“Getting a Closer Look”

 

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Once, I was traveling out of town and the hotel we were staying in had one of those beauty magnifying mirrors that swing out on an arm.  You know the ones I’m talking about.  They get up close and really personal in your face.  What you thought you looked like in a normal mirror became something totally different in this magnifying truth teller.

I often avoid those mirrors because there’s only so much truth about my face I want to see.  But, looking into these things a whole world of pores and things that seem to come out of nowhere all of sudden can’t be ignored.  The eyebrows need more manicuring than once thought.  Things need to be plucked, covered, or taken care of to present this face to the world before I left out that day.

As I said, I always avoided these mirrors but I must admit when I stepped back to see the final results I was more than pleased and fully intend on having one installed in my bathroom at home.

How often are we afraid to take a closer look at ourselves?  Not our face per se but at things like the inner man, our life, and our relationship with God.  Are we too afraid of what we’ll find when we look too closely?  Do we not want things revealed to us that may have gone by without a closer inspection?

God wants the best for His people but sometimes the best means we have some stuff that needs to be plucked and dealt with first.  We have to seek the beautifying of His Spirit in order to step back and see the glorious final results He has for us up ahead.

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. . .” 2 Corinthians 13:5

 

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“Persistently Pray!”

prayer-on-my-knees4

It is so easy to give up when discouragement blows our way, but Jesus encourages us not to. He told the parable of a man who “persistently” came to his friend to ask bread. He knocked and knocked and refused to be turned away. The Bible tells us to, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you,” Matthew 7:7.
 
In other words, don’t give up and don’t give in. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” – Luke 11:13.
 
Persistently pray and don’t quit now!

Emergency Reminder:

“Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’?  I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?  Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Luke 11:5-13, NKJV

Keep praying – Never give up!

Photo: Wallpaper4god.com

“You are not forgotten!”

Day in and day out, sometimes it seems to
never change and you begin to wonder, does
it all make a difference? You put the hand to
the plow and push forward in everything that
is before you, at the same time you may
wonder…

Wonder no more, my friend, because it does
make a difference. Everything you do for God
and every step you take in His name, He sees
and He is recording in righteousness your labor
of love before Him. You are not forgotten.
It all matters before Him regardless of who
else is paying attention to you, or not.
You and your works are not forgotten before
our righteous God. Don’t give in. Don’t give up.
God sees and knows it all.

“Waiting for the Son” – Biblical Inspiration for that Coming Day

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“And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” 1 Thessalonians 1:10

One of the truest treasures we can experience in our time is the dawning of a new day.  When the sun rises it brings with it the inspiration of hope that today can be different.  There is an automatic separation of what took place in the past, in the yesterdays of life, as opposed to that promise rising in the east that speaks of what now can be.

But, there is a greater day we hold fast to in hopes of seeing.  A time when what our hearts truly are seeking after appears in the clouds (Revelation 1:7) and every eye will see Him.  He that shines more brilliantly than that sphere awakening a new physical day.  We shall see the Son as He is, awakening a spiritual dawning of triumph.  He that is glorified and full of majesty, whose radiant glow cannot be compared, shall come!

Oh, what a day that will be! The chains and the shackles of this world will be permanently loosed and true freedom will come once and for all. God’s people will rise to reign in victory because the Son has come!

For the unrepentant it will be a fearful time: “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory,” (Mt. 24:30, emphasis mine).

Luke 21:25-28 explains it to be a time of “distress of nations, with perplexity” and that “men’s hearts failing them for fear.” That the “powers of heaven shall be shaken,” and then they will see the “Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

Bur, the end of verse 28 encourages us, “Lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh!” The Son is coming!

For those in a relationship with Him, the Son is coming to bless His people!  Those who have been restored and made new by the blood of the new testament (Matthew 26:28) are those who accepted Him.  Those who accepted Him are those who will rejoice at His coming because their inheritance is with Him.

The Bible gives us these promises of who we are now and what we have to look forward to:

  • “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name,” (John 1:12, emphasis mine).
  • “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus,” (Galatians 3:26, emphasis mine).
  • “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, (Ephesians 2:19, emphasis mine).
  • “Ye are Christ’s!” He has secured membership for you and me. He has redeemed us and set in a place to be called His own. We are now “joint-heirs” with Him, we are connected with Him, (Romans 8:17, emphasis mine).
  • “Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!” (Psalm 31:19, NKJV, emphasis mine).
  • “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:12)
  • “In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8, NASB)
  • “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1 Peter 5:4)

Our future ahead looks awesome because of He whom we are waiting for!

God promised a Redeemer and He is the Son, and the Son is coming! We who belong to Him have something to get happy about!

 

“Hearing His Voice”

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Listening for the God who’s speaking… God is speaking, dear friends.  Are you listening?  If you are listening, are you hearing?  Are you hearing from Him?

Often we focus on the fact that God hears us and answers our prayers.  I, myself, have written on it several times.  But, can we take a step to the side of self and listen for Him?  Purposely open oneself to hear what He has to say to you, in this time, at this moment, for this day?

In John 10:27 Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”  The first noticeable aspect of that verse is they hear His voice.  Their hearts and minds are just baaing away; rather, they are opened in anticipation and waiting.  There is but one voice that garners their attention, and that’s the Shepherd.  All other attractions and distractions fad into the back when He speaks.

Friends, God is actively speaking to His sheep.  God is opening up to His people, His followers, His will, His words, and His ways.  Are our ears tuned into Him as the sheep of His pasture, or are we letting other noises of this world disrupt the flow between Him speaking and our hearing?

God, we need to hear from You.  I pray that You would keep speaking to us.  And, I pray even more fervently, that we would hear and act on what You have to say.  In the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN!

I am a lifter…

I am a lifter.

I am an encourager.

I am a builder of my brother.

I am a minister of my sister.

I am an agent of hope to the downtrodden speaking words of inspiration about His freedom.

I am a promoter of grace, sharing words of deliverance to my war-worn sibling of the spirit.

I am a supporter of peace who chooses to use the mouth and the words God gives me to speak light, life, and love.

We are to speak “that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29

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“Dear Bruised Reed…”

Dear Bruised Reed, God’s got you.  Some days may be harder than others, but He’s here for you.  You may stand in need of restoration; that’s okay.  He is able to provide that too.  If peace has moved away from you, He is able to call it back into your life.  If love has sidestepped you, He Himself is love, and has satisfied all the requirements of love, and is able to make it reign in your life again.  He can turn all the hurt and disappointment you are feeling into joy.  Everything may not always work out the way we want it to, but it will work out for our good (Romans 8:28).

Dear Bruised Reed, I’m not promising you there won’t be days of tears and that everything will always be alright for Jesus Himself said in the world you will have trouble (John 16:33).  But, what I can promise you is that when you are God’s child, you can still have hope in the midst of whatever it is you are facing.  You are not forgotten.  He sees everything.  And, you are so incredibly loved through it all.  Restoration is always in His hand for the heart that will turn to Him for healing today.

Dear Bruised Reed, whatever it is, take it to the Lord and let Him in on what’s going on (1 Peter 5:7).  Pour out your heart before our Savior who cares.  He loves you and wants to see you walk in the victory He has secured for your life through our Lord Jesus Christ.  As quick as it is to worry and complain, with the same quickness we can unload the burdens of the heart and be free.

Dear Bruised Reed, trust in His judgment today.  He has never failed a case, and He won’t start now.  Nothing escapes His notice and it is His truth, His will, and His way that will always win out in the end.  Never lose hope in what God can do in your life.  His mercies and compassions fail not (Lamentations 3:22).  We are here today because of God.  We are loved in God.  We are covered by God.  And, God is the one that will see us through when we rest our lives in His grace.

Dear Bruised Reed, Jesus Christ is waiting to be your ultimate source of true peace today (John 16:33).  Turn to Him.  Trust in Him.

“A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.” Isaiah 42:3

But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; And charged them that they should not make him known: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.  He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.  A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.  And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.” Matthew 12:15-21

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“Worship!”

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Worship is how we honor God,
taking the mind off of self.
It’s the moving of the soul and spirit,
of His goodness and praises to tell.

Worship is how we lift Him up,
to the place where He belongs.
In worship, we close our eyes to the world
to sing our heavenly song.

Worship gives Him the glory
that is due His holy name.
With all the hosts of heaven enjoined,
in Him our salvation we claim.

Darkness and troubles try to trample it out
but my worship still remains.
Through rain and floods, and storms a gale
my worship is still the same.

Through trials and tests, pain and sorrows,
it causes my worship to grow.
Hard nights and long days,
praise in my life I do sow.

No matter what’s going on around you
God is still worthy to be praised.
With hearts bowed down and eyes closed
with my hands, do I raise.

Stepping into worship I empty my heart
of all my cares and woes.
For He is the One who brings me out.
Of this, I surely know.

Getting rid of all the strife,
in worship do I release.
Putting Him on a pedestal
as my whole, my centerpiece.

God is good and God is great,
in worship, that’s what we do.
By and by, life goes on.
But won’t you worship Him, too!

“Give unto the LORD the glory due His name,” Psalm 29:1

“Our Thoughts Vs. God’s Leading”

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I have learned, that as humans, we don’t really know what we want some of the time.  Oh, we have goals, desires, and aspirations, but often how to attain them becomes skewered in our thinking.  We may pray for God to move this obstacle out of the way or transfer that particular issue over there, and when He does, we are just not happy or totally satisfied with the results.  Sometimes things don’t look or feel like we thought it should.

That’s because as humans we have to realize our limitations.  We are not all-knowing.  We can barely get through one day with all our faculties intact, let alone for us to try to tell our own end from the beginning and what we think our tomorrows and future should look like.

We can pray about things that bother us and concern us but ultimately we have to be willing to let God lead.  And, sometimes we even have to pray that He would help us to follow that leading.  When He leads, we don’t always understand the outcome, but then again, if we did, it wouldn’t be the walk of faith, filled with trust in our God that we are called to walk.

Our thoughts can lead us into the land of wondering, but it is our daily prayer that our hearts will follow God in the pursuit of what He has in store for our lives.  The Bible tells us, “The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile,” (Psalm 94:11, NKJV).  Some other translations relate that word “futile” found in the NKJV as “worthless” (NLT), “vanity” (KJV), and “meaningless” (HCSB) just to name a few.

In other words, our thoughts about a situation compared to God’s cannot be matched.  Did not the Bible tell us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts,” (Isaiah 55:8-9)?  What He knows about a circumstance far surpasses anything our intellectual capabilities can begin to even imagine.  With that being said, our thoughts take a back seat to His sovereign leading.  

As hard as it may be to let go of the wheel and allow God to steer, it is something we must do if we are to drive in the right direction and course for our best and most successful life in Him.  We have to end the constant back and forth tug of war for control of our lives and submit to the One who is in control of our lives.

 

 

“Jesus Loves You To The End!”

“Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end,” John 13:1

Eventually, the love of friends fades.  As years go by we grow up and move on with our lives.  Even some familial relationships can wane with the passing of time.  But, there is one love that never quits on you.  His promise was to never leave you nor forsake you, Heb. 13:5.  He showed His devotion to His disciple right up to the end.  And daily, He shows His devotion to each and every one of us by continually being there for us, loving us, interceding for us and hearing us when we call.

I am personally amazed at His undying devotion to us.  Through all of our faults, shortcomings, and mess, He still stays committed to us even “to the end.”  This is a source of comfort and reassurance for them that are His.  Despite the tragedies of life or how much we feel like we are not measuring up, we have a Savior, nay a friend that sticks closer than a brother, Pro. 18:24.

The times and tides of life may ebb and flow, come and go, but Jesus is a solid source never to be moved.  Somebody said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over!”  And, since we are here today alive and with breath in our bodies, guess what, it’s not the end.  Bolster your faith today in this great truth that no matter what it may look like right now, Jesus loves you to the end!  God bless you!