, but so many times I try to help you, and all I do is confuse and try to fix things that I should never attempt to fix. The best I can do for you is pray for you and ask the Holy Spirit to make me sensitive to your needs, and keep me from making mistakes or saying things that hurt you. I will always pray for your healing and for God to heal the pain in your life. If He wishes to use me, I will make myself available. But I will never assume it is my place to do anything but surrender to Him. I pray that in our mutual surrender, you will one day discover His peace and joy, and I will discover a greater depth in my walk with the Lord. I pray we both discover those unknown depths of His love and are filled to overflowing with His abundant life.”
There is no greater love than when we give our lives for our friends. We must lay down all our human judgment or preconception or expectation. We must release all this so then we are free to love. We just love with His love, and then all things are possible.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

PROMISE OF DELIVERY

Are you going through a hard time? Does each moment bring sadness, pain, or even fear? Each one of us at times in our lives wonders where God is. When so overwhelmed we cry out for a promise of peace in the midst of our storm. We just long for our storm to end. We long for peace.
Tucked away in the book of Isaiah is a verse that I discovered years ago. It uses the analogy of birth for the promised new life for Israel. It also speaks to whatever pain we face. After months of pregnancy a woman discovers the intense pain of delivery, and at the moment when her pain is the greatest, there is release. What is the result? A new birth and a new life. Joy is the result. The months of discomfort, and the intense pain of delivery have been worth it. All along the way, she has anticipated the joy to come. She has believed in her promise, and the months of preparation have been worth the incredible result.

“'Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?' says the Lord. 'Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?' says your God” (Isaiah 66:9). No, He doesn't close up the womb. No, He doesn't stop the release that comes forth from all the pain. The intense joy that comes from your delivery is your promise. You are even protected from the pain that would be too much for you to handle. “Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son” (Isaiah 66:7). What we might consider the harshest pain is not really what the most horrible pain might be. God has protected us. He has made our labor easier than it might have been, and has brought us to the point of delivery from it all.

Whatever trial you are going through holds the promise of peace. “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:35-36). Hang on and find His will. Believe the promise is very real. During your time of “pregnancy” you will discover the biblical truths that make your faith stronger. “Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5b). The dawn of morning is your promise of delivery, and it will come.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Rest Until Your Heart Sings Again

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28, NIV).
When I am tired, exhausted, overwhelmed, depleted, I go to Him for rest. When I feel drained emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually, I go to Him for rest. But I don't just go. I stay. I wait. I abide in Him (John 15:5). I let go of all that pulls me down and drains my heart and spirit (Philippians 4:6). And I stay with Him. I stop all that rushes my mind and disturbs my spirit. I go to Him because I know He alone is my help and my restorer. He is my help in my time of need. His presence is constant and sure, and I wait until He fills every crevice of my tired and hurting heart. I rest until my racing mind has calmed. He is my Sabbath rest, my complete rest of body, mind, heart, and spirit from all that I endure. I will make every effort to enter that promise of rest in His presence (Hebrews 4:9, 10).


His rest is fearless. His rest is burden-less. His rest is peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). His rest supplies all that I lack. His rest is complete, and is all that I need to complete my journey. I rest in Him until He shows me it is time to go again....until my spirit sings with His strength and purpose....until my mind is at peace....until all is well again. Whatever your struggle or pain or heartache or want, make every effort to enter His peaceful rest, and remain until you, too, are strong again. Remain until His presence pours such strength, joy, and purpose into your heart, that you are encouraged to rise again to his calling for your life.

 
From your abiding rest will come the moment when it is time to rise again to your purpose. When that time comes, move out in His strength and power. That purpose might have at one time drained you to the point of despair, but after rest and restoration in Him, that purpose is now your life once more (Romans 11:29). Step out in faith and purpose and strength and victory and grace that only such abiding rest in His presence imparts. Look up; grab with Hand, and move forward into His purpose for your life.


 

Monday, November 11, 2013

God Never Wastes Your Hurt

Have you ever been hurt by another person? If you are human, you have been hurt. Do you harbor that pain instead of forgiving the one who inflicted it? Might you unknowingly blame God for the pain? No, you exclaim! You love Him. He is your Savior! If asked you would never believe you are angry at God. You are angry at the one who inflicted the pain. But isn’t it a possibility that anger toward the one who hurt you might actually be toward God for allowing something so devastating? The inability to forgive is a terrible cancer. It eats at your spiritual health, and not only destroys human relationships. It ultimately destroys your relationship with God.

“Do not judge,” Jesus instructs, “and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). Isn’t the inability to forgive really judgment of that person? Personal betrayal or rejection does not give you a personal license to be angr
y at God or anyone else. The Holy Spirit invites us to acknowledge our pain so we might forgive. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,” Paul writes (2 Corinthians 3:17). To receive forgiveness we must give ourselves away—freely as Jesus gave his life. We are forgiven as we forgive others.

Rick Warren imparts in his popular bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life (Zondervan, 2002), that God never wastes a hurt. He writes, “If you really desire to be used by God, you must understand a powerful truth: the very experiences that you have resented or regretted most in life—the ones you’ve wanted to hide and forget—are the experiences God wants to use to help others.” When you forgive, God never wastes your hurt. If you want to be used by God, you can’t harbor feelings of anger and hurt toward anyone. Give yourself away in your heart to the one who has hurt you, and you face the pain with the power and freedom on the Holy Spirit. You will discover that in giving yourself away, you will receive.

Jesus waits for our response. Are we willing to return what He has given? Will we actually do as He asks? Make something good come out of what is bad. Turn it around for God’s glory. Open your heart to the Holy Spirit’s forgiveness so others might be healed, too. Out of your life will flow rivers or living water.

“I will give you a new heart,” the Lord promises, “and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).
 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

NO SEPARATION IN SURRENDER

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).


Am I convinced that there is no separation? There is no separation from His love, but sometimes I don't feel the peace that I long to know. When I lose that peace, I feel separated. Because I love Him and want to obey Him, I yearn to make sure that my decisions are what He wishes for me. I have a fear I will make the wrong decision and fail God. What I don't understand in that moment is that He is in control, and if the desire of of my heart is to follow Him, He will take my decision, whatever it might be, and bring about His plan for my life.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” (Proverbs 16:3). I am convinced that He knows my heart. I am convinced that when I continually surrender my life, and live in His righteousness, there is no separation from His love. I am convinced that since He knows the deepest desire of my spirit is to follow Him. He knows I long to make the decisions He wishes for my life. If I stay surrendered to Him, He will take whatever decision I make, and bring about His purpose for my life.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I AM ACCOUNTABLE

I AM ACCOUNTABLE

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:1, NIV).

If I blame another person for something, I judge. If I refuse to take responsibility for my own action, I evade conviction, and refuse my own accountability. I must never try to place blame on another person.

Jesus Christ took my sins to the cross. When I place blame on another, aren't I placing blame on Him? If what has happened is a result of my own sin, I must face my own fault or weakness, and look to change the motive of my heart. My heart needs to be broken just as His was broken for me.

If a problem has been caused by another person, then I will not blame and will not allow myself to attribute any judgment. I will allow God to take care of that, and will forgive as He has forgiven me.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Lift My Eyes

LIFT MY EYES
"I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth" (Psalms 121:1-2).

I will raise my eyes from this world's strife, pain, and struggles to the mountains of the Lord. I will lift my eyes from the pain and ugliness, and lift my eyes to His help. In times of weakness and doubt, I will lift my eyes to the Maker of heaven and earth.

I must see past what is before me. I must see past what my physical eyes only see, to the distant view of His promise. I must train my eyes to see His mountains ahead, until they become focused and sure in my sight....until the promise of the highest summit is rock-solid in my heart.

From the mountain height comes the refreshment of His living waters. They flow to refresh the parched earth. Just as the thirsty soil looks to the mountains for its fulfillment, so my thirsty soul looks to His mountain heights. I await His living water as one who longs for His next breath. For all that I need I will raise my eyes to Him who made heaven and who made earth.
 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

HOLD ON


Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised (Hebrews 10:23;35-36. NIV).

Has the Lord made you a promise in your heart? Hold unswervingly to your hope. Speak it with confidence in the Savior who died for you. He who has promised gave all for you. He is faithful to you. Don't give up. Believe. Persevere and keep doing the will of God. Live your life for Him, and keep loving Him no matter what the battle in your mind might try to impart to your heart. Once you have done His will.... once you have held on unswervingly.... once you have trusted in your faithful God and lived a righteous life.... once you have believed in Him above all else, you will receive His promise at the perfect time. He will never fail you, and He will certainly never forsake you.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NO MATTER WHAT HE IS MY GOD

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
 

There is a peace that fills and calms the person who trusts in God. And that peace rises from a faith that knows and has experienced the constant and unfailing love of God. He is a God who provides all of my needs, not because of any obligation, but because He cannot deny His love. It is a love that died for me and gave all for me. And that enduring love longs to take care of me. I am His child, and there is nothing that I will ever face alone. He is the same forever, and He is my God.
 
He has my back today... if I will let Him, and allow Him to take care of what I am unable to do. No matter what I see today....No matter what I hear today....no matter what happens today....no matter what fear might suddenly rise...no matter what lie of the enemy tries to take root, God is my constant rock. God is my promise of peace. He is my God of rest. He is my God of this moment and the next. He is my promise that all is well.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Faith and My Works


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. Faith grows as I see His Hand move.


Faith is His gift to me. The work I do for Him 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 (Hebrews 10:35-36).

Monday, November 4, 2013

NOT PLAYING THE ENEMY'S GAMES

I have a dear friend who told me the other day that she tells the enemy in no uncertain terms that she is “not playing his games.” His terrorizing mission is to seek and destroy your faith in Christ. “He begins,” Joyce Meyer states in The Battlefield of the Mind, “by bombarding our mind with a cleverly devised pattern of little nagging thoughts, suspicious, doubts, fears, wonderings, reasonings, an theories. He moves slowly and cautiously.... He knows what we like and what we don't like. He knows our insecurities, our weaknesses, and our fears. He knows what bothers us most. He is willing to invest any amount of time it takes to defeat us.”

Did you get that? He is willing to invest whatever time it takes to defeat you. Are you ready to invest your mustard seed of faith in Jesus Christ, read the Word until it becomes His power in your mind, live obediently, and fight this battle choosing to believe? The mind is where satan attempts to play his games..... to tell his lies....to build his lying strongholds, and destroy the faith that Christ has placed within you. You cannot sit on the sideline and hope it will go away. You cannot cover your ears, and pretend it is not there. That voice can be silenced. It can be defeated with the Word of God and the power of Holy Spirit.

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4,5), NIV). Just as in a battle on a physical battlefield, you want to choose your best ground, and define your terms of combat. In the battlefield of the mind, you also make choices that are advantageous to you. You have the ability to choose doubt or to have faith. You choose to believe the Word or not believe the Word. You choose the power of the Holy Spirit to stand strong against satan's lies (Ephesians 6:10-17). You choose to place your faith in the Lord's promises instead of Satan's lies. You choose to take captive your thoughts. You choose Jesus' love over satan's hatred. Practice choosing to believe. What you practice you finally learn.

The Holy Spirit will give you the strength to stand strong and believe in His promise instead of believing in the lies of the enemy. When you give all of this to the Lord with thanksgiving in your heart that He will take care of you, you will find His rest and peace in your mind (Philippians 4:6-7). Stand strong in the Lord, my friend, and the enemy will not be able to play that game. Don't despair. Stand and continually make your choice. There is deliverance.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

OUT OF DOUBT INTO HOPE


        In the next chapter in our class, “Battlefield of the Mind”, we are studying about the condition of a doubtful and unbelieving mind. This upcoming lesson reminds me of an allegorical poem by Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queen.

         Faith goes for a walk in a forest named Doubt. Faith becomes lost, and meets a person named Despair. Despair assures Faith that he can lead her out of the forest of Doubt. Despair leads Faith to a river called Suicide and tells her to jump in. Just as Faith is about to jump into the river, Hope comes along, takes Faith by the hand, and leads her away from Despair and out of Doubt.

         How many of us wander through a forest of doubt everyday, grab hold of despair, and follow him instead of hope? Despair's mission is to destroy hope, and bring spiritual death to your faith. At this point the stage is set for hope's entrance, but somehow hope is stuck in the wings. Perhaps we wait for hope to gallop on to our stage as a knight on a white horse. Most often, though, hope enters as a tiny spark which, when fanned into a flame, has the potential to grow into great faith.

            Doubt is a state of mind, but disbelief is a state of your spirit. Disbelief is the result of spiritual death. Doubt hears Jesus knocking at the door, and longs to open it. Disbelief doesn't even hear His knock (Revelation 3:21).When despair pulls you down to the point of spiritual death, and disbelief has overwhelmed your spirit, you forget that there is any hope.

            However, Jesus Christ died so that you might have hope! Consider Jesus Christ as Hope in Spenser's poem. He is the Savior that comes as a still small voice and speaks to your despair—encouraging you not to sink into the depths of disbelief. If you allow He guides you away from spiritual death toward a life of faith and belief in Him.

            “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" Jesus asked Martha after raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:40). Hope takes Faith by the hand, and leads her away from Despair and out of Doubt. Jesus waits for you to place your hand into His wounded one and trust Him. Don’t follow Despair around in your forest of Doubt. Despair will lead you to the river and tell you to its all over. But Faith will build a bridge and speak hope to your promise.  Reach up and grasp Jesus' wounded hand, and believe.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Steps to Your Goal


“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).
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.

Friday, November 1, 2013

PERFECT TRUST

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." 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 sometimes 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 and perfect 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.

Trusting Him completely is my gift to Jesus for all He has done for me. I have a friend who says it is that perfect place of rest that comes from knowing He takes care of all the concerns of her heart. He has all things covered because in His Word that is what He promises. Another friend says that perfect trust comes when the essence of all He is rests in Jesus. That Christ's perfect love casts out all fear, and then perfect trust rises from the heart. Our human minds cannot analyze the depth of such love, but our hearts can receive it.

If you are struggling to trust Him more today, decide to trust Him more. Make “help my unbelief” the cry of your heart. Make a conscious decision, and bring your thoughts captive to Christ. You can never reason trust. Your mind can never grasp it. It will never happen. Perfect love is birthed by Jesus Christ in your heart, and that is where perfect trust will flourish.

Another friend explains what perfect trust means to him. “I don't have to think about it. I know.”



The Faith of Christ

       I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I liv...