Monday, July 23, 2012

great peace have those

"Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble." -Psalm 119:165

I am getting a really HARD lesson in this in recent days, going through some spiritually trying circumstances and trials that could very well rend my soul, if God were not my Rock.

I know that I have asked the Lord to let me learn my lessons well. We had a saying in our house when I was growing up, something to the effect that we'd be "going around the mountain" until we were neck deep in a trench of learning lessons. As I have grown more mature in my faith, this is more lie than truth. I want to learn my lessons, so I can move on to learn others- going from "strength to strength." The fact that I am going through this again and again means that there is something in me that resists it, in some way, and God wants to rend it from my heart.

It hurts, Lord! Help to me forgive and rest in Your peace. Help me not to stumble and harbor bitterness. Help me to love YOU enough to love those who seek to hurt me as a result.

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you. But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?"  -Micah 6:8
 "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me." -Psalm 51:10

Saturday, July 21, 2012

a day to fill the cracks

I have been needing a day off. A day to fill up the cracks in my faith.
Off from work, from family stress, from financial pressure, from life in general.
Sometimes I get too entrenched in it all.

So today is that day. Actually, a combo of yesterday morning and today that I have managed to eek out. A day just to soak and read the Word and pray and worship and let the Holy Spirit heal my soul and minister to my spirit.

Chris Sligh on Pandoa provides the backdrop.
My old Living Bible as the Meat.
My laptop as an apply conduit of God's Grace.

I'm reading 1 Thessalonians and more.
Verses that speak to this weary heart...
1:5  "For when we brought you the Good News, it was not just meaningless chatter to you; no, you listened with great interest. What we told you produced a POWERFUL EFFECT upon you, for the Holy Spirit gave you great and full assurance that what we said was true. And you know that our very lives were further proof to you of the truth of our message."

1:10  "And they speak of how you are looking forward to the return of God's Son from heaven-Jesus, whom God brought back to life- and He is our only Savior from God's terrible anger against sin."

2:4  "For we speak as messengers from God, trusted by Him to tell the truth; we change His message not one bit to suit the taste of those who hear it; for we serve God alone, who examines our hearts' deepest thoughts."

2:7-8  "But we were as gentle among you as a mother feeding and caring for her own dear children. We loved you dearly- so dearly that we gave you not only God's message, but our own lives too."

2:11-12  "We talked to you as a father to his own children...pleading with you, encouraging you and even demanding that your daily lives should not embarrass God, but bring joy to Him who invited you into His Kingdom to share His glory. And we will never stop thanking God for this: that when we preached to you, you didn't think of the words that we spoke as being just our own, but you accepted what we said as the very Word of God- which, of course, it was- and it changed your lives when you believed it."

2:18  "...but Satan stopped us."

2:19-20  "For what is it we live for, that gives us hope and joy and is our proud reward and crown? It is you! Yes, you will bring us much joy as we stand together before our Lord Jesus Christ when He comes back again. For you are our trophy and joy."

3:2-3  "I send visit you to strengthen your faith  and encourage you, and to keep you from becoming fainthearted in all the troubles you were going through. (But of course you know that such troubles are a part of God's plan for us Christians..)."

3: 10  "For night and day we pray on and on for you, asking God to let us see you again, to fill up any little cracks there may yet be in your faith."

3:12  "And may the Lord make your love to grow and overflow to each other and to everyone else, just as our love does toward you. This will result in your hearts being made strong, sinless, and holy by God our Father, so that you may stand before Him guiltless on that day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns with all those who belong to Him."

God heals and speaks through His Word!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

the Word gives life!

"The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent." -2 Peter 3:9

I have been talking with Mom and Tricia about the intensity that we feel regarding the imminent return of Jesus. I personally wonder WHY THE HECK He has not come before now; the earth is in a sad state. But the Church is not purified and spotless. And I feel an urgency that The Church must repent and turn from our wicked ways so that God can do His work in our homes, churches, country, and world.

I think of own family member(s) and loved ones who have not accepted Christ as their Savior. They know about Him in their head, but do not believe and trust in His saving grace. 

His life has not affected their life in a momentous way.

I cringe to think of all the students I have taught, those with whom I did not aggressively witness to of His saving power. "I am 'Jesus with skin on.' People can see Jesus in me!" was my mantra for long long. Too ignorantly long. :-(

When Tricia's friend L died in February, we felt like God was kicking us in the pants to get us moving and to work. His work.

I think of missionaries on the foreign field. With good intentions they go out in the name of the Lord, but they end up living a life of colonization or occupation, neglecting to really reach out to everyone that their lives touch in the name of Christ. And then there are the few who are doing His work in His name, reaching a few or a multitude with the Gospel. The truth.

Desperate times demands desperate measures.

Taking into consideration cultural norms, we MUST see and feel and act on our Great Commission. Otherwise we are neglectful and worthless servants of the Most High God.

But what do we really KNOW about our God?

I challenge myself. And consequently I challenge you, my reader. Find out who God really is through His Word. We perish for lack of instruction. All the instruction that we need is located in one Book. One Book with one Author. And if we neglect it, we end up creating a god in our own image, according to what we think He is or should be. Very small and impotent indeed.

I know that this is aggravating and angering to Him.

"You can't just understand the Bible with your mind alone, your spirit must enter into it, because it is written for your spirit to understand."
"It's Author is the only writer in the universe in the universe who can possibly know the truth about any of of the subjects named (worthy to study)."
"Now if you can bring to this study a belief in the Book that we are to take up, you will be able to enter deeper into the things of which it tells. But if not, you will only see the things which are on the surface. I do not mean an intellectual belief that comes from being convinced that the Book is logically true; I mean a will to accept every statement the Book gives. If you can do that you will have a key that will unlock a great many secret and beautiful treasures of knowing and wisdom that have been placed there for only those who believe. And if you can do that honestly, I can promise you that the proof of its truth will later be shown to you."

~Grace Livingston Hill, in The Prodigal Girl
Have mercy on us, Lord! And teach us to hear and obey you!
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