Wanderer, Come Home

Wanderer, come home.  Find what you went looking for in the heart of the Father once again.  As with the prodigal, His arms are opened wide waiting to receive you to Himself.  Your return puts gladness in His heart.  Today is not too late for your feet to rejoin the path of those who walk the road of righteousness.  This path will bring calm to your spirit and peace to your soul once again.  In the refuge of His wings, you will again experience true safety, comfort, and love.

Wanderer, come home and fall into the embrace of the One whose love for you is as fresh today as it was on the day you were born.  He has not waned in His feelings about you.  His greatest desire is to have you where He is for all eternity.  Turn not away from that embrace.  Turn inward to Him.  Let His love wash over you.  Let His healing balm restore you.  Today is not too late.  Turn to the shining Son and walk in His light.  Feel the warmth of His radiant countenance smiling upon you once again.

Wanderer, refuse not His call.  Refuse not Him who loves you so.  While all people matter to God, you matter too. Experience His compassion of salvation offered through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Please, come home and make the great return today.  The Shepherd of your soul awaits (1 Peter 2:25).

“How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? 

And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:12-14)

“Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save  a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20, NKJV)

More Inspirational Reads:

“Return to Me!”

“You Make a Difference to God!”

“Restored!”

“Regrowth!”

“Wash Me Jesus!”

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Count Your Blessings!

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:” Psalm 103:2

I love Autumn.  To me, it is a season of tucking in.  The air turns a little cooler, with just a hint of crispness touching you amid the fall breezes.  Smells change as we turn from super floral fragrances to that of cinnamon, spice, and everything nice.  Schedules, prayerfully, slow down a bit as the run around of summer dissipates and more time is gathered around home and family.

For me, the feeling of fall brings an added bonus.  It seems that with the shifting of seasons we become more reflective and our hearts turn more to being appreciative of what we have and have been blessed with.

One day recently, things did not go according to plan.  My schedule was shot and the things I had on my agenda for the day – well, most of them didn’t happen.  But, as I spent time thinking about it, I just began to mentally thank God for all the things He did allow me to do.  Although my plans went awry, I was able, in those moments, to be there for others, to support them, and help them.

Lately, I have felt a strong impression on my heart to literally count my blessings.  Not by number, but by being more appreciative of daily things.  The day may have been hard and full of work that was strenuous, but I thank God that I was able to work it.  I may not have gotten the whole house clean, but I thank God for the small chores that I was able to accomplish.  The food on the table may not have been food cooking show worthy, but I thank God, not only for the food but for the opportunity to serve my family in this capacity on this day.

In the little things, as well as the big things in life, there are so many reasons to be grateful.  If we truly took a moment to reflect, we would readily say that God has been so good to us.

Life is going to happen.  And while we are living, it’s going to happen to us all.  Some days are going to go off perfectly, without a hitch, and we’ll feel like we can take on the world.  Other days may feel like a constant struggle – just making it through – can’t wait until bedtime comes and bring this day to a close.

Whatever the day brings, may our hearts find reminders of gratefulness in it.  Focusing more on God and the blessings that He has already provided can tip the scales, allowing the counting of blessings to far outweigh any negatives we may face.

How does Autumn speak to you?  Do the changes of the seasons stir special feelings inside you?

Whatever this season brings you, I pray God’s best for you in it all.

Blessings ~

“Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;” Psalm 105:5

“What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?” Psalm 116:12

“O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 118:29

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17

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“What Would Jesus Say?” – part 1

“The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” Isaiah 50:4

Words, despite the children’s poems we recite, we know and have more than likely experienced the stinging effect of the wrong words spoken at the wrong time.  We know that just as easily as words can build, they can also tear down and hurt the receiver of them.

One thing is certain, our world is full of words and full of people who like to use words.  The human language and the ability to communicate with one another is a beautiful thing.  It is when we mar that beauty with unrighteous speech rolling off our tongues and flowing from our mouths that we get into trouble.

People have practiced communication skills for centuries, and yet, when it comes to the daily application of speech, sometimes we falter and do not use the words that God has given us in a healthy and productive manner.

If we are going to learn how to use the tongue healthily, the best example is that of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus had all the right words at the right time.  He knew how to speak compassion when it was needed most.  He knew how to speak conviction in truth without berating another.  And Jesus knew how to speak life.

In Isaiah 50:4, we see the prophesied Servant, whom we know to be the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ talking about the words He uses and the way He uses them to speak.  There He says, “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak. . .” 

Never do we see Jesus in the Bible using words in a frivolous or lackadaisical manner.  Words and how they are used are powerful, and Jesus, just as His Father, knew the value of words and used them as such.  To Him, everything that came out of His mouth was to be treated carefully.

Jesus’ heart was always, and I do mean always, to do the will of the Father (John 6:38).  In everything, right down to going to the cross, God’s will was His number one priority (Luke 22:42).  With the will of God governing His whole life and ministry, even the words He spoke had to be what “The Lord GOD hath given me.” 

In Isaiah, that which was given is described as “the tongue of the learned;” as one who had been taught by God what to say and how to say it.  One can speak something that is true, but how the message is delivered can affect how another receives it.

In John 12:49-50, Jesus said, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.  And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”  Jesus, even in His speech, sought to bring glory and honor to the Father.

Through this, we see that Jesus was very strategic with the words He uses.  In this part, we have learned that Jesus is our best example in valuing words and in understanding the importance of using speech that is not only healthy but also God-honoring.  Jesus treated the words He spoke very carefully, and we should too.

In the days coming, we are going to explore this verse further in two more parts of this three-part mini-series.  May we learn what God wants us to say and how to say it, so that we, too,  may have “the tongue of the learned” relating to one another in speech even as Jesus did, so that we will know how to speak. 

This three-part mini-series is adapted from a Sunday School Lesson I previously published titled 4 Ways to Use Words Better.  You can click on that link if you are looking for a deeper study on this topic.

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Jesus is Greater!

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things . . .” Hebrews 1:1-2

The writer of Hebrews opens his book with the exaltation of Christ over all and declares that God “hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things,” (Hebrews 1:2). As the rightful heir, His supremacy is beautifully noted.

“Therefore,” Hebrews 2:1 tells us, “we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.”

Many believe the recipients of this letter are early Jewish Christians whose faith has come under attack, and they needed encouragement to hold on to the words of Christ, to hold onto the gospel message they received lest they “let them slip.”

When one “slips,” it is usually a backward path into old ways, and this is what was threatening their current faith.  The old ways, that were attached to the older religious system, that came before the securing and atoning death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, were trying to prevail and draw people backward.  In his writings, the author of Hebrews continues to teach and explain that Christ is greater than those old ways.  He is greater than Moses, greater than the old religious system and priesthood, greater the angels (read Hebrews 2-3 for more), and all that came before Him (although technically, Christ was before all of them – see John 1:1-5; 8:58).  He is simply greater in every way.

Is there something plaguing your current faith today? Has something infiltrated your dedication to the Lord and is seeking to pull you into a slipping mode?

Friend, whatever it is, Jesus is greater than that too. He understands the frailty of humanity. He understands the emotions you battle with and the questions you long to ask. Lay it all at His feet today. Take everything to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him, with all sincerity, for help with this and all other things you may be confronted with.

The old may be comfortable, but faith in Christ, the heir of all, is the greater choice.

Therefore, our rest and peace are now forever found in the promises fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 3:18-4:3; 2 Corinthians 1:20), because He is greater.

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The Prayers of the Saints

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Oh, my friend, do not think within yourself that your prayers do not matter.  Don’t let the thought enter your mind, saying, “What’s the point.”  The point is your prayers are very special to your King.  He loves to hear the words and petitions that flow from your heart and mouth.  His ears are opened, listening for His beloved ones who wills to communicate with Him.

Your prayers are so special before God Almighty.  Only the enemy wants you to look away from that blessed throne.  Only those who don’t want the best for you wish to turn you from believing your prayers matter.

God loves when your heart is bowed before Him.  He loves the utterances that are spoken from your lips to His hears.  You are His child.  He loves you and wants to hear from you daily.

Give yourself permission to release all that’s inside at His holy feet.  Let your prayers rise as a sweet-smelling savour before He who loves you more than you’ll ever know.

Your prayers are precious to God now, and in that time to come.

“And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.” Revelation 8:3,4

“Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” Psalm 141:2

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“What will you do in the end?”

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You are watching the movie.  The scene is intense.  You are waiting for something climactic to happen.  Then, so as not to disappoint the viewers, the characters stumble upon a ticking agent.  On it, there is a clock whose time is counting down indicating when it reaches zero, something big is going to happen.  The time will be up.

We love those moments when the story keeps us on the edge of our seats.  When it makes us stay glued in anticipation of what the characters are going to do now, or what’s going to happen in the end when the signal comes and there is no more opportunity to avert the crisis.  Danger is imminent.  The time of warning is over and the cataclysmic event starts now!

While it might be fun to watch on the screen as the suspense builds and the action unfolds, there is a very real countdown coming and once it reaches its end we must ask, “What will you do?”

The problem is so many are unprepared for what the end will bring.

Jeremiah had to confront the people with this line of questioning in his prophesying.  The Lord used Jeremiah to let the people know about the wickedness He sees in the land.  But, He also uses Jeremiah to confront false prophets who prophesy lies and love tickling the ears of the people and the people who give ear to it.  In Jeremiah 5:30-31, he writes, “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will you do in the end thereof?”

With wickedness pervading the land the people needed a good, healthy dose of Holy Ghost truth spoken into their lives and not messages that sugarcoat their wrongs and make them believe that they are still okay and that God is still going to bless them. Because there is an end coming and what is it going to profit them if they have not learned to live holy, if they have not learned to repent, if they have not learned that there is a right way before God to live, but they are not there yet.

Yes, we have the promise of heaven before us if we are living lives of righteous faith before God but on the other end of the spectrum, there is a very real, horrible place called hell.  It is a place for judgment and punishment that will never see an end.

Too many are unprepared for an eternal future in one place or the other because they are not taught to be ready anymore.  They are not taught that tomorrow is not promised and that they could step into eternity at any moment.  They are not taught that holiness matters and that God requires holiness for He said, “Be ye holy; for I am holy,” (1 Peter 1:16).

Instead, there is a lot of tickling of the ears.  Messages that continually show us how to prosper here and tell us that we are next in line here even though this earth is not our final home.  While I enjoy a good message of blessing myself, I and everyone else also need to know how to prosper and push for the eternal goal of heaven.  Without it, what will you do in the end?

In that time to come, how will you be prepared for the reality of what lies ahead?

“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein . . .” (Jeremiah 6:16a).  When you do that, when you seek the proven path of God’s word and choose to live by it then we have this promise for our end, “ye shall find rest for your souls,” (Jeremiah 6:16b).

Sadly, many choose not to listen for the rest of that verse tells us, “But they said, We will not walk therein,” (Jeremiah 6:16c).  They made the decision for their eternity.

The way forward into eternity with God is through the old proven path of His sound Word.  God relayed through Jeremiah that when He delivered His people He instructed them to “Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you,” (Jeremiah 7:24).  But, the truth became clear: “But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward,” (Jeremiah 7:25).

They chose a backward mentality after the things that would not profit them in the end.

Daily we find ourselves running against the clock to get this done and that.  May we all take heed that there is a spiritual clock we are racing against, and one day it will read “Time’s up!”  What will you do in the end?  A very real question that will one day require a very real answer.

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“Now, When, and Then”

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He knows me now, He knew me when, and He knows me then. My friends, what great confidence is this that our God knows us so completely (Psalm 139:1-6)?

He sees what you face today. He saw your past days and the murky spots you have traveled through. And, He already has met your future. Nothing and no part of your life is hidden from the eyes of our great God (Hebrews 4:13).

Our past, our present, and our future are opened before Him, and so is His love for you. Through all that He knows of you, His love is still shining like a lighthouse, beckoning you and guiding you closer to the shores of His embrace, saying, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Remember, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever,” (Hebrews 13:8; Revelation 22:13), and you are completely known and loved by Him.

Father God, thank You that You know me so well. Thank You, that Your love has not diminished in my life and that Your light still shines brightly for me. Help me, every day, to be reminded of this great grace and affection You have toward me. Through the storms, when I look up, I see You and You are drawing me near, allowing me to find shelter and refuge in You. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray, AMEN!

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“Our Hearts”

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“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

Our hearts are considered to be the very center of our being. It is the seat of our emotions, cares, and love for those around us. It is in our hearts that we make some of the toughest choices in life. What we think and what we carry will guide the heart or prohibit certain paths of travel.

But sometimes, our hearts can carry even more than we know, more than we can see, feel, or are aware of. Knowing this, David, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), invited God to take a closer look at his own heart. He opened himself, no holds barred, for God to do exploratory surgery in every crevice of that bodily member that lies at the center of our being.

How bold of him, you may think. For some, there may be things that they don’t want to be touched. But for David, his greatest joy was his relationship with God. And, his end purpose of inviting God’s holy inspection was to be led “in the way everlasting.” He wanted nothing getting in the way of that, and neither should we.

If God were to knock on the door of your heart today, would you invite Him in to take a closer look? There is nothing there that He doesn’t already know. Like Adam and Eve hiding in the Garden on that revealing day of the Fall, His probing “Where art thou?” (Genesis 3:9) isn’t because He doesn’t know, but that we may become aware of our position in Him. It is only then that we can correct any waywardness as David sought to when he earnestly prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10).

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

“I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” Psalm 32:5

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts.” Proverbs 21:2

“As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.” Proverbs 27:19

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Helpful Articles:

“Your Hearts Shall Live!”

“Open Your Heart . . .”

“Your Heart Wants God”

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“Who have you been glorifying?”

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” Psalm 50:15, NKJV

Who gets your praise when you get a reprieve from the madness all around?  Who receives your honor when troubles dissipate and deliverance has been brought forth?

Have you attributed your successes to your own wisdom?  Has your ingenuity received the credit for plans coming to pass?  Have you praised yourself, thinking, “Look what I have done?”

Who have you been glorifying?  Don’t pat yourself on the back for a job well done when you know if it had not been for the Lord on your side, you would not have what you have, do what you do, and be in the position you are in.

God is not only our Heavenly Father, He is also our mighty defender and our deliverer.  He invites us to seek Him in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1), and He will be our present help.  When we come to Him, and call upon Him, and He delivers us, please do not give His glory to another, or take it for yourself.

Recognize what God has done in your life and honor Him alone.

“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say;

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us:

Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:

Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:

Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.

Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.

Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 124:1-8

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“Study Him!”

“The works of the LORD are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them,” Psalm 111:2, NKJV

Why such doubt?  Why such confusion?  Have you studied Him?  Have you studied the works of our God?

Open your understanding to the truth of who He is.  Open, and expand your knowledge of our Heavenly Father.  Seek Him, and search Him out.  As the greatest treasure that is to be found, don’t stop digging till you have unearthed His glorious truths.

“His work is honorable and glorious, and His righteousness endures forever,” (Psalm 111:3, NKJV).  So, dig deep, my friends, and find Him for yourself.

Look through His holy pages and see Him.  See what He has done.  See the testimonies of the lives that have walked in those written lines.  See the things He performed in them and through them.  See what He continues to do even in this day.  See, and believe.

For where the truth of this treasure is, it leaves no room for doubt and confusion.  Truth eats up the empty spaces that make room for lies.

Therefore, study Him.  Let not your appetite be quenched by the false junk and ideologies of this age.  Take your fill of God, our Father.  Learn of Him.  Explore Him, and you will not only be satisfied with that which nourishes for all eternity, but you will enter an abundant adventure of a lifetime today (John 10:10).

It’s there, in those pages of the Bible.  Seek Him.  He’s not hiding from you.  Study Him, and enrich your own life further and deeper than you could have ever imagined.

“He has made His wonderful works to be remembered . . .” Psalm 111:4, NKJV

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