Monday, September 29, 2014

Always Pray

1 Thessalonians 5:17
Never stop praying.

Love this scripture!

It reminds me good times or bad times....happy times or sad times....never stop talking to the Lord.  At times we think that surely He must not be hearing anything we say....but He is.  In the silence....His silence....we become more and more dependent on Him...we learn....we grow.  When we open up our heart to Him during these times we become stronger.

On a more personal level....

One day last week while driving to work I was trying to pray but really....I just talked....and all I could manage to say was....I need you....Lord....I just need you!  Sometimes those types of things are all we can verbalize....but that's okay.  He knows when we just need Him....we need Him to calm us down and let us know that everything....really will be....okay!  God didn't talk to me and circumstances didn't change....but I did feel more peaceful.

Good things happen when you pray....God steps into our circumstance and does what He knows is best. 

"until we see JESUS....face to face"

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Listen and Be Calm

Tonight I've been sitting at my computer wishing I had the words to say what I'm thinking.  Sometimes you just don't.  At times I find myself with way too many thoughts....about way too many things....hard things. the midst of my thinking....I really start to think....

Who is it that is always with me through everything....easy and hard?  That's right.  The One that is always right beside me....holding me up when I start to fall....picking me up when I have fallen.  Sheltering me when the storms start pounding down....hugging me when I'm sure I just can't take anymore.  Giving me strength when I'm too sick to make it on my me comfort and hope to cast away all the doubt in my mind.  There are so many things He does for me...everyday....and I am so thankful

Sometimes you just have to open your eyes....your heart....your whole self up to the still and listen and think calmly.  Psalms 62:5-8 says this....

My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him.
He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be moved.
With God rests my salvation and my glory; He is my Rock of unyielding strength and impenetrable hardness, and my refuge is in God!
Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

I like that passage.  He really is all we need.  At times it can be hard to get there....for me to understand that no matter whats going on God really does have it all under control.  We just have to trust Him and know it will all be okay and not let things shake you.  Then continue to pray....worship....and give thanks to the Lord for He is good.

Psalms 118:1
O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!

 "until we see JESUS....face to face"

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Radically Faithful

What is the cry of your heart today?  What is it that you want....more than anything....spiritually speaking?   Better yet....

What has the Lord been impressing upon you that needs to change in your life with Him?  

For me it's getting back to spending time with Him on a regular basis.  Reading his Word and talking with Him are essential to my all of our lives.  I can say all the right things to people and they think I've got it together.  But when it comes right down to it....what others perceive of me doesn't make it so.  I'm not where I want to be in my spiritual life because I don't do what I need to do to get there.  You only grow....on a continual basis....when you put your whole heart into the way you need to live....the way God has called us to live as Christians.

This morning I started reading in Genesis.  Actually, I read something else first and went to Genesis 1:1 because of a study note....and then continued on.  The words of creation captivated my thoughts.  Then I read Genesis 4:25-26....

Adam had sexual relations with his wife again, and she gave birth to another son.  She named him Seth, for she said, "God has granted me another son in place of Able, whom Cain killed."
When Seth grew up he had a son name Enosh.
At that time people first began to worship the Lord by name.

For some reason that drew me in.  So I read the study notes....

....the birth of Seth brought renewed hope.
Enosh was born at a time when people began to worship the Lord by name (literally call on the name of the Lord).  Seth would take Abel's place as leader of a line of God's faithful people.

Oh....I so want to be one of God's faithful!  What the cry of my heart really comes down too!  Then I read on....

Reading genealogies is not something I normally do....but I did.  When I read Genesis 5:23-24 I knew why.

Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God.  Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.

These next words are just my thoughts....

Enoch was so close to God that God just wanted him to be with Him!  In my mind Enoch must have had an insatiable love for God and God didn't want him to have to deal with an imperfect life on earth anymore.  Reading this it's as if God is me....I love you so much I will do what ever it takes to have you with me.  Live in close fellowship with Me and I will always be with you....for eternity.  I want my love for God to be insatiable.  Again....just my thoughts. 

And then....the story of Noah.

Genesis 6:8-9 and 22

But Noah found favor with the Lord.  This is the account of Noah and his family.  Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.

So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.

Noah wasn't perfect but he walked with God....he had fellowship with God.  Noah did everything that God commanded him to do....and God was faithful.  Just like God said He would do....He brought Noah and his family through the flood.

Looking at the first few people in history....that we read about....this is what I see....

The ones that God blessed....that brought a radical change to the way things were going....were faithful to God.  Seth grew up, his son Enosh was born....people began to worship the LORD by name!  To me that is a radical change!  Why?  Because in my life worshiping the Lord was a radical change!!

Then look at Enoch....he never died.  God took him....that is radical as well.  How many people do you know that God has just taken....without of this earth!  And why did God do that?  Enoch lived in close fellowship with GOD!  WOW!!

Noah....well Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.  How great is that?!  Noah and his family were radically saved....and all human life came from them!

More than anything the cry of my heart is to do what ever it takes to have a great relationship with the Lord!  To be faithful to Him and to His call on my life.  To be radical in a way I have never been radical before!  Whatever it be radically faithful to the the LORD of my life!!

How about you?  Do you want to be radically faithful to the LORD?

"until we see JESUS....face to face"

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Water You Need

There is a song that in days past was sung all the time at church....I didn't like it.  This is the first line;

As the dear panteth for the water
so my soul longeth after thee.

I was not a Christian and when I would hear that song...for lack of a better made my skin crawl.  Since becoming a Christian that feeling about it has never really left me entirely....until today.  I think that I just never really understood the real meaning of it.  This morning I read the verse....I have read it before but generally avoid it....and I get it. 

Psalm 42:1-2 NLT

As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
    When can I go and stand before him?

My study bible says this;

As the life of a deer depends upon water, so our lives depend upon God.  
Do you thirst for God?

While reading through some scriptures this morning I turned to Psalm 63 NLT.

 O God, you are my God;
    I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
    my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
    where there is no water.

My study Bible says;

Together, soul and whole body refer to a person's entire being.

The point of all of this is....

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations in life that....plainly....we just need the Lord! We long for....soul and whole body together....the Lord to just come in and take over.  We are tired....we are sometimes drowning in our circumstance....and we can't always see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We are thirsting for God!  We need Him!  Down deep within ourselves is a need so great we can't even explain it!  We are tired and the middle of our own desert where we see no end in sight....and we are longing for His streams of living water to flow through us and give us life....His life!  

Just like the deer needs water to survive we need the Lord....more than anything or anyone!  Things we go through in life are hard.  The good news is....We can go to the Living Water and be refreshed!
Jesus is our Living Water!  He is what we need....Who we need!  So whatever the issue is that you are going through today....go to Jesus.  He is the water you need....the water you are searching for.
"until we see JESUS....face to face"

Monday, September 1, 2014

Open The Eyes Of My Heart

Open the eyes of my heart Lord so I can see what You would have me to see about myself and where my heart truly is. 

The Lord has a way of letting me/us know that we have gotten off track from where I/we need to be.  Tonight I picked up my bible and asked the Lord to just show me what I needed to read tonight.  Lately I've been feeling that something was just a bit amiss in my walk with Him. Romans 2 is where I started.  When I got to verse 16 I read this...

Romans 2:16 NLT

16 And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.

Secret life....those two words caught my attention.  My study bible says this:

Literally...the hidden things.  Scripture frequently stresses that God will judge people according to their thoughts and intentions.

Then I started following the scripture trail;

1 Samuel 16:7, 10:9, 10:26, Psalms 139:1

As I read these verses it was brought out to me that God sees a person from the inside out.  He sees my true character.  He doesn't care about anything except where my heart is.  God knows why I do what I intentions or motives for my actions.  Only God and myself know the true reason I am doing or saying something and I will be judged on those thoughts and you will be on yours.  

1 Samuel 16:7 NLT

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

God knows the secrets of all of our hearts....

Psalm 44:21 NLT

21 God would surely have known it,
    for he knows the secrets of every heart.

I read many scriptures and they all talked about the same thing....God searches and knows us by our heart and we will be judged on what we have in our hearts.  The reason we sin is because of what we have in our hearts.  The Lord constantly examines our hearts and secret motives.  We too need to do that and ask the Lord to help us to keep our hearts turned towards Him and to help us to not have secret sin....which in actuality is only a secret to other people not to God.  Everyday we need to ask the Lord to help us to see the sin in our heart and then ask the Lord to forgive us of this sin and help us to flush it out of our life for good!  Without His help we can find ourselves being tempted time and time again by the same things if the Lord doesn't help us to lay it down at His feet and leave it there.  

After I had read many scriptures I went to my e-mail and saw a devotion that had been sent to me.  This was one of the things it said....

Repentance is a condition of our heart whereby we recognize our sin and, in desperation and sorrow, turn and cry out in faith to God for help...the help of forgiveness which only comes through Jesus Christ.

Joel 2:12-13
"'Even now,' declares the Lord, 'return to Me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love."

In the time we are living in it is so important to make sure our hearts are right with the Lord.  Returning to the Lord with a repentant so importantThe Lord is full of grace and mercy but we have to go to Him and ask Him for His forgiveness. He just wants our hearts to be turned to Him.

Here is a list of scriptures to read....
Luke 16:15  Matt 23:28  1 Chron 28:9  Prov 24:12  Deut 4:29-30  1 Kings 8:39 
Jer 17:10  John 2:24-25  Jer 11:20  Romans 8:27  Ps 7:9  Is 29:13  Matt 15:7-9   

"until we see JESUS....face to face"