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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Building My House


“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures” (Proverbs 24:3-4).

Think about building a house. How I construct it reveals how long it will last. The structure will either be strong or limited depending on how much understanding I have of construction and how much knowledge I bring to the project. When placed on a firm foundation and constructed well, my house shall be something of great beauty.

Think about our spiritual life as a house. This proverb offers a great promise. If I build my spiritual life well, my life will be filled with rare and beautiful treasures that only the Holy Spirit brings. If I don't build my spiritual house well, my life, totally uninviting to the Holy Spirit, shall be filled instead with the trash of despair and desperation. 

The construction manual for my house must be the Word of God or any attempt at spiritual growth will absolutely fail. I begin my spiritual journey to build a strong house by seeking wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom” James writes, “you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5). If I ask for wisdom it be given. 

Within the pages of my spiritual house-building manual, there is clear instruction that His wisdom brings to light. If I seek to understand His Word, I will find understanding of its instruction. My spiritual life will be grounded in His truth. “Through understanding” the proverb says, “my house is established.”

“Through knowledge its room are filled with rare and beautiful treasures!” When I thoroughly know His spiritual construction manual, it builds my life. Each room is prepared for the best. My heart and mind are ready for His arrival. Every corner and every crevice is cleaned and prepared. When the Holy Spirit arrives, in all His beauty and splendor, He fills my life, each corner and crevice, with the rare and beautiful treasure of His presence.

My house shall be built throughout all the days of my life. And in the end, I pray He finds it one of great beauty.

Friday, May 30, 2014

I AM A FREE SLAVE


“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings” (I Corinthians 9:19-23, NIV).

I am free because of what Jesus has done for me, and I choose to make myself a slave for the sake of others. What does that mean? I become as others so that I might understand their plight, and offer them the hope that I have received. Paul said that he had become all things to all people so that some might find Christ. That is my call, too, and it is yours. Not to force any superiority or knowledge or faith on anyone else, but to live my faith and offer it–to become as someone else in order that I might understand how to share it.


What a powerful thought! If I become as Christ, and make myself a slave to others, then in offering my life for the sake of someone else, the gospel lives in me. His message of sacrificial love is offered. Jesus, who was sinless, became sin, and took it to the cross. There He sacrificed His life so I might be free from sin's control. I am free because of His love. But I choose to be His because of that love which gave all for me. If I can identify with someone in need of His love, and give all my heart’s attention to them, the Holy Spirit can reveal the deepest need that only He knows. He can guide me in what I say and do. When I become less for the sake of someone else, then Christ can be much more in me. He can then use me to help someone see the freedom and potential He has for their life.


I have a story to tell and to share. It is a story of Christ laying down His life for my sake. It is a story of redeeming love, and freedom from all I have been. I am a free, and only a slave by choice. He is the best choice I could ever make, and His life is the greatest I could ever offer. John said it best. “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4, NIV). He is the life that is offered to all mankind, and the only light which reveals the depths of the human heart. I will allow His light to shine in me, and the darkness will not overcome it. I will make myself a slave for the sake of others. In my freedom, I choose Him.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Judging God and You


Have you ever felt like God has failed you? Perhaps you believe He made you a promise that He didn't keep. Perhaps your whole world has been turned upside down and your heart is broken. He is your Father and He is suppose to care for you. Why did He let something happen that you believed with all your heart He would prevent? The hurt escalates. One of two things happen. You either become outwardly angry with God and run away from Him, or you internalize that anger and feel guilty for your anger. Either way you end up at the same location. Unforgiveness has taken root. 

Do you have trouble forgiving God for what you believe is His failure, and have trouble forgiving yourself for being angry at Him? “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). “I can't judge God” you tell yourself, “so I can't be angry at Him for failing me. It is wrong for me to believe He has failed me!” So here you are. You don't want to sin and be angry at Him so you become angry at your own inability to forgive Him. In condemning Him, you feel condemned. A horrible cycle of self-destruction begins. 

You have a choice what to do with the disillusionment, the hurt, and the anger. If you allow that hurt to define who you are, anger will immobilize you. You are then in bondage to your inability to forgive God and forgive yourself. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,” Paul writes (2 Corinthians 3:17). The Holy Spirit invites you to acknowledge the hurt that caused the anger so you might forgive. God does not want you in bondage to your hurt or your disillusionment over what you believe is a failed promise. That hurt and anger can become your own failure. Admit your anger. Admit you have judged God. Admit you need His help. You have the freedom and the power to forgive God and to forgive yourself. 

Be real with God. Tell Him you have been angry at Him because you believe He has failed you. Tell God you have been mad at yourself for being angry at Him. Ask for His forgiveness, and daily decide to forgive. Never close the door that the Holy Spirit has opened. Continue to be honest with God when hurt tries to build. Some days will be easier than others. Don't condemn yourself on harder days. Lay all the hurt and unforgiveness on His altar again and again. You have begun your journey of healing. 

Now climb your mountain of healing daily. As you struggle up its slope, He carries more and more of your load, and the climb grows easier. One day you will discover you have arrived at the top. And you realize that your burden is completely gone. You are free, and all the self-destructive anger is gone forever. You know God has never failed, and forgiveness will not only flow for you. It will flow for others.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

He Said Yes

Have you felt the burden of God's call upon your life? That burden is whatever responsibility He has for you. That burden is not meant to be heavy and weigh you down. It is meant to inspire you to greater heights in Him. Perhaps the weight of His burden sometimes feels more than you can bear. It is in that agonizing moment you come closest to understanding Jesus' plea in the garden when he implored His father to release Him, if it was His will, from the sacrifice He was called to make. But because Jesus said “yes” to His Father's will–when you also say “yes” to your Father's will–He carries the weight of your call. When you surrender to whatever God has called you to do, no matter how heavy and difficult you believe, you discover in submission of your own will that the weight of His call is lighter than you ever imagined. 

Just as Jesus had a responsibility to God’s call upon his life, so have we (Romans 11:29). Christ yielded completely to His Father’s desire in every part of His life–greater still to His Father’s purpose on the cross. He submitted willingly, and laid down His life for us. When you answer God’s call “unto the death of your own will” you learn more than obedience and diligence. You learn the joy of sacrifice.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,” Jesus whispers, “for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30). “Rest for your soul” is the peace that comes from saying “yes” to the will of God. It is only when you surrender that you are fulfilled. God’s burden is easier when you agree to its call. 

Give away your life,” Jesus implored, “and you'll receive more life in return! You will find real life and blessing when your will is lost in mine” (Luke 6:38)! God has placed His heart and call within the heart of man, and that call means surrender and sacrifice. What is God’s burden for you? Only you can make it resound with His promise. His passion for you took Jesus to the cross. Your passion for Him is revealed in your response to His call.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I HAVE A GLIMPSE



I have a glimpse of joy today–
My heart at rest with peace.
I have a glimpse of hope today–
My soul's atoned new lease.
I have a glimpse of faith today–
My mind's strength to stand
Against the lies that rising say
I'll never be His man.


I have a glimpse of Him today–
And hear that is not true.
I have a glimpse of Him today–
And shown again I'm new.
I have a glimpse of Him today–
His Word my strength to stand
To know by faith and only say
I'll always be His man.


I have a glimpse of life today–
With all its trials and lures.
I have a glimpse of life today–
And told again I'm yours.
I have a glimpse of life today–
And say by faith I'll stand
Strongly grounded in His love
I'll always be His man.


I have a glimpse of more today
Than my mind can know.
I have a glimpse of more today
Than my heart can hold.
I have a glimpse of more today–
His promise which shall be
Peace forever more I say
Is what He has for me.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Greatest Hope


“Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:21-23, NIV).

No matter what is before me, I can recall God's loving faithfulness through many years, and I have hope. No matter what my struggle or battle, I have hope. No matter if what I see, hear, or feel brings despair, I have hope. No matter what, I have hope. I will recall it this morning and the next, over and over, again and again. Because of His love for me, God is faithful to take care of all the concerns of my heart. He is faithful to provide for all my needs. He is faithful. This is a great and powerful promise.

If God did not love me, I would be consumed by His justice. Because I have sinned, and broken His law, He has every right to punish me. But He is passionate for me. He created me. His encompassing love is complete forgiveness. God so loved me, He gave His son out of love to save me. How can I not invite such a love into my life? How can I refuse to release all that I am–my sins–my failures–my judgments–my thoughts–my needs to the healing power of such a love? How can I not yearn for the hope of such a love more than my own failure?

His amazing love encompasses a healing of body, mind, spirit, and soul which is born of a faith in the faithfulness of His sacrifice for me. I have always had a unknown yearning in my heart–for something more than myself. And now I know what is is. This yearning is for Him. I was created for His love. He has come into my life. My heart rejoices in its promise. His compassion is forever with me. It never fails me. He is faithful, and His faithfulness to me is complete. It is greater than anything my human mind can conceive.

His faithfulness was sealed at Calvary–born of a love given freely for my sin. Yes, great is His faithfulness! When I awake every morning to discover He is with me, His love is always new and fresh. Because of His love–His constant and abiding love, I have the greatest hope for each morning I awake all the way into eternity–His life forever.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

HIS WEIGHT OR RESPONSIBILITY


“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, NIV). 

I am His servant, and an instrument for Him to use. Sometimes I forget that I am only an instrument, and try to control things. I take the responsibility upon myself, and it is not mine to take. He is my Master, and He becomes Lord of my life when I allow Him to have control. Here are two words that I deal with daily–absolute surrender. That is what He says I must do. It is not my purpose to orchestrate my life. It is His. If I plan, I will fail. I have discovered this over and over again. 

In quietness and trust is my strength (Isaiah 30:15). In surrender to His will, I find rest and peace. He carries my burdens when I surrender control to Him. It is foolish for me to try to carry my own burden. He knows ALL, sees ALL, hears ALL, and, being ALL-powerful, He longs to direct ALL in my life. When I don't surrender all of me to His greater ALL, then I carry my own burden. Instead of giving my burden to Him, I bear its weight and responsibility, when He, by His loving sacrifice, is able to carry ALL for me. 

His All instead of my all! My all is nowhere in His league. It is nothing in the great plan He has for my life. Dying to my own will is my way to let go, and allow Him have control. This is my cross that He offers me. To take His “yoke upon me” is to allow Him to guide and instruct me in the way I should go. (Matthew 11:30).When I give up control of everything, my burden is light because He directs and He is responsible for what happens. The cross I am given is the one upon which I allow Him to crucify my will. My burden becomes light when I surrender my will. He then bears the weight of control. When I surrender to His purpose, nothing hinders His joy and peace in my life. I am free of life's burden of responsibility because I have allowed Him to carry that weight and direct my life.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

He Knows What He's Doing


"I know what I’m doing,” says the Lord, “I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed. I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you, and bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it” (Jeremiah 29:11-14, MSG).

Sometimes I forget that God knows what He is doing. It is in these moments when I try to take control, I discover only discouragement and failure. But it is not only that. As I try to handle what only He can handle, fear takes root. Fear separates me from His peace and wrecks havoc on my faith. When fear destroys my faith, I have allowed it to become more important in my life than God's love for me. Instead of seeking His presence, I allow fear to run rampant. God knows what He is doing. If I believe that, I don't have to know His plans. I just need to trust and have faith in His love for me.

In the moment I finally reach out to Him, He is right there. He has been just waiting for my plea for help. When I get serious about Him and desire Him more than anything else, I shall discover His abiding presence and have more faith to believe in His Word and its promises. If I persevere to do His will each day, I will receive His promise (Hebrews 10:35-36). As I surrender every part of my life to Him, He will turn things around for me. He will bring me out of the place where I have been wrecked by fear––the place where I have suffered and felt so abandoned. When I let go of my control, He will catch me and hold me securely in His grasp. I can trust Him for it. It is His promise to me.

Friday, May 23, 2014

His Divine Supply


Christ longs to provide for every difficulty, and for all our needs. He is not just a partial provider. Whatever our need, He provides completely....if we allow it. He yearns for us to trust Him alone. To receive all that He has for me, I must empty myself of all my desires, my fears, my worries, my attempts, and my struggles. When I stop struggling to fix whatever is wrong and allow Him to have it, I can have the supernatural peace that only He supplies. (Philippians 4:6-7). Usually we don't realize that all of our useless human attempts to make things right only frustrate us more. We keep so much from our God. All He wishes is for us to let go of what we hold so tightly in order that we may receive from Him. If we hold back, we reveal fear of the future and lack of trust in His love. If we keep anything from Him, we do not trust Him completely.

His provision is our divine supply. A divine supply is exactly what it says it is. It is divine. It is holy. It is powerful. It is complete, and above anything we can humanly imagine. When we ask Him to help us, we must totally trust Him. If I genuinely cry out for His help, He will answer my prayer. Sometimes He must rip whatever I have placed my trust in away from me.... in order to save me. The pain of that separation from my human effort can be terribly difficult, but absolutely necessary for me to learn to trust Him. As I become more and more helpless in my attempts to save myself, I become more and more at His mercy. At His mercy is exactly where I need to be. That is where I find that His grace is more than sufficient for whatever is ahead. That is where I learn complete trust, and the ability to empty myself again and again so I many receive His unending supply.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). Whatever I give away, I will receive more in return. If I give Him my fears, worries, my own efforts and struggles, I will receive His provision and His peace. If I give away all of myself, I will receive all the bounty He has for me. If I continually “empty this vessel”, He will faithfully fill it with Himself “running over and poured into my lap”. The faithful supply which He pours into my life, shall run over into the lives of others. In my giving everything to Him and sharing His supply with others, I will receive more and more. His divine supply will then be constant, and I will always be full.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

He's the Best Encourager


Have you ever had someone to inspire or encourages you? Perhaps you haven't known that kind of inspiration or encouragement in a long time. Perhaps you wonder if days of failure and despair will ever end. If you know Christ, you have the greatest encourager of all. He looks beyond who you are, where you are, what you are, and sees you through the eyes of His loving sacrifice. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NKJV). He doesn't see your failure or your sin. He died for you and for me. His sacrifice frees us to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:1-4). He sees our greatest potential, and He wants to inspire us to find it. 

You have the greatest encourager cheering for you. Don't hide from failure. Face it, and honestly evaluate why you failed. If it is from sin, repent, and let Christ forgive you. Move on in forgiveness, and learn from the mistake. Don't allow that failure to define who you are. If the failure is the result of circumstances beyond your control, then it is not yours. Don't carry a burden you were never meant to carry. Whatever you face, Christ encourages you to learn from it, and grow closer to Him as a result of it. 

Jesus Christ always convicts. Satan always condemns. There is hope in conviction. There is no hope in condemnation. There is encouragement in conviction, because there is the promise for something always better in your life. If you are willing to respond to that conviction with repentance, your promise is secured. Your encourager has encouraged you to become something greater than you ever imagined. 

Always look to Jesus Christ, the author and the finisher of your faith. He will encourage you through all you face in life. He will never fail you. He will never desert you. He will lead you to be the greatest. Your potential will become His promise. “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6, NIV).

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What Has Been Will Be Again


 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, NIV).
 
Do you sometimes feel like what you are going through, you have already been through? Often we discover a circumstance repeats in our lives until we learn the lesson. Perhaps you realize what you are doing, you have done before. That is what I discovered this morning! I really feel like “what has been done has been done again”. I realized in looking back through years of writing devotionals, that I have repeated myself in ideas, subject matter, approaches, and words. I discovered that this morning that a devotional I had written yesterday had been expressed (in other words) last August 9th. I really thought the idea was something I had not yet put in writing. Then I began researching and discovered so many repetitions in ideas and Scriptures and examples, that I thought, “I have nothing more to share. I'm just an old woman repeating myself”.

Before I beat myself up emotionally over this, I took the time to pray, and discovered Solomon's statement. Solomon was a man who had asked God for wisdom, and in the book of Proverbs, we discover gems of wisdom that change our lives. The book of Ecclesiastes is written after Solomon's fall from God's grace, and is filled with power and insight into the futility of life without God. This Scripture is very important for me to realize that life repeats itself so that I can, hopefully, learn the lessons that will hold me faithfully in Him all the days of my life. Repetition reinforces what I believe, and my identity in Him. I write about “maturing in Christ” constantly because that is my own journey and my hope.

“There is nothing new under the sun,” Solomon woefully ends the statement. He had lost what he once had, and sees only the sad repeat of his life. Life's circumstances can destroy me or bring me to God. It is my choice. The futility of life is only real when I have no faith in the God who loved me enough to give His life for me. The futility is real if I turn my back on His love and His will for my life. As I draw toward the end of my life, I will write, and when I repeat myself, it shall reinforce my own journey. I pray that it encourages your journey, too. If some days you discover that there is nothing for you, I appreciate your patience in allowing me these days of remembrance. 

In His Love,
Lynn

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

No Hiding

“Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, 'Friends, haven’t you any fish?' 'No,' they answered. He said, 'Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.' When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, 'It is the Lord!' As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, 'It is the Lord,' he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water” (John 21:4-7, NIV).

If you really read this story, you realize that something doesn't make sense, but the very act reveals a very human attempt to hide from pain. Peter has taken off his outer clothing to work on the boat, but when the nets are suddenly full, Peter wraps his outer garment around himself, and jumps into the water. Who puts back on clothing to jump into the water to help bring in fish? Someone who suddenly realizes that the Master he has denied is present, and does not want to be seen. He is not thinking rationally because there is no where to hide, and the pain of his failure has consumed his heart. He has failed His Master, the one person he has followed and loved with all his being. Peter really knows he can't hide from the Lord, but the sudden presence of His Master has slapped him in the face.

Isn't this such a typical picture of the human heart? We fail and try to hide because we believe it is easier to hide than face our failure. But we cannot escape it. We are consumed with our failure and the pain we have brought upon the One we love. Knowing that our failure is too much to bear, we “put on our outer garment”. Futilely we attempt to hide not only from what we have done, but from the One we have failed.

Peter doesn't allow Peter to stay consumed by His failure. He brings him to a coal fire where he is fixing breakfast, and asks Peter point blank if he loves Him. Peter had denied Christ three times at a coal fire, and it is at this coal fire Peter realizes, after being asked three times if he loves Jesus, that he is really forgiven. “Don't dwell on your failure, Peter. Three times you denied me, and three times I have asked if you love me. Each time you have said, 'you know I love you, Lord', you have faced your failure. Each time you have given more of it to me. It is no more. So love me. Feed my sheep. Love with the forgiveness I have given you.”

This is Christ's message for each one of us. “Don't try to hide. Face your failure. Allow me to lovingly bring you back to your point of denial... your own coal fire...and allow me to heal your heart. Your failure was never meant to drive you from me, but to bring you to me. Accept my forgiveness, and share my love which sets you free. Share it. Don't keep it to yourself. Remember the full net the day you jumped into the water to hide...the day I forgave you? My love, mercy, and grace is not for you alone. I died for those in the net. My forgiveness is for the world. I died so no one else need hide again.”

Monday, May 19, 2014

Freedom

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3, NIV). “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17, NIV).
 
The idea that the you love me, Lord, with an everlasting love is beyond my human capability to conceive. But my heart longs to receive the freedom your love offers. You accept and love me in my weakness and feebleness. I can be who I am with you. There is just you and just me. There is no image I have to keep. There is no mask I have to hold in place. There is no agenda that has to be met. There is no perfection that I can maintain.
 
I know too well all my failures and my limitations....and how much they grieve your heart. You see beyond all those weaknesses, and love me still. You always see my potential, and never my failures. You know who you have created me to be. I try to change these failures, but I can't without you. Your Word reveals that I am a new creature in you because of the sacrifice you made for me. I yearn to catch your vision of the potential you see in my life.
 
Today I cry out to become that complete new creature.... to grasp that potential in your strength and power. I lay all my failures, temptations, limitations, struggles, heartaches, pain....all that has defined me...on your altar at this very moment. I can carry them no longer. They are way too heavy. Here they are, Lord. Just take them.
 
Suddenly you are with me. I breathe freedom from all that has been. In your amazing love and forgiveness, your heart is within me. I am free from my limited being, and filled to overflowing with the freedom of your promise. In this very moment.... in this very second... in you, Lord, I am no longer in bondage. I am free in you. I am free...... But oh Lord, now I must move forward into another moment. Now I must move by faith in you. I choose to carry your freedom throughout this day. I will not pick up what I have placed upon your altar. You paid too great a price for them....for me.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

VIRTUE: ALSO BECOMING!


Yesterday I attended the Virtuous Woman's Conference at our church. I had been impressed by the movie on Friday night, and looked forward to how life stories would impact ladies that came to the conference. From Jessica Lynch, the first woman prisoner of war, to women who starred in the movie, each one had a life message of hope and promise of new life in Christ. We were challenged by the example of the Proverbs 31 virtuous woman, and reminded by Pam Jenkins that virtue in our lives is not the result of being. It is the result of belonging. Yes, it is the result of belonging to Christ. This inspires me to add another idea about virtue. I would like you to consider the idea that it is not only the result of belonging. Virtue is also the result of becoming. 

What is virtue? Webster defines it as conformity to a standard of right, a beneficial quality or power of a thing, strength or courage, or a commendable quality or trait.” When we conform to Christ's standard we become more like Him. In 2 Peter 1:5-7, we are given a of list of character traits, and told we are to apply these to become mature believers. The foundation from which we add these character traits is our faith in Christ. We make the decision to add goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love in our lives. He brings the power to accomplish it. 

When we accept Christ into our hearts by faith, we belong to Him. This is Christ's work of grace that sets us free, and gives us a new life in Him. His virtue has been birthed within us, and the power to become a believer who is spiritually mature is also ours. It is this surrender by faith to Him that begins the incredible journey to become all He desires for us. This journey of life in Christ is filled with trials, problems, and suffering which either speak defeat to a believer or build greater faith in God. As we made the decision to add Peter's character traits in our lives, God's brings His power to help accomplish what might seem impossible. This life's journey which began by belonging to Him grows us to become more virtuous like Him. We become “conformed to His standard”. Living for Him becomes easier with each step. Peace and joy will ultimately reign.

Peter ends his list of character traits with this thought. “For if you possess these qualities (goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love) IN INCREASING MEASURE, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:8). Belong to Him! Become all that He calls you to be! Continue to “become” for the rest of your life. Allow the things you face to make you better instead of bitter. You may disappoint yourself as you step forward in faith, but He will never disappoint you. He will never fail you. Greater faith and a virtuous life will be your reward.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Just Pray

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).

 No prayer goes unanswered.  Always remember that when things aren't right, or someone does something wrong, that is the time to pray. Don't run and set that person straight, but pray for things that are wrong to be made right, and for the heart of the person to be moved by the Holy Spirit. As you pray for another’s heart to be changed, you will discover that prayer actually changes you.
What is wrong in the world, in your country, with its leadership, and with its people?  Make these concerns the cries of your heart. What is it you see in another person's life that is destroying him?  You hear of someone who is suffering and needs comfort. You hear of someone who is dying and needs the Lord. You hear of someone in acute distress that needs a divine touch. Make all these things which break your heart, the very things that drive you to your knees.

You shall discover heart to heart sharing with the Lord that brings down walls, and changes the lives of those for whom you plead mercy. There on your knees you can discover the humble service of prayer that changes the world. You will see the hand of God change circumstances; miracles will happen, and lives will change. Every time that you bow on your knees in prayer, heaven rejoices, and hell trembles in fear. There is great power in the prayer of one who surrenders his heart to the Lord.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Risking Everything to Receive

“While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, 'Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.' Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. 'I am willing,' he said. 'Be clean!' And immediately the leprosy left him” (Luke 5:12-13, NIV).

Disfigured, dressed in tattered rags, his face hidden by rags, a man watches Jesus. His body is covered with leprosy. Risking stoning, the leper rushes to Jesus, and falls down with his face in the dirt at his feet. Without raising his head he entreats, “Lord, if you are willing you can make me clean.” This leper knows that to get within six feet of someone who is clean means that he risks death. His determination to come to Jesus and his statement “if you are willing” reveal remarkable faith. 

There isn’t a question in the leper’s mind if Jesus can heal, but if he is willing. In the leper’s sudden approach, Jesus recognizes the man’s willingness to risk death in order to be healed. Jesus touches this man whom the law has decreed to be unclean. “I am willing,” Jesus proclaims, and heals him. Skin once ravaged by lesions, now suddenly appears clear and unblemished. 

This man has risked stoning to death in order to seek healing, and his determination has found reward. But not only his determination has made him rush to Jesus. His faith has spoken “if you are willing you can make me clean”. This leper had faith enough to believe, and faith enough to risk everything in order to receive. He was willing to risk stoning or death even if healing was not in Jesus' will. 

Do you have this kind of faith? If you step out in faith, it is a risk that guarantees a greater faith. It is a risk that approaches the Savior knowing He has the power to heal, but that the decision to heal or to grant your petition is not yours to make. Just as the leper you are willing to risk all for something that you might not receive. The leper risked everything; he persevered, and received. You also need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised (Hebrews 10:36). In your risk and determination, and in His will, your promise is received.

Are you willing to risk everything? You will discover, just as the leper, that Jesus honors your risk. He knows the cost. You rush forward to Him, and He declares you clean. There's no more ugliness and scar of sin. You have risked death in order to receive life. He lifts you up to receive greater faith, and all the promise that your surrender has secured.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Grow Deeply

Consider a seed. It sends a shoot down into the earth in order to be securely grounded. At the same time another shoot grows upward into the world. Without a strong root system the plant that the world sees would not withstand the storms of life. That plant may be beautiful to the world or ugly in the eyes of the world, but to God His creation is a thing of infinite beauty. 

So are our lives in Christ. Without a deep, abiding, and grounded faith our lives wither and fade. Our attempts at living for Him are wiped away by the harsh circumstances of life. The life that appears beautiful or ugly to the world might not be that way at all. God does not judge the outer man the world sees. He looks upon the inner. He looks upon the heart. He looks upon the root to see if our faith is grounded in Him. He know that is where our true beauty lies.   

He grew up before him like a tender shoot,” Isaiah wrote of the coming Christ, “and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2, NIV). Jesus came into the world as an innocent child and grew just as a tender shoot–like a root out of dry ground. He grew in His father's care. No matter how dry His circumstance or how lonely His walk, He drew sustenance from His father. He flourished in His desert. His root was grounded deeply. He had no beauty to attract others to Him, yet He drew many because God made Him beautiful in sacrificial depths that the world could not see. And God knows whether we have that inner beauty of abiding faith or not.

Let your roots grow deep in Him. Study His word, and pray for His guidance in your life. If you want to grow strong with His purpose, your roots of faith must extend deep enough to withstand the winds of circumstance that will disrupt your life. When you are grounded in Him and His will, no weapon formed against you will succeed. When He is your life, your heart, and your purpose, your roots hold strongly. Be planted deeply, and your life will grow strong, secure, and beautiful in Him.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Listen


For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 4:7-8, NIV).

My child,” He speaks to you and to me. “Please listen. What you do speaks louder than what you say. You say one thing and do another. My Word calls for honesty and integrity in all areas of your life. When your witness does not support what you say is true, then you make my sacrifice worthless. It breaks my heart just as my body was broken for you. You have rationalized your actions until you no longer hear my voice. I wait for you to hear. I long for you to hear. Give up the past ways that have defined you. Give up the things in your life that destroy you. Don't get to the place where you have made so many excuses that you no longer feel my conviction. I want you to see that what you do does not support the faith you speak of so casually. I am not casual. I am life, and I wait for you to return to me. You cannot correct or rebuke or encourage someone else with patience and careful instruction if what you say is not realized in your own life. Live your life filled with my Word, and allow that Word to accomplish what it was sent to accomplish-new life in me.” 

Sometimes God sends someone into my life and into yours to help us realize that we have failed Him . When Nathan confronted David about his sin, David's heart immediately broke when he realized that his actions had broken God's heart. “Create in me a pure heart, O God,” he cried, “and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:7-8, NIV). If there is something in my life that keeps me from being all God desires, I want to know it. If there is something that would drive His presence out of my life, I yearn for it to be gone. If I reject His instruction, I reject Him. I want to have a heart that immediately receives His instruction, repents, and moves forward in His forgiveness and amazing love.

The moment that I believe that my life is perfect is the moment I no longer grow spiritually. The moment I believe I have arrived is the moment that I have failed. The moment that He becomes casual to me is the moment when His sacrifice is cheapened. The moment I refuse His instruction is the moment I lose His presence. Today I give Him my life again. I lay all on His altar. I long only to hear His voice.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

He's Personal

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5-6, NIV).

Do you know that God is personal? He is not some deistic being that never involves himself in our lives. Jesus' sacrifice on the cross is what offers us a personal God, but it is our “yes” in surrender of our will to His that gives a personal relationship with Him. His sacrifice of His life is the only thing that does make God personal. He, who was absolutely sinless, took our sin in order that each person could be set free from sin's control. God placed all the sins of the world on Jesus Christ, and all the things in our lives that separate us from His love. He took them to the cross for you and for me. You can't get much more personal than that. He absolutely surrendered himself for mankind. He gave his life and bore our sins so we might be healed and made whole. He surrendered his life for us. Such love calls for a response from you and me. You can't ignore such a sacrifice. You either accept it or reject it. If you accept it and surrender to Him, you discover the incredible depth of His love that gave all for you. If you reject it, you sacrifice the greatest love ever offered.

Accepting His love means that you surrender all of who you perceive yourself to be to who He knows you are. What is your response? What is mine? Do we allow Him just a little of ourselves, and reserve our total commitment? He is a personal God, but waits for us to approach Him. He doesn't force himself upon us. His love is a gift. He tells us that we can come boldly before Him in our time of need. Coming to Him in need means that you approach Him with your own surrender and sacrifice. What you lay on his altar is really yourself. So many times we don't want to lay that thing down that separates us from His love. Perhaps it is even a gift or a calling that He asks us to lay down for His sake. ,,,.just as He laid all down for ours. Sometimes we must lose the gift or the calling or whatever is important to us to understand that those things are not what really matter. What we perceive to be loss of self, is not that at all. In surrender, we discover our real identity. We discover a depth of joy and purpose such a complete sacrifice brings.

If we take our eyes off His sacrifice, we lose everything. If we say “no” we lose everything. If we lay down all that we have and all that we are, and place Him above everything else, we discover a personal God beyond human imagination. We discover the greatest love ever offered.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Develop Me

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48, NIV).
My life is meant to be a journey reaching to be more like Him. If I reach to be “perfect” like Him, I will discover a sacrifice of heart and and a sacrifice of will that builds my character. He is perfect because He is God. He is perfect love, perfect forgiveness, perfect grace, perfect virtue, and perfect righteousness. I cannot perfect all these things in my life. Only He can. When I surrender all the things that keep me from growing spiritually, He molds me into His creation. As His hand presses here and there in my life, I become more refined by Him. When I allow Him to change me, His perfection of character has become my desire. 

Honestly looking at myself and how I live my faith, I will assess my character. He will show what I need to change and impart His power to do it. He will reveal how my life impacts others, and what it says about me. When He reveals something I didn't handle well, I will seek to understand how I might have handled it better. I will pray about how such a mistake could have been avoided. If I have absolutely failed Him by action or deed, I will ask from a truly repentant heart for forgiveness and move on. I shall not freeze out of fear of failing Him again. If I am honest with Him and with myself, then He can mold me into the person He desires. 


If I surrender my life, He is always as close as my next breath. He is always my helper in my darkest moment. He leads me through circumstances that overwhelm. He brings me from my weakness to His strength and power, from danger to His protection, from poverty to supply, from doubt to faith. I will never forget that He has rescued me from sin, and brought His love, peace, and joy into my life. Never will I allow any circumstance or failure to destroy His life in me. I will turn that circumstance and failure around for His glory. I will allow everything in my life to develop His character in me.

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:6,9-11, NIV).

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sharing My Heart

Today is Mother's Day. My Mama passed away over a year ago. She always told me how much she appreciated what I did for her, and how much I meant to her. But during these last 15 months, I have discovered things that she thought about me that she never told me.....little hand-written statements written in books or in a letter. I would have loved to have known these things while she was living. If I had known she felt about me in these ways, we could have shared our hearts in ways that might have made us so much more closer.

How many times do we hesitate sharing our feelings with those we care about? What makes us hesitate? Are we afraid we will be judged? Are we afraid that we will not live up to their expectations? Are we concerned our words will hurt them? Are we even afraid they will not care about our thoughts? Our human mind creates all kinds of scenarios, but in the very end, those scenarios mean very little. What matters is telling those we love how we feel, and just letting God take care of what needs to be taken care of.

Thank you, Mama, for always sharing your faith and your love. You fought for me. You believed in me. You passed on your fighting heart to me, and your belief in other people's potential. You passed from this earth strong in spirit and in faith just as you had always been. You left behind your legacy of faith that always speaks peace no matter what I face. I pray that I never leave this earth without telling those I love what they mean in my life. I pray that my heart remains open and sharing. But perhaps, if I miss something, they also will discover a jewel I have left behind.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

My Problem His Power


Problems which life throws my way are not mean to stop me. They are not even meant to slow me down. They are meant to give me determination to move forward with new intention. How many times have I given up when faced with an obstacle? God's power is available, but sometimes I feel too weak to move forward trusting God for His strength. His power is not a strong force to just summon in my time of need. His power is meant to to constant. If I have surrendered my need to Him, His power is there. No matter how weak I feel, when I allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through me, then I am powerful. He loves me, and His power in my life is His love in action.

Life is a race with problems that must be overcome. Whatever problem I face, I won't allow its hardship to stagnate or conquer me. I conquer the problem with His strength. God's power is found in moving forward in faith. When I move forward, He moves with me. I won't allow any difficulty to defeat me. I will make it work for me. With God's power, I discover success.

“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), NIV). I shall run life's race with commitment. Keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus, I won't allow anything to deter me from my goal. The Holy Spirit will carry me over hurdles, and give all the strength necessary to endure the race. Greater faith will be my reward. And when trials come, for they will, I will have God's strength to overcome each one. I will have His peace to carry me forward to another victory.

Friday, May 9, 2014

He's at the Edge


At some point in your life, you will face a cliff. You will be driven right to the edge of a terrifying precipice which appears to offer no way of escape. What you see with your eyes or hear with your ears are not necessarily what is true. Appearances are often deceptive. However, at the moment you face your cliff, what you see or hear is very real to you. There is a cliff right before you, and behind you there are forces that hold you at the edge. That cliff is your Red Sea. It may be something harder than you ever imagined. There may appear to be no way through it or around it. But it only appears you have no hope. Just as the Lord parted the Red Sea for His people, He will part the Red Sea for you. You have a choice whether or not to believe in the faithfulness of God.

Moses never failed in trusting God. With the sea in front of him and the Egyptians advancing from behind, He stood at the very edge of what appeared to be sure destruction. There was no visible escape. There was nothing but faith in the Lord who had brought him to this place. Moses had done all he could do, and now it was for time for God to act. Moses waited for God to make a way, but he had to go to the very edge of the Red Sea.

When faced with your Red Sea, do you pull back from the edge? Do you believe that there is no way to go further, and you give up? Perhaps you see your Red Sea rising in the distance, and you turn from its imposing presence. You don't want to face it. You would rather avoid it. But the army of life presses you closer. You are pushed as far as you can goright up to the very edge of your cliff. You can sit on that edge for the rest of your life with fear tearing you apart, or you can decide to trust God and take a leap of faith into His arms. God will handle the Red Sea. He is also ready to catch you when you step off the edge of that cliff. Faith lets go of all that seems real and accepts what it cannot see.

What will you do when your Red Sea is ahead? Will you go to the the very edge and wait for God to part the water? If you do not go to the very edge, and take that leap of faith, you will miss the miss the power of God to save. By faith you can go to the very edge. It is not only the edge of your Red Sea; it is the edge of yourself. Believing, trusting, and knowing the waters will part, you can go forward through what otherwise might have destroyed you. You can take a leap off that cliff believing He will keep you from hitting the bottom. He is at the edge. You can find Him there.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

I Can Only Praise

Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 106:1, NIV).
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 prison of my past. In that instant 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 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 lives in 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.
This morning I give you all my praise and all the joy in my heart. Thank you for always believing in me when I failed to see your promise. You are my life, and my God. I love you, Jesus, for loving me beyond measurefor loving me beyond anything my limited mind can imagine. You are the “GREAT I AM” who loved me enough to give everything for me. In your constant and enduring love, I am fulfilled. You are my promise, and abiding joy.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

HIS ALL FOR MINE

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap” (Luke 6:38a).
I find complete joy in following His will instead of my own. I surrender all of myself to Him....my time, my work, my priorities, my thoughts, my ideas, my preconceptions, my life, my all upon His altar. I give myself away instead of holding on to my own desires. I choose to believe Him only and not my thoughts. He is Truth. I am not. He is Life. I am not. He is Peace. I have none. He is Joy. I can't manufacture it.
He is All, and I am just me. Each day I will lay myself upon His altar, and make an offering of me. It is in the giving away that I shall receive. I shall receive His All instead of the little that I am. His ALL will empower me to love with His love, give with His heart, rejoice with His praise, and make a difference in this life. Each moment I am so aware of His amazing sacrifice for me, and I can ask for no greater purpose than to give myself away for Him. And in my giving, I shall receive more than my mind, heart, and spirit can ever imagine.

Monday, May 5, 2014

You Try, Lord


Lord, forgive me, for times I try to protect and end up controlling.

Lord, forgive me, for times I try to share and I don't share your heart.

Lord, forgive me, for times I try to love and my love is not your love.

Lord, forgive me, for times I try to live for you, and I fall short.

Lord, forgive me, for times I try to make things right and only you can.

Lord, forgive me, for times I try to be yours, and turn away.

Lord, forgive me, for times I try to change only to repeat my offense.

I try, Lord. And that is my problem. I try in my own strength.

I don't try on my own today, Lord. I ask you to do this work in me.

I surrender all of me to all of you.

In my surrender to your will bring ALL your power to bear.

I try again today, Lord, but I try in you alone. 

When I try in you alone, then it is no longer me. It is you.

What now is tried is no longer mine. 

It is yours, Lord, and becomes your promise of all that I can be.

“My grace is sufficient for you,” He whispers, “for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Your Weapons to Defeat Fear


The moment fear grabs you, it wrecks havoc in your life. It convinces you that God is not going to take care of the concerns of your heart. Fear states that your children will not return to God. It tells you that those you love are doomed. Fear informs you that your life is always going to be the same, and that God will not rescue you. Fear convinces you that you can't hear God. It fills your heart with dread that your financial loss will starve you. Fear makes you believe that your broken family will never be restored. The list can be endless, but it doesn't have to be. That list can be empty. 

God has not given you a spirit of fear, but He has given you a spirit of power, love, and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7). Both faith and fear are an rock-solid beliefs, and are controlled by totally opposite spiritual forces. Faith is the result of surrender of your will to God's will. Your thoughts are under His control. Fear is controlled by the enemy. Your mind is filled with thoughts you can't control. Faith believes that God will always do the best for His children. Fear believes He never will. But God has given you powerful weapons to fight your fear. He has given you love, power, and self-control.

Your weapon of love:“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18, NIV). There is no room for fear in your life when His love has been perfected in you.

Your weapon of power: “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to  stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world,  and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor  so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil” (Ephesians 6:10-13, NLT). The armor waits to be used. But you have to put each piece on–His truth, His righteousness, faith, readiness to share His gospel of peace, and the Word (Ephesians 6:14-17). With these growing in strength, your armor will be effective, and you will not lack in anything (2 Peter 1:8, James 1:4).

Your weapon of self-control: “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). With the power of the Holy Spirit, you can take each thought captive. The lies of the enemy can find no resting place in your mind when the God's truth is known and lived.

The weapons to destroy fear are His Love, His power, and self-control. Without these alive, exercised, and applied in your life, you cannot defeat fear. But with these weapons growing stronger each day, you can walk in faith free from the bondage of fear. Fear is not meant to be master over you. Learn your weapons and allow God to do what you can never do alone... to set you free.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

It's Perfect

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18a, NIV).

Perfect love drives out fear. God's perfect love is your power to fight fear in your life. Perfect love can only be discovered in Jesus Christ. It is His perfect love because He died to set you free from sin, torment, worry, fear, despair, and bondage. You are perfected because of His sacrificial love. His love is a love that loves you no matter what you have been. It is a love that always sees you beautiful and whole through the eyes of grace. It is a love that always seeks to heal and help you discover freedom. It is a love that can only be found in an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Seek Him. Lay all of yourself down on His altar. Hold nothing back. Study His Word until it transform you and renews you in the spirit (attitude) of your mind (Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 4:23). As you know Him more intimately, His perfect love will be more real to you instead of your fear. Faith will be your reality, and fear will be seen as the unrealistic lie of a defeated enemy.
But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18b). God says that if you are tormented by fear, you have not experienced His perfect love. Fear is all about punishment. Satan punishes you with condemnation. God loves you with conviction. His conviction, when it brings repentance, changes your attitude, and turns you away from that which destroys you. Fear punishes you. Faith builds a rock-solid belief in God's perfect love. When fear rises up, it is a reminder that you need to continue seeking God, and choose to believe in His faithfulness.
Your faith in the perfect love of God is what ultimately destroys fear and wipes it from your mind. Your faith grows from hearing the Word and knowing the love of Christ (Romans 10:17).The spirit of fear may try to rise, but your shield of faith can become strong enough to stand against it (Ephesians 6:16). His love perfected in you always drives out fear. The love of God is always the greatest, and always wins. It's perfect.

Friday, May 2, 2014

No More Hold

Have you ever had faced a wall that seems impenetrable? You can find no weakness in its structure. Each time you believe you have found a way to break through, the wall just reinforces itself. No matter what you try, you fail. Your defeat is about to claim you, and then you realize your greatest problem. You have tried to break through that wall by yourself. You haven't allowed the Holy Spirit to be in control guiding your actions and decisions. You are trying to break through, and put it behind you, and He wants it gone. He alone knows that one stone which, when removed, will bring the whole stronghold crashing down.

What is your wall? Your stronghold? Perhaps it is something that keeps you from freedom in Christ–a stronghold that holds you fast. Perhaps it is even where you have unwisely and maybe even unwittingly placed your trust. You need God's wisdom to not only identify it and address it, but to conquer it. “If any of you lacks wisdom,” James writes, “you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5, NIV). If you ask God for His wisdom, He bestows it. But that wisdom makes no difference unless receive you it and use it. His wisdom, when applied, promises freedom. “One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty, and pull down the strong hold in which they trust” (Proverbs 21:22, NIV). With His wisdom, you can correctly identify your stronghold–the very thing where you have placed your trust–the thing that has held you in bondage. With His wisdom and power, you can conquer its hold on your life. 

Your surrender is the key. Allow God to have control, and your stronghold no longer has a greater strength that your God who strengthens you. That wall will no longer seem impenetrable. He will reveal the weakness in that structure and give you the wisdom to destroy it. He has found the crack in its forbidding demands on your life, and it will fall. This wall–this stronghold, which has defined your life. is no more. Just like His body, it is resurrected and gone! You are free in His victory.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Make His Choice

Is there something in your life you know is not a good choice? Perhaps you know that there is something the Lord wishes you to give up or change. You have felt His conviction. Some days His nudge has been more acute. Other days you have willingly shut out His voice. 

Today you hear His voice again, and you face the choice. What keeps you from choosing what you know is right? Do you believe that you do not have the strength to keep it? You are not meant to have that strength within yourself. He doesn’t expect you to have it. He alone has the strength for you to keep your good choice, and He has the way for you to receive His strength. That strength comes through surrender to His will when you decide to make His good choice.

If the fear of failure keeps you from “letting go and letting God”, then you might be focusing on being perfect instead of taking a step at a time. Living for Christ is a daily choice. Make that good choice each day. Daily ask for His strength. Ask for His forgiveness if you slip.. If He knows that your heart's desire is to follow through on that good choice, His conviction will offer hope, and not condemnation. Each day commit your choice; surrender your will, your mind, and your heart to His will, and you shall daily receive what you need to live your good choice.

Sacrifice what you know is wrong in your life. Let Him crucify it in you. The Lord who calls you to make that good choice is faithful, and will provide ALL you need to be successful (I Thessalonians 5:24). Make His choice, and choose His life.

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...