Friday, April 30, 2010

His Presence Gives Us Rest

"Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people. And He said, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
(Exodus 33:13,14)

Have you found grace in God's sight? Do you walk with Him, talk with Him? Is He your God - your One True God? Then because of the blood of Jesus Christ, you may approach His throne of grace with boldness and ask Him to show you His way, to teach you His truth. You may approach Him and express your need for grace.

Verse 14 says, "My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest."

Give rest. Nu'ach (noo-ahch) means to settle down, to be soothed or quieted; to be secure, to be still and to dwell peacefully.

Wow! When God's Presence goes with us to show us the way in which we should go - all because of His amazing grace - when that happens, His Presence soothes, comforts, settles, consoles and quiets us.

Do you feel cuddly all over knowing that God is with You? I do! What comfort (nu'ach) there is knowing that He WILL show us the way, the path He needs for us to travel.

Father, I cannot express to you how much Your Presence means to me. It is much more than mere words or concept or nice idea. Your Presence is REAL. Your Holy Spirit dwells in us, leading, guiding, comforting. Thank You, Lord so very much. Thank You for Your grace, for letting me KNOW You and thank You for giving me rest in Your Presence.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Sure Place

"God, Who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands, nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live, and move and have our being..."
(Acts 17:24,25,27,28)

Never before have I noticed the word GROPE in this verse! Have you? What an interesting choice of words.

Picture yourself in a dark place. There is no light. You are unfamiliar with your surroundings and you feel lost - anxious - unsure of yourself. Now picture yourself planting your feet, stretching out your arms, and with hands spread out, you tentatively reach, you GROPE for a sure place in the darkness. Suddenly you feel a loving touch. A strong and powerful Hand grips yours and pulls you into the Light.

When we find ourselves in a dark place, the Lord wants us to GROPE for him and find Him. He wants us to seek Him out. He is not far from us because He tells us that we live and move and have our being IN Him.

Live WITHIN His love, completely embraced by His Spirit, His power, His grace. Let His powerful grip pull you into the Light. He is a sure place when you find yourself enveloped in darkness.

Thank You, Lord. You offer me such comfort when I am overwhelmed. Your love casts away my fear - I am safe there, in You. Help me understand this concept, Lord. I want to fully understand what it means to live and move and have my being IN YOU. Thank You, Lord. You are marvelous beyond words.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Greatness of God

"He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, measured heaven with a span (the width of His hand) and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?...To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him?...Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretched out the heavens like a curtain...'To whom then, will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?' says the Holy One."
(Isaiah 40:11,12,18,21,25)

WOW!! Are you facing an insurmountable problem today? May these words comfort you, encourage you and fill you with determination to press on until you have victory!

The beginning of this passage clearly denotes the tenderness and concern of our Lord: He feeds us, He carries us, He leads us on this journey. But look at the scriptures that follow. Use your imagination and picture the greatness of God - His vastness. He cupped His hand and held the seas - He measured the heavens by the width of His hand. Can you imagine?!

Is there anything too difficult for this awesome God of ours? No. He is mighty in power and glorious in majesty.

And our God is WILLING and ABLE because of His great love.

Praise Your Name, Lord God! If only we could begin to fathom Your greatness! If only we could begin to understand Your love and the depth of Your being. Thank You for making a way for us to know You. Thank You for loving us in spite of ourselves. And thank you for being greater than any problem we ever face. You, Lord, are magnificent and we love You. We worship You, Father. We bless Your Holy Name.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Be Strong in the Lord

"For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: 'In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.'"
(Isaiah 30:15)

Look at the key words: Returning. Rest. Quietness. Confidence. These essential words lead us to salvation and strength.

Return to your Lord. Is He your first love? That's a struggle, isn't it? We are pulled in so many directions, but, placing Him first causes everything else to fall into place. I promise...

Rest. Menuchah (meh-noo-chah). This refers to a place of stillness, consolation, peace, a quiet place. Now, that's what I'm talkin' about. I LONG for a place of stillness.

When I return to the Lord and rest in his presence, I will be saved - delivered from a difficult time of anguish, or despair, or impossibility.

"In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." Resting quietly before the Father; being still and realizing your confidence is in the Great I AM - confidence in his mercy, in His faithfulness and His love. Confidence in His power to save.

"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might."

Ah... blessed strength.

Father, Your love amazes me. We make everything so complicated and You make everything so simple. Forgive us for complicating Your promises. We are a stubborn people - I'm sure You are fully aware of that! Help us realize that we need only to return, to rest quietly before You and find confidence in Who You really are. You, Lord, are our strength.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Profound Love of Jesus

"Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name these whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are." ~ Jesus
(John 17:11)

Isn't this beautiful? Jesus is praying for US. And He does it so sweetly, with such concern for His disciples. Look at how he speaks to the Father, "...and I come to You." That phrase blesses me beyond words. He says, "Father, I come to You on behalf of my disciples because, even though I am leaving this world, they are not. They need You, Father." I can feel His love in a profound way here.

Jesus asks His Father to keep us through His Name. Keep. Phroureo (froo-reh-oh). This is a military term. Picture a soldier standing guard as protection against the enemy. The Lord understands the battles we face in this world. Jesus is asking the Father to stand guard over us and keep us safe.

What a comforting thought. Do you feel loved or what?

Jesus, Thank You so much for Your love. It amazes me. It blesses me beyond measure. May we be strong in the face of our enemies, knowing that You, Lord, are standing guard, keeping us safe. We are not alone - Hallelujah!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Love Secrets

"He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with him."
(Daniel 2:22)

Praise His Name! God is sovereign over ALL things - ALL circumstances - even those things that are so incredibly difficult for us, He has ultimate authority over.

BELIEVE that nothing is too difficult for Him.
BELIEVE that He will never leave you to face your pain alone.

Light dwells in Him. His light shines in your darkness to reveal the deep, secret things. That is the blessing. There are treasures in the darkness that can only be seen by the Light of Christ. Without the darkness we could not discover the secrets of God hidden there.

I love secrets. Secrets are only shared by special friends. Are you a friend of God? I believe so!

Father, I long to know Your secrets. Please, shine Your light in my darkness that I might find your secret treasures there. Reveal them to me. It comforts me to know that You are fully aware of what is in the darkness. Thank You for Your Light. Thank You for Your amazing presence in my life. And, most of all, thank You for trusting Me with Your secrets.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Seed of Promise

"For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
(Isaiah 55:10,11)

The circle of life.

Rain falls from the sky and waters the earth. Vegetation flourishes from the life-giving moisture, brings forth buds, blooms, fruit and, ultimately, seed for the sower. The gardener plants the seed in the rich earth and harvests a bounty to nourish his body.

And so the circle continues.

When teaching the parable of the sower in Luke 8:11, Jesus said, "The seed is the Word of God." God's Word cannot be barren or fruitless; His own life-power is within it! This power will ALWAYS fulfill the promise of His Word. It has no choice.

How do you tell a seed not to sprout? You can't. Neither can you tell the Word of God not to fulfill its promises. The power within was set in motion as soon as it was spoken from the Lord our God.

What seed of promise is growing in your life?

Father, what a powerful illustration! I can picture the promises You have spoken to me and see Your Holy Spirit swirling within the kernel waiting to break forth! I can picture the promises of salvation, provision, redemption and faithfulness found in Your Word and I can see the power of Your Holy Spirit living within them, bringing each to fruition. Help us to understand Your power,Lord. Help us to understand the LIFE within Your Word. You are precious to us, Lord.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Are You Hungry and Thirsty?

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled."
(Matthew 5:6)

Hunger and thirst. Both of these conditions refer to sustaining life. What are we to be hungry and thirsty for? Righteousness - right standing with God. Righteousness obtained through the blood of Jesus indicates relationship with God, the Father.

When we are hungry and thirsty for the Lord, our hearts are turned towards Him, our mind is consumed with His love. Our hunger and thirst brings us into His presence where the voids in our lives are filled, where the broken places are healed.

And when we find ourselves sitting at the feet of our Savior, we are blessed - happy through and through. When we long for our God and respond to His touch, we are filled - chortazo (khor-tad-zoe) - we are satisfied abundantly!

Righteousness calls to us just like that New York Cheesecake we want to devour (or banana pudding or chocolate bar or...) Are you hungry?

Yes, Lord, I am hungry for You!! I thirst for the refreshment of your Living Water. Pour Yourself out on me, Father. I want all of You. I want to be filled up to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit. Please, Lord, increase my appetite for You. Thank You, Lord.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

His Own Special People

"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."
(1 Peter 2:9)

Chosen. Royal. Holy. Special.

These are the names God has placed on us. We belong to Him. We are His people - set apart to worship Him - set apart to walk with Him in prayer and march into battle for Him with praise on our lips.

God, the Lord Most High has CALLED us. He has CHOSEN us to be His people. In exchange,we have called Him Lord. As we step out of the darkness into His Marvelous light, lets proclaim His praise. To proclaim means to shout it from the mountaintops. To proclaim means to overflow with joy unspeakable.

To proclaim means to share His goodness and His love with others.

Picture yourself standing in His presence, His marvelous light shining brilliantly upon you. You cast a shadow that trails into the darkness you are leaving behind. It is past. He has called you out of the dark places.

You are Chosen. Royal. Holy. And you are very special to our God.

Father, Thank you for choosing us. You chose us even when we were still in darkness. Give us courage to step into Your light, leaving the past behind. Help us to realize that we are to be set apart as a holy people unto you. Help us to realize that when we proclaim Your praise, Your light dances all about us. What a beautiful image I see. I love You, Lord.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Walk in Joy

"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness."
(Isaiah 61:10)

"Greatly rejoice in the Lord" - sus (soos)! Sus is described as a "pervasive, irresistible joy." Can you imagine being so thankful for the Lord that you can't contain yourself - every fiber of your being bubbling over with blissful joy - deep down joy that is not contingent on circumstances?

God has given us joy unspeakable. It is a gift, but we must decide to open the gift. Isaiah said, "I WILL greatly rejoice." Why? Because He has clothed us with salvation and righteousness! We CHOOSE to walk in joy, thankful to the God of our salvation.

Now that is something to get happy about!

Lord, I WILL rejoice in You. You are an awesome God, full of power and compassion towards your children. Thank you for clothing me in salvation and righteousness. Fill me with a pervasive, irresistible joy - joy that overflows into a hurting world. You, Lord, are my joy and that makes me smile.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Amen. Enough Said.

"O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it."
(Psalm 139:1-6)

Amen. Enough said.

Father God, You are too marvelous for words. At times I am overcome with emotions that cascade like a waterfall, tumbling and spilling into that great river of Life. You complete me. You give me hope. With You before me and behind me, I feel safe and secure. If I could only know but a smidgen of Who You really are, my life would be satisfied. But You, Lord, go to great lengths and take great delight in revealing Yourself to Your children. I want all of You, Father. Not just enough to get by - I want to know You through and through. And I want You to search me and know me and find me pleasing in Your sight. Thank You for Your love. Thank You, Lord.

Monday, April 19, 2010

You Need Only to be Still

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exodus 14:14)

Are you facing a challenge? Do you have a Goliath in your life? Is your heart racing with fear as you face tomorrow?

Beloved, you are not alone. The Lord Most High is with you - you need only to be still and let Him work on your behalf.

Sounds too simple, doesn't it? I know. In our stubborn little minds, we think we know what's best. We're not too fond of relinquishing control.

What is the purpose for being still? Psalm 46:10 tells us to, "Be still and know that He is God." When we are still before Him, He can show Himself mighty. He can work in ways too marvelous to comprehend.

So hush, child. Rest in Him. He is a very capable warrior.

Lord, I take great comfort knowing that you will fight the battles for me. I feel so afraid some days - overwhelmed at times - but knowing that I am not alone brings me courage beyond measure. Help me to learn to trust in You without reserve. You are so precious to me, Lord.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

He Will Make the Crooked Places Straight

"I will go before you and make the crooked places straight, I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places that you may know that I, the Lord Who calls you by your name, AM the God of Israel."
(Isaiah 45:2,3)

Yashar (yah-shar)! God will straighten out the path of His devoted, trusting servants - He will make the crooked places straight. Praise His Name!

Do you feel as though you are wandering on a series of blind curves? Do you feel imprisoned - held captive - by past memories? The Lord Who calls you by name, will make a way for you. He desires to set you free. And, what's more, in this new found freedom, He will give you treasures hidden by the darkness. What a glorious God He is !!

He wants to show you His power. Stand amazed at the goodness of the Lord as He sets you free and straightens your path.

Lord, Thank You for loving us enough to straighten out our crooked paths and to set us free from those things that hold us captive. You are such a loving God - such a powerful God. Hide me in Your secret place where I can hear You whisper my name. I love You, Lord.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Friend of God, Imagine...

"And the scripture was fulfilled which says, 'Abraham believed God, and, it was accounted to him for righteousness. And he was called the friend of God."
(James 2:23)

Abraham was called the FRIEND of God. Can you imagine? GOD called him friend! I would love for the Lord to feel that way about me.

This verse in James is referring to Genesis 15. In this chapter the Lord God is entering into covenant with Abram and all of his descendants. Before the covenant occurred the Lord showed Abram the heavens and the stars and said to him, "Abram, count them if you are able, for so shall your descendants be." (Abram did not even have Isaac at this time - only the promise of an heir.)

But, Abram BELIEVED - aman (ah-mahn). The way aman is used here means that Abram considered God Trustworthy. He chose to BELIEVE what the Lord was telling him - he accepted it in faith because he realized that the Lord God could be trusted to do what He says He will do. Abram BELIEVED God.

And what was God's reaction? God accounted Abram's belief to him as righteousness. Remember, there was no tabernacle yet. Jesus had not yet come as a sacrifice for the atonement of our sin. Righteousness was only available as the Lord appointed it. God added up everything about Abram's belief - his obedient heart, his kindness to others, his reverence of Almighty God - God added these up - chashab (kah-shahv) - and concluded that Abram was a righteous man.

In the verses that followed, God and Abram entered into covenant. Abram became Abraham. There was an exchange in their relationship - no longer was it one-sided. The two had become friends - beloved, affectionate friends.

The Lord desires this kind of intimacy with His children. Intimacy requires relationship, trust, surrender. It leads to affectionate friendship.

Dare to fall in love with the One Who made you. May we all aspire to be called the friend of God.

Lord, I pray that You think of me as Your friend. I want to give back to You in that way. So often we only consider You as the Almighty God. We forget that You need us as well. We forget that Your heart longs for a people who will love You unconditionally, just as You have loved us. Help us to draw near to You and to gain an understanding of what it means to be called Your friend.

Friday, April 16, 2010

What a Mighty God We Serve!

"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him."
(2 Chronicles 16:9)

Are you exhausted? Overwhelmed? Do you feel alone or afraid?

Beloved, I have good news for you. The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth looking for a hurting child just like you. He wants to show you His strength, His power - His love.

The second part of this verse should not be overlooked or quickly scanned. The instruction is that God shows Himself strong "on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." Psalm 34:17 says, "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their cry." Hallelujah! Thank you, Lord.

When our hearts are completely devoted to the Lord, we are blessed by Him. Our devotion places us within His protection, His provision. Loyalty means you are sold out to the One Who made you. You are completely His - failures and all. A loyal heart works to maintain a full commitment to Him at all times.

I want the Lord, my God, to show Himself strong on my behalf. I take great comfort - even joy - knowing that He is aware of my needs and that He desires to meet them in a powerful way. The next time you look up at the heavens take a minute and let yourself imagine that the Most High God is, at that very moment, looking to and fro, watching, to see if you need Him.

Amazing. Simply amazing.

Oh Lord God, I need You so much. My weaknesses, my insecurities want to overwhelm me. Things of the world pull at me to interrupt my devotion to You. Forgive me, Lord. I want my heart to please You. I want it to tell of Your faithfulness. I want to bless You with my devotion - to honor You in all things. Thank You for waiting eagerly to come to my rescue. I love You, Lord.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Return to Me, Says the Lord

"For I AM the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me and I will return to you, says the Lord of Hosts."
(Malachi 3:6,7)

Do you feel like you are as close to the Lord as you would like? Have you decided to keep Him at an arm's length because you don't feel worthy of His love or because you feel ashamed by the condition of your heart - those dark places that only you know about?

Our God is a merciful God, full of compassion and love for His children. He promises, "Return to Me and I will return to you." Jeremiah 24:7 declares, "I will give them a heart to know Me that I AM the Lord and they shall be My people and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart."

The Lord yearns to be in relationship with us. Remember, as Believers, we are in covenant with God - that's why we are not consumed. The Lord does not change - His love is unconditional. But, because of His Holiness, separation occurs if there is no cleansing tide of repentance and forgiveness.

Hebrew for 'return' is shub (shoov) meaning, to go back to a point of departure. Can you see that picture in your mind? Think of the Prodigal Son as he returned to His father. In my mind I can see the son and his father running towards one another, arms outstretched and melting into a warm embrace.

Returning is a wonderful experience. Returning brings beginnings.

Returning is a good thing.

Father, Your mercy amazes me - Your patience, Your faithfulness to love us , even though...We all fall short at times, but Your desire for us never fails. Forgive me for breaking Your heart at times with my shortcomings - my sin. Thank You for running to me with arms wide open. Thank You for embracing me with Your love.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Waiting Hopefully

"Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!"
(Psalm 27:14)

I LOVE this verse. "Wait on the Lord!" I have learned over the years that this waiting does not refer to standing rigid, arms crossed, foot tapping, eyes rolling in frustration kind of waiting. This kind of waiting is qavah (kah-vah). It is Hebrew meaning to wait for, look for, expect, hope, to wait hopefully.

Once you begin to KNOW the Lord - not just about Him - you can begin to embrace the concept of 'qavah' - waiting hopefully. You are His child. He is Your God. He loves you with an everlasting love! His heart is turned towards you - His child. Oh my goodness - what comfort I take in these thoughts!

The Lord tells us to "be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart." We CAN be of good courage as we wait because our waiting is rooted in the knowledge that our God knows our needs, our dreams, our heart's desire long before we express them.

To wait in faith, expectantly, full of hope, requires confidence - confidence comes from KNOWING the One in Whom you have placed your trust.

And knowing Him is the best part. He is totally awesome.

Yes, Lord, You ARE totally awesome. Thank you for teaching me to wait - HOPEFULLY!! And thank you for forgiving me when I forget this lesson and grow impatient or fearful or even angry in my frustration. Your mercy is so appreciated. I love you.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Is There Anything Too Hard for God?

"Behold, I AM the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?"
(Jeremiah 32:27)

When the prophet Jeremiah penned these words, Jerusalem was in utter chaos because of the rebellion of God's chosen people. Once again, they had begun to worship idols, offer incense to Baal and had turned their backs on the One True God. Jeremiah was in their midst trying to get the people's attention, entreating God for mercy and praying for understanding as the city came under siege by the Babylonians and Chaldeans.

In the midst of the calamity, the Lord told Jeremiah to buy a parcel of land. Jeremiah had a very obedient heart, but, in this case, he questioned God. Under the present circumstances of Jerusalem's siege, he asked, "Why? Why buy some land?"

Because the Lord had a plan and nothing was too hard for Him.

Even though the Israelites' rebellion angered the Lord, He remembered that He was in covenant with them and He told Jeremiah that He "will bring them all the good He has promised them." The parcel of land Jeremiah was told to buy was part of God's plan for deliverance and restoration. When victory came, God told Jeremiah that men would once again buy fields in the land of Benjamin, the places around Jerusalem and in the cities of Judah.

Why is this important? Because Jeremiah's obedience set everything into motion. God asked him to do something seemingly ridiculous in the midst of a siege of his beloved Jerusalem. The instructions to buy land made no sense, but Jeremiah chose to obey and God began to turn the situation around.

God had a plan and nothing was too hard for Him.

Jeremiah represented righteousness in the midst of this sinful chaos. I wonder what would have happened if Jeremiah had said,"No, I can't be hearing this right." I believe God responded to Jeremiah's desire to trust the Great I AM.

Are you facing something difficult? Is God asking you to step out in faith, blindly, and trust Him? He does that sometimes. Actually, He does it quite often. Jeremiah knew the God in Whom he believed, therefore he could trust. As you walk with God over time, you will begin to know the God in Whom YOU have believed. He desires to restore you, to stop the siege of the enemy. But He requires obedience. Take time to listen. It's not so hard. It might seem strange at first, but know this: our Heavenly Father promises that His children will know His voice. Trust Him. Believe Him. Listen for His sweet voice and then walk in obedience.

Father, You ARE the Great I AM!! To know that nothing is too difficult for you is so comforting. Give us courage for this journey of obedience. It's interesting...obedience bears the fruit of trust and trust bears the fruit of obedience. I choose to trust You, Lord. I choose obedience.

Monday, April 12, 2010

You Are Precious to God!

"Also, today the Lord has proclaimed you to be His special people, just as He promised you, that you should keep all His commandments, and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made in praise, in name, and in honor, and that you may be a holy people to the Lord your God, just as He has spoken."
(Deuteronomy 26:18)

His special people...segullah (seh-goo-lah). We are His special people, special treasure, God's precious possession!! I don't know about you, but I take great pleasure knowing that I am PRECIOUS to God, my Father. Doesn't that express His tenderness in a beautiful way? Oh, how I love Him! How I long to know everything there is to know about Him so that I might proclaim His praise.

Let the joy of knowing that you are precious to your Heavenly Father carry you through this day. Let this thought draw you into His loving arms. Go ahead...fall in love. He will never disappoint you.

Lord, You are precious to us also. We are so thankful that you desire relationship with us. We are so very thankful that You are our God and we are your people. Even in Your holiness and majesty, You are tender towards Your children. How beautiful...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

What Does the Lord Require of You?

"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)

This is one of those go-to verses I use when I'm faced with a decision but don't know which way to turn. This verse states very clearly what God requires of us: to do (or live) justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.

Clearly stated. Simple in concept.

When I don't know which way to turn I step out of the confusion, consider the situation, then make sure my decision lines up with these requirements. Is this decision an honest one? Does it reflect mercy, compassion and faithfulness? Is the decision and its outcome submitted to the authority and sovereignty of God, my Father?

Satan wants to make obedience complicated, but God desires our obedience and clearly states His expectations. Trust Him. Follow His instructions and He will direct your paths.

And always remember: God LEADS us. He never DRIVES us to do anything.

Lord, just like I want my own children to obey me, You desire the same of us. I want them to obey me because they love me and respect me. I believe this is Your heart also. And, just like I make my expectations clear to my children so they can understand what it is I am asking, You do the same. Forgive us for making it so complicated - for hiding behind excuses of not knowing Your will. We need only to ask, then listen, then obey - trusting that You will keep our feet on that narrow path that leads to You. Blessed be Your Name, Lord God!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

On Eagles' Wings

"You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I sustained you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself."
(Exodus 19:4,5)

What a beautiful image: "I sustained you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself." When an eagle encounters a storm, he flies up above the clouds, the wind, the rain. There he stretches out his massive wings and soars. He is unaffected by the storm. He glides and drinks in the peace of the heavens, the majesty of the sunrise.

All the while, the storm rages beneath him.

Not only did the Lord tell His children that He had sustained them above the storm, He also said, "I brought you to Myself." I can see my Heavenly Father - my Daddy God - with arms outstretched welcoming me into His loving arms, safe from the storm.

There is such comfort in these words. Never forget that the Almighty God, so majestic in Holiness, is also our Heavenly Father Who loves His children with an everlasting love. Run to Him and be safe.

Father God, it seems the storms rage all around us. I pray that You will give us the wings of eagles to rise up above the difficulties. Bring us to Yourself. Wrap us in Your arms of love - Your POWERFUL arms of love - where peace abounds and nothing is impossible for You. You are so precious, Father. We love you.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Strength for the Journey

"Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus, therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour."
(John 4:6)

Jesus grew weary from the journey. I don't know about you, but that gives me encouragement. Even the Son of God grew weary. It doesn't mean He gave up. It doesn't mean He stopped thinking of others (on the contrary, He ministered to the Samaritan woman at the well, even though he was weary from His journey) and He certainly didn't forget about His purpose. It merely means that He grew weary and needed refreshment. He sat by the well - He sought refreshment from the water.

That is the lesson. When we grow weary, our spirit is signaling that we need to stop and drink - drink from the Living Water of God's Word. Lap it up with joy. Allow the Holy Spirit to refresh you, encourage and strengthen you.

Lord, I need the refreshment of Your Living Water cascading over my weary soul. Strengthen me. Encourage me with Your love, your faithfulness. Thank you, Lord. I love You.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Our Peace is Found in Him

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
(John 16:33)

How many of you have an aching in your heart - a longing - for the peace of God? I know I do. These are difficult days, but God, in His infinite wisdom, knew these days of destruction would come and, once again, provided a way for us. How does He say we will have peace? In Him!! It doesn't say beside Him; it doesn't say thinking about Him once in a while. It doesn't even say we will receive peace through the faith of someone else. Jesus says we will have peace in Him. We must live within His love. He must become our all in all.

The Greek word used here for tribulation is 'thlipsis' (thlip-sis). Listen to what it means: pressure, oppression, stress, anguish, crushing, squashing, squeezing, distress. That pretty well tells it like it is, doesn't it? I know EXACTLY how each of these descriptions feel! My guess is that you do, as well. But Jesus declares that He has overcome them! When we abide in Him, totally consumed by His love, we are made an overcomer, too.

And then, we bask in the serenity of His peace.

Father, reveal Your truth to us. Help us understand what it really means to be found in You, to abide there, to be consumed with You. I know that when we find our way to that place, we will find Your peace, because we will find You.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Is the Letter 'H' in Your Name?

"Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: 'As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations...And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.'"
(Genesis 17:3-5,7)

Beth Moore taught me a wonderful principle concerning this scripture. Look at verse 5: "No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham..." What changed here? The letter 'h'. The Israelites referred to God as 'Jehovah'. Do you see the central letter in 'Jehovah? 'H'. As God made covenant with Abram, He gave Abram the middle letter of His own name - 'h'. This is very significant. In biblical times the name of individuals represented their character - the very essence of who they were. The same was true of God. Think of all the names used for Him: El Shaddai, Jehovah Jireh, Most High God, Creator, The Everlasting God, etc. Or think of Jesus: Savior, Lord, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, Rabbi...Each of these names represents a different aspect of His character.

When God made covenant with Abram, He gave Abram part of Himself. The name change signified that Abraham belonged to Jehovah God. From that day forth, God would be his God and Abraham and his descendants would be His people.

I wonder if the Lord sees the letter 'H' in my name? Do I walk in a way that represents Him as His daughter?

Lord, may I ever be mindful that I am Your child, Your representative to a hurting world. Thank You for including me in a covenant which can never be broken. I suppose, in a spiritual sense, my name might be spelled 'Nahn' because You are my God and I am Your child. Be glorified in me, Father.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

At the Appointed Time

"Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son."
(Genesis 18:14

Have you ever noticed these highlighted words before? Me, either!" 'At the appointed time'...God has a plan, not only on the universal scale, but also on a personal level, for His children. Nothing is by happenstance - God has a plan and that plan WILL unfold at the appointed time.

Has the Father spoken to you? Has He filled your heart with a dream? You can be sure that at the appointed time, He will fulfill His promises. Day by day, step by step, prayer by prayer. Trust Him. Love Him. And expect the Hand of God to work on your behalf.

Lord, it is very hard to wait on dreams - to wait for the answer to our prayer. Yet, it is so comforting to me to know that even the very people we look up to in the Bible had to learn to wait. Waiting doesn't mean that the answer is no. Quite often, waiting means that there is an appointed time for the answer to come, for the dream to be fulfilled. After all, Lord, You are sovereign and You hold us in the palm of Your hand. And for that, I am very thankful.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I Press On

"Not that I have already obtained it or am already perfected but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me."
(Philippians 3:12)

But I press on. Why? That I may lay hold of that which Jesus has obtained for me. Certainly, He has obtained the gift of salvation, life everlasting for me. But, is there more? What plan does He have for me? What is my purpose in this life? Can I really walk hand in hand with my God?

'I press on' requires action, intention. Maturing in our faith doesn't just happen because we wish it so. We must decide to set our hearts on the things of God. When difficulties come, as they surely will, we have a choice to make: either throw our hands up in a tantrum and stomp our feet OR determine to PRESS ON through the storm. Knowing that we are not alone, knowing that the Light of Christ will light our path through the darkness.

And even if we stomp our feet a little while we're pressing on, our Heavenly Father is big enough to handle it. No long as you're still pressing on.

Father, what a mighty God You are. Teach us to press on when we feel like giving up. Help us to mature in our faith so that we know the God in Whom we have believed. Give us purpose, determination...and forgive us when we stomp our feet in frustration.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Oh, Give Thanks to the Lord!!

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever...Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them, and I will praise the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord, through which the righteous shall enter."
Psalm 118:1,19,20

"Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in."
Psalm 24:7-9

Let's celebrate! The Lord is risen! Miracle of miracles - the tomb is empty, He has conquered the grave!

The Lord calls us to rejoice - from our hearts, from the depth of our soul. In
Ezra 3:9-11, restoration of the temple had begun and worship was restored in Jerusalem. As the people celebrated they sang and praised their Lord, "For He is good, for His mercy endures forever!" Then all the people shouted with a great shout as they praised Him because the foundation of the house of the Lord was raised (vs.11).

Beloved, the foundation of our lives as believers was raised today! We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, He dwells within us. The Risen Lord dwells within US!! Incredible.

Walk through the gate of righteousness. Praise Him, even if you don't feel like it. Praise Him because of Who He is - the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.

The Lord is risen. He is risen, indeed!

Lord Jesus, what an amazing Savior You are. Thank You for conquering death for us. We praise You and exalt Your name on high. Help us to never take for granted the miracle of Your love.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jesus, the Perfect Lamb of God

"Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day (for Passover), so that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that the bodies might be taken away. Then the soldiers came and broke the leg of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs...For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, 'Not one of His bones shall be broken.'" (John 19:31-33,36)

When I ponder the mysteries of God - the wisdom and complexities - I stand in awe. The Old Testament and New Testament are woven together, supporting one another, creating God's plan of salvation! One does not replace the other, they are completely intertwined.

To hasten the death of those who were crucified, soldiers routinely broke their legs. Once their legs were broken, the victims could no longer ease the strain on their arms and chests. Breathing became next to impossible, hastening death. "But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs." Why is this significant? Because the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old. Jesus is our Passover Lamb. Because of His blood, death no longer has control over us, the destroyer is rendered powerless, he must pass us by.

Watch how the Lord weaves it all together.

In Exodus 12, God is giving His commandments for the Passover observance. Verse 46 instructs the Israelites, "...nor shall you break one of its bones,' referring to the Passover Lamb. Psalm 34:20 states, "He (God) GUARDS all his (the Righteous One) bones, not one of them is broken."

God ordained through His Word that when Jesus, the perfect lamb of God suffered and died for our sins, His death would come before the soldiers could break His legs. Jesus HAD to remain perfect, without blemish, in order to be the perfect sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto the Lord.

Holiness. Can we fathom it? Can we imagine an event of such magnitude that EVERYTHING must be subject to the Word of God? His Word goes forth and will not return void. It must accomplish that for which it was sent. (Isaiah 55:11) If Jesus' body had become less than perfect, God could not have accepted the sacrifice that would forever be the atonement for our sins. We would remain separated from a Holy God with no way to approach Him.

God's Word changes not. Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, would die in perfection for the forgiveness of our sins, holy and acceptable to the Lord.

Lord Jesus, what can we say? Your sacrifice - Your agony - was for us. You made it possible for us to approach a Holy God, Master and Creator of the universe. Amazing. It feels like "thank you" is not enough. May we respond with thankfulness by loving and serving You all the days of our lives, never taking You for granted.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lord, Remember Me

"And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left...Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, 'If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.' But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, 'Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the dire reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.' Then he said to Jesus, 'Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.'" (Luke 23:33,39-42)

Certainly, the criminal that recognized Jesus as the Son of God spoke of eternity when He asked Jesus to remember him. But, I want you to think a little farther. Think of this word as 're-member': "Put me back together, Lord. Re-member me. I need Your restoration. I need Your renewal. I need Your forgiveness which heals a broken soul."

On the cross, Jesus bore our sins - those things that separate us from God. When we are separated from Him, our lives are not complete. There are places of emptiness, places of destruction and pain. Places that only a loving God can heal.

Jesus' death on the cross - His sacrifice - unites us with God. Jesus bridges the gap. When we live in the presence of God, through the blood of Jesus, our lives are put back together. His power, His love and His mercy re-members us.

Take time today to think about the cross, to think about how God loves you so much that He offered His only Son as a sacrifice so that we would no longer be separated from Him. Because of the cross, brokenness is an option. The Lord desires to re-member you, but, it's up to you. Kneel at the cross. He will meet you there.

Lord, the cry of my heart is that You will re-member me. Seek out the areas of my heart that need Your power and Your grace. Restore me, Lord. Without You, Lord, my life is in pieces.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


"Then Jesus came to the Mount of Olives to a place called Gethsemane and His disciples also followed Him. And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw and He knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
(Luke 22:39, 41-44)

I want you to think about something amazing. It's a little deep, so you might need a shovel, but I promise it will be well worth it. The name 'Gethsemane' means olive press or oil press. Why is that important? Because this is a direct link to the Old Testament Tabernacle.

In Exodus 27:20 the Lord commanded the children of Israel to bring pure oil of pressed olives for the Golden Lampstand in the Tabernacle. This oil would cause the lamp to burn continually. To obtain the oil, olives were crushed in a bowl until the oil was extracted. This Lampstand was an Old Testament symbol of Christ. Remember, Jesus is the Light of the World. His Light shines in the darkness of this world, revealing the Glory of the Lord. The Lampstand in the Tabernacle did the same - its light shone in the darkness of the Tabernacle revealing the glory of the Lord in the Holy of Holies.

The oil for the Lampstand had to be pure, freshly pressed from the olives. On the eve of His crucifixion, the Light of the World (Jesus) was in an olive grove in a place called Gethsemane, whose very name means olive press or oil press! The crushing of Jesus' spirit caused Him to sweat drops of blood. These drops of blood were a precursor to the great sacrifice He would make the next day - a sacrifice that will forever proclaim Him as the Light of the World, the Golden Lampstand, that reveals the Glory of the Lord.

Jesus was "pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities..." (Isaiah 53:5). Because of His suffering, His Light, like a Golden Lampstand, shines continuously in our heart, lighting our path and consuming the darkness.

Lord Jesus, You suffered great agony for me. Your crushing provided the oil of the Holy Spirit Who dwells in me and shines Your brilliance into the dark crevices of my heart. Thank you, Lord. I love You so much and appreciate Your sacrifice.