The Gates of Glory

Your beauty, O God, cannot be compared. I pray for many souls to be able to experience Your gates of glory. To walk through the doorways of heaven and to have their eyes feast on the sight of wonders beyond compare.

I pray for hearts to feel the embrace of love as everything in heaven welcomes them home. I pray for many to know what it is like to leave all the worries of this world outside those doors and to celebrate total freedom from all that tried to hold them down.

On this side of those gates, we can only imagine what that day will look like. But over there, the rich fulfillment of every Scripture-breathed promise will be seen, known, and felt, beautifully overwhelming us with the glory of our God.

Oh, that day is coming, dear friend. All will be revealed, and we will wonder no more. No, because there, we move from wonder to experience and this experience is its own reward.

Father God, thank You that You have prepared such a glorious place for us to dwell with You for all eternity. Beyond those gates, You welcome us into Your heavenly throne room. You welcome us into Your presence forever, no more to be separated by sin, death, and every failing thing this world offered. “In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11). Beyond the gates of glory, our souls will take in every beautiful thing that You are without hindrance or obstacle. Beyond those gates is where I want to be, and I thank You for this salvation You have secured for me. It is my heart’s desire for many souls to be blessed to enjoy Your presence. In the mighty and matchless name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray, AMEN!

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The Real Gift of Christmas Was Born!

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

He is not found on display in a decorated window.

Nor will He be purchased from off the store shelf.

No, the only purchasing to be done is

when He came to purchase you for Himself (Titus 2:14).

 

For you, the Savior has come.

For you, the prophecy had been fulfilled.

For you, heaven’s glory was housed in a manger.

For you, He was born by God’s overshadowing will.

 

The greatest Christmas gift one has ever,

or will ever receive,

is the truest reason for Christmas itself

found in Christ our Lord, the newborn King.

 

If it were not for us, He would not have come.

If it were not for us, there would be no need to be born.

But born He was, God in the flesh (Matthew 1:23; 1 Timothy 3:16)

purposed to save us from sin and eternal death.

December 25th is waited for with hope throughout the year of giving and receiving gifts. But on that holy night, at the announcement of the Lord’s birth by the angel, the shepherds working the sheep in the field knew the real gift of Christmas had been waited upon for much longer.

“For unto you.” Let the beauty of those words speak to your heart. The gift of Jesus was given for you, for us, for me.

God’s gift, wrapped in swaddling clothes at His birth (Luke 2:12), and linen at His burial (John 19:40), was personally wrapped and given for failing humanity.

May we ponder, as Mary did that night, the real gift of Christmas a little more closely this year. I pray that you would feel the Father’s love as He presents this Gift to you for unwrapping. I pray you would know the heart of the Father more fully as you receive His “indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15) for yourself.

Christ was given, by the hand of God, for all who were, and for all who were to come: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17).

For this Christmas, and all to come, no Christmas gift could be or should be cherished more, than this gift of God’s great love (John 3:16).

At the trial of His crucifixion, Jesus spoke these words:

To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” John 18:37

The gift was born for you.  

Thank You, Father God, for the personal gift of Jesus Christ into my life. Neither words nor time would be enough to express my deepest gratitude for the Savior. Your Gift has intervened in my life and saved me, helped me, protected me, and blessed me far more than I deserve. My thank You seems inadequate for this season, but humbly thank You, I do, and I praise You for the real Gift of Christmas in my life.

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I will remember . . .

Taking time to remember all God has done for you, where God has brought you from, and all that God has delivered you through is always a good idea. “I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.” Psalm 77:11

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Standing on the Edge

Sometimes you may come to a place that seems impossible to pass.  This is a place that edges the border of what we have been delivered from to where we are being brought to.  It is in situations like these, when God shows up, there is no doubt that His hands have been working something extraordinary through it all.  The waters may crash on the shores before and the enemy’s army may be rolling behind, but God sees you, standing there on the fringe, in a world where these two impossibilities meet, yet in Him, there is nothing impossible.  In Him, there is always a way.  In Him, you are not in a helpless position.  In Him, the victory is already won.  Before you ever came to this place, He already knew what He would do.  So rest, weary one, in His sovereignty.  Rest in His plan.  You may not understand it, but He does.  You may not know how it will work out, but He does.  This will be performed by His strength, His wisdom, and His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6), not by anything we say or do.  In getting past this place, all glory, honor, praise, and credit go to God.  He is the one who will get you to the other side in peace and wholeness, with singing and rejoicing (Exodus 15:1-21).  To you who are standing on the edge, in Him, you are not standing alone.

 “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.

The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:

But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.

And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.” Exodus 14:13-18

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“There is no place . . .”

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“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” (Psalm 139:7-12)

There is no place, O God, that can keep me from Your sight.  Your eyes see me.  Your heart knows me.  Your love shelters me.  Your mercy follows me all the days of my life (Psalm 23:6).

Help me to walk through my days in this holy confidence: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” (Hebrews 13:5).

Your Word has assured me, for it cannot lie (Numbers 23:19).  Your Spirit comforts me (John 14:16; 16:7).  With Your hand holding us, You tell us not to fear (Isaiah 41:10).

Although some days seem dismal, You are the Light that shines in my life (Psalm 18:28).

Where can I go . . .?  You have the words to eternal life (John 6:68), therefore, I will most gladly plant myself in Your presence, at Your feet alongside Mary (Luke 10:39).

Thank You, for Your knowledge of me, O God.  Thank You, for Your precious thoughts toward me (Psalm 139:17).  Thank You, for anchoring me and not leaving me on the waters of this life to drift about aimlessly (Hebrews 6:19).  And thank You, for leading me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:24).

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Father God, on You do I wait. . .

God’s Word is my firm foundation and on the promises written within, I wait! “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5, NIV

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In God, we are blessed!

Day by day, God helps to carry us and our burdens. His love bears us up and in Him we are blessed!  “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.” Psalm 68:19

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Today, You are held!

Friend, today you are held. You are safe and secure in the Father’s hand. Jesus said, “No one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand,” (John 10:29).  Rest in the grip of God’s grace. 

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Rebuilding Ruins


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“And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.

Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it.” Ezekiel 36:35-36

Archaic and ancient, yet there is beauty within.  Rubbled and ruined, but potential peeks through with the willingness to start again, to be reborn with purpose once more.

I must say, I am drawn to history and design in this manner.  I love to learn about places of old.  I am drawn to those shows and documentaries that feature taking these older places and structures, revitalizing them, restoring their ancient beauty, and making them livable and valuable once more.

If you are inclined to watch such programming, you will see that meticulous care is taken in the restoration process.  And the older a place is, with more original features, the chances are the work that needs to be done cannot be done by just any rebuilder. Instead, those who are trained to deal with period pieces and materials are called in to work with their expertise on the structure to remake it to be as close to the original as possible.

God has always been in the rebuilding business.  From the time of the Fall, and the Flood, and many points in between and beyond, though His people went through adversity, it was done with the intent of a new and fresh start from their sins and mistakes.

In ancient captivity, the children of Israel lived in bondage to the Babylonians due to their own sins and wayward ways.  But God, in this chapter, looked forward to a time of restoration; a time of renewal for His people.  A time and a moving that will bring glory to His name and not the dishonor that had been promoted by His people’s unholy living (36:21).

God was going to gather His people from where they had been dispersed and bring them back home (36:24), and the great rebuilding process would begin.  Beginning with Cyrus (Ezra 1), followed by the help of other kings, God’s people would return home physically and spiritually, and the ruins would be rebuilt and lives would be restored in their relationship with God.

To accomplish this, God was going to give them a new heart and a new spirit (36:26-27).  God was not just satisfied with cities becoming occupied again, but He wanted inner transformation.  He wanted hearts that would make Him feel welcomed once more.  A heart that would be in love with the Father and His ways once more.  Those were the ruins God was most interested in rebuilding.  The outward buildings were nice, but the new inner man who was being transformed, this is the real beauty God wants to see.  To Him, this matters the most.

When David sought to be restored, he prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).  He wanted to be restored to the Father because his own sins caused a separation.  He wanted to be rebuilt from the inside out.

Today, our heavenly Father is still rebuilding ruins.  Much like David, when a heart turns to Him in true humility and repentance, they can be restored.  Jesus Christ became the way for this to happen: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17); “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).  

When we come to Him and accept Him as Savior (Acts 2:38-39; John 3:5; Romans 6:4), He takes the old us and makes us something new: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17), and we are ruins no more.

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3) – this is where the rebuilding begins.

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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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