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The Father's Heart

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Isaiah 63:9 NIV In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; and he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

There are times in life when we experience such heartache that it is unexplainable. In our limited perspectives we can't seem to wrap our minds around the “whys” of it or offer an explanation for the atrocities of life. It is at those times that we can run to the only One who is able to offer comfort and to ease the pain of what we are experiencing.

Yesterday was one of those days in the lives of innocent little children and their care givers who had their lives snuffed out by an individual that chose to vent his inner anger, hurt or mental illness on others. We will never fully know the “why” of that young man's choice to take the lives of others, but for those left behind to deal with the loss we must offer prayer, comfort and encouragement in their time of grief. We can know that when we hurt God hurts with us. He understands the pain that we experience and is there to wipe away the tears and carry us through the difficult days.

When I lost my husband and was in such a deep period of grief one morning I was praying about the “why” of it. Many questions go through the minds of grieving individuals: why did it have to happen?....How could God have let this happen?....How can I ever go on when such pain is in my heart?....Do I even want to continue living in the face of such a disappointment? It was at that moment when I questioned God about all these things that He spoke the above scripture to my heart. As I looked at that scripture I could see the pain of a parent for a child who was hurting. He hurts with us when we hurt. He lifts us up above the pain of life and carries us through the difficult days. Without God we would have no hope! Without His comfort and help we would have no reason to continue to live through the pain of life. Without Him we would have no peace. All the questions can't bring back the lost loved one. Nothing can change what happened. The only comfort we have in those difficult times is knowing that God loves us; when we hurt, He hurts and He is there to love us through the pain and to carry us as we mourn.

God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to heal the brokenhearted; to save us from sin. Isaiah prophesied about the coming of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus, as this:

Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”

Jesus described His mission on earth and the fulfillment of that Isaiah prophecy in Luke 4:18, 19. He proclaimed Himself as the fulfillment of that prophecy:

Luke 4:21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

We live in a fallen world and as long as this world continues we will have pain, heartache, disappointment, sickness and poverty. But in Christ Jesus we have hope for tomorrow; healing for our pain and sickness, and provision for our lack. Through His presence we have comfort when we are hurting and a safe place in which to run when we are brokenhearted.

It is at these difficult times that we can gather around the brokenhearted to help them see that God is there to heal and carry them through their grief. We can weep with them, offer comfort for their pain and support them through the difficult days. We must offer them hope where there is sorrow and encourage them to continue on.

Romans 12:15 NKJV Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

Father, words this morning do not come easily as I reflect on the pain and heartache that so many are feeling this morning in light of the school shootings yesterday. I know that You understand the pain that so many are experiencing today, not only in Connecticut, but all over the world as these atrocities are not limited to just our own land. The evil one is not particular about who he steals from, kills or destroys as long as it is a human being. Father, I pray that You will comfort the brokenhearted this morning. I ask You to carry them through the difficult days ahead. I pray that those who don't know You will turn to You today and put their trust in You for salvation for You alone offer hope for tomorrow. Father, don't allow them mourn as those who have no hope but help them to see their loved ones in Your arms so they may find peace in knowing that they are in a safe place with You. Place individuals around them to support and encourage them; to help them through this tragedy. Encompass their hearts with Your peace, Father. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 12/15/2012 11:02PM

    I have been praying for the children and caregivers that lost their lives so needlessly yesterday. I was saddened last night as well when my very dear friend passed away due to brain cancer. I was blessed when her daughter called me to come because her mother would not make it through the night. We prayed for Lori and when she took her last breath, we knew she was with the Lord. I felt cheated that I lost my dear friend, but I looked at the number of families that are mourning the loss of their children especially and felt that these dear families lost so much more. Thank you for your awesome lesson.

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FISHINGLADY66 12/15/2012 5:48PM

    Many questions go through my mind also. It doesn't seen right for the children to suffer, then the parents also suffer. My heart is very heaven right now. I loved your blog and the scriptures. Thank you for opening my eyes and my heart. God be with all those who were so saddened by this.

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SLIMLEAF 12/15/2012 5:23PM


Thanks, Avanell: I couldn't find any words to pray for this situation, but now I've been able to borrow yours.

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MARYBETH4884 12/15/2012 4:53PM

    God will surely carry that community and for that matter the whole country through this tradegy. It was a blessing to see the local churches open their doors and hearts to the families. May all involved lean on God through this trial. Thank you for your words and thoughts today, understanding the ways of evil in this world is difficult, thank goodness the Lord is only a pray away.

Comment edited on: 12/15/2012 4:54:32 PM

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GABY1948 12/15/2012 4:28PM

    Avanell, thank you for addressing this. The news media often makes things worse by just dramatizing it worse than it is. This was a PERFECT blog today. My heart has been breading since I first learned of it yesterday.

I knew we could count on you to soothe our hurting hearts for the parents and grandparents of all the little ones. I can only imagine. We have been prayiing for all of them.

Your prayer, as always, is so comforting. Thank you

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KATCHATTEAM 12/15/2012 2:12PM

    As the world is comming together , expressions , and the overwhelming grief.
and we are mourning in to getherness. My heart is so sadden . I cANT even start to imagine ., the families how they must go through this time of grief.

Lord come Quickly heal up our broken hearted ,bind up thier wounds . Bleeding hearts. Lord surround the families in your love & comfort as we weep along with the
families . As it is said Lord lean not on our own understanding, but lean on you. My prayer , that all lean on you , draw thier strenght from you Oh lord .
praying Lord they reach out to the healer
In Jesus Name emoticon

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MPETERSON2311 12/15/2012 9:35AM

    this made me tear up a little .You said what I was struggling to find words to say. Amen. Thank you for posting this.

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LOOKINGUP2012 12/15/2012 8:59AM

    God forgive us for not standing in the gap more often for these innocent lives.

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TDEMAIO2 12/15/2012 8:30AM

    May all who are lost at this time find the love of GOD and feel his comfort at this unthinkable time in theirs lives

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TONYVAND1 12/15/2012 8:21AM

  Grieving with all the families. Only God knows why, but as you said we live in a lost and depraved world.

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EDITOR 12/15/2012 8:13AM

    A great deal of questions were asked this morning. You once had the best answer to one of your inquirers, Avanell. "I may not have all the answers."
God does though, and we do not have to wait until heaven to hear His voice. What we do have to do is grieve and let grief have her way with us. We need to let others comfort us, when nothing but a warm touch will work. May those that grieve find the Comforter and recognize Him!
Hoping Abby is back to par.

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Shout It From The Housetops!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Matthew 10:27, 28 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Jesus told His disciples to be bold in telling others what they had heard from Him. They were not to be afraid of man, but to have reverence and awe for Him, the One who held their eternal destinies in His hands.

As I was praying this morning this scripture came to my mind. I was asked recently if the blogs that I write are from an outside source or are they mine. As I answered that person I can assuredly say to you that these blogs come directly from the Holy Spirit as I seek the Lord early in the morning and listen to share what He shares with me. It is my heart to win the lost and see the saved healed, delivered and set free from bondage. With that in mind I must seek the Lord every day to hear and share what is on His heart for I know that apart from Jesus I can do nothing!

John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

What does it mean to “abide”? The Greek word in John 15:5 for abides is the word meno, which means “to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):-- abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry. To abide in Christ Jesus is to stay connected to Him, to continue in relationship with Him and to live in expectancy of what He says and does. I desire to be filled with His words, His thoughts, His emotions and to be able to pass those things that I hear from Him on to my readers.

Jesus told Simon Peter that if he truly loved Him he would feed and tend His sheep.

John 21:15-17 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”

As believers in Christ Jesus can we say as Simon Peter said, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You”? If we say “yes”, then should that love for Him be exemplified through our actions? Should we not care for Him enough to continue the work that He began when He walked on this earth?

As I get older I am reminded more and more that life is short and it becomes more and more important with each passing day that I fulfill the call that God has on my life to share His word and His love with people around the world. I don't think that is too much for Him to ask of me. In fact, I believe He gives each of us a mandate to fulfill the Great Commission.

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Jesus gave these instructions to His disciples before He ascended back into Heaven after His crucifixion. I believe that these instructions still stand today as a mandate to those who continue to follow Him. We must be about our Father's business in calling the lost to salvation, sharing with others that they can be free from sin, sickness and disease and poverty and lack. We have been given a mandate to share what He shares with us with others.

Matthew 10:7, 8 “And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”

As I receive from the Lord I am instructed to give it away. That's what I endeavor to do. In the Old Testament the Priest went before God on behalf of the people and then took what He heard from the Father and shared it with the people. He was the go-between for the Israelites; he made sacrifices for their sins so they would be clean before God and then what the Father said to him he was instructed to take back out to the people and tell them so they could know what was on the Father's heart. Today, as individual believers in Christ Jesus, we have been made a nation of priests and kings unto our God.

Revelation 1:4-6 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Jesus, through His sacrifice on the cross on our behalf, has made us kings and priests to His God and Father. We no longer have to go through an earthly Priest to approach the throne of God. We can come boldly into His presence to receive what we need from Him. Jesus, our High Priest, stands between us and the Father making the way into the holy of holies now open to us.

Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

We can come as individuals into God's presence to obtain mercy and grace to help in our time of need. God wants to commune with His children. It is through our relationship with Jesus as we abide in Him that He is able to share His heart with us. When He shares those things with us that need to be passed on to others we are to freely give them away. He wants us to shout from the rooftops those things that are to be told about His love, His mercy, His grace, His forgiveness, His great salvation!

Before Jesus' birth the shepherds were watching their flocks by night when the Angel of the Lord appeared unto them to tell them of the upcoming birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. After they heard about His birth and went to see the great Babe in the manger that was the Savior of the world, the scripture records that they went and told what they had seen and heard.

Luke 2:17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.

Good news cannot be hidden under a bushel! It must be shared with others.

Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Is your light for Jesus shining brightly today? As the world gets darker the lights of Christians will shine brighter. I challenge you today to share what you've heard from the Lord, to tell it on the mountains and shout it from the housetops!

“And do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Father, I thank You for saving me, for delivering me from the power of darkness and conveying me into the kingdom of the Son of Your love. Thank You for making me Yours. Father, today I pray that I will always be aware of the need of those around me to hear Your word, to experience Your love and that I will always be brave enough to share what You have spoken to me in the dark and preach the message of salvation that You have given me to those who are lost and perishing. May I fulfill the call that You have on my life before my life is over.

Father, I pray for those who do not know You this morning. I pray that the true meaning of Christmas will be revealed to them this year that they might come to know Jesus, the Babe that was born in a manger that came to be the Lamb of God that was sacrificed for their sins. May they come to know Him as the risen Lord; high and exalted above this world of sin and their only way to salvation.

I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ that they would have the boldness to share You and what you have done in their lives with others around them. I pray that they would rise up to be the army of God that You have called them to be. I pray that they would have that Holy Spirit boldness and courage that comes from abiding in Christ and that You would shine through them as a light in the darkness around them. Father reveal Yourself through them, touch others through them, heal through them, bring deliverance through their bold confession of You. I pray that many will come to salvation through their witness! And I thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer this morning. In Jesus' name. Amen.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 12/14/2012 11:39PM

    Thank you Avanell for your lesson. Lord, give us the boldness to go out and share the Good News with everyone we see. We have been equipped with your Goodness to share with everyone. God bless you for sharing this lesson with us.

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EDITOR 12/14/2012 1:05PM

    Amen! Grant us the boldness to proclaim the Good News! Thanks for faithfully listening and proclaiming, Avanell. Keep on sharing.

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FISHINGLADY66 12/14/2012 11:02AM

    I love it!. emoticon

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TONYVAND1 12/14/2012 10:33AM

  Abiding in Him and sharing the Good News with others. May I shout it from the roof tops.

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Are You Shining?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

2 Corinthians 4:3, 4 NLT If the Good news we preach is veiled from anyone, it is a sign that they are perishing. Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don't understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

Have you ever wondered why people don't understand about Jesus dying on the cross to purchase their salvation? Why is it so complicated to them? They often will say they believe in God, but believing in God does not purchase salvation. James 2:19 says that even the demons believe that there is one God.

James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble.

We know that believing in God, or simply having a mental assent to the existence of God, does not make a person a Christian because the demons believe in God and they are doomed to an eternity separated from Him, in a place of darkness, where there is gnashing of teeth and tormenting fire.

The Greek word for “believe” in James 2:19 is pisteuo and it means to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing) i.e. credit; by impl. To entrust (espec. one's spiritual well-being to Christ):--believe, commit (to trust), put in trust with.

So to believe in God for salvation, you would have to put your trust in Christ to save you, not just have a mental assent in His existence. This is one of the things that has been blinded to the minds of those who are perishing that Paul was talking about in 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4. They have trouble separating the “belief in” God and the “belief upon” Him for salvation. To believe or have faith in Christ for salvation is to entrust one's spiritual well-being to Him, to commit to Him, to trust in Him to save you.

The god of this age, or Satan, has blinded the minds of those who are perishing so that they cannot see or understand that the way to salvation is through the finished work of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for their sins. They are blinded by a veil that hangs over their minds.

In the Old Testament when Moses would come down off the mountain after having been communing with God his face would be aglow with the glory of God so much that he would have to hang a veil over it so the people would not be frightened by the glow of the glory of God. The people didn't understand God and were frightened by Him.

2 Corinthians 3:7-9 NLT That old system of law etched in stone led to death, yet it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses' face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn't we expect far greater glory when the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old covenant, which brings condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the new covenant, which makes us right with God!

The Old Covenant that people lived by was a covenant of keeping the law. The New Covenant is a covenant of living by grace. The law was keeping a set of rules and in order to be right with God you had to keep the rules and offer animal sacrifices for your sins. The New Covenant is based on placing your trust in Christ Jesus who was the sacrifice given once and for all the sins of mankind. Jesus took the place of the animal sacrifices in the Old Testament to remove a person's sin.

Hebrews 9:28 NLT so also Christ died only once as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again but not to deal with out sins again. This time he will bring slavation to all those who are eagerly waiting for him.

That glorious gospel of His payment for our sins is what Satan has blinded to people who are perishing so that they can't see how Jesus paid the payment that was required for the removal of sin that would make a person right with God. Satan has hung a veil over people's minds to cloud and confuse their thinking.

2 Corinthians 3:16-18 NLT But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, then the veil is taken away. Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom. And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.

Whenever a person comes to Jesus for salvation and is born again, or places their trust in Him for salvation, the veil is removed and they then shine brightly with the glory of God. Have you ever seen a Christian that just seemed to shine with a glow that was undeniably not of their own works? They just radiate the glory of God! Once that veil is removed we then shine as we draw close to Him. As the end of verse 18 says: “And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more”. If people can't tell that you are a Christian then maybe you need to draw closer to the Lord Jesus and allow Him to change you into His likeness.

2 Corinthians 4:7 calls the glory of God within us “precious treasure”:

But this precious treasure—this light and power that now shine within us—is held in perishable containers, that is in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own.

It becomes evident as a person goes through trials and tribulations, the ups and downs of life that the glory of God within them is not something they are manufacturing on their own. It is God's glorious power within that causes a person to shine even though them may be going through extreme hardship. His power within gives them the ability to shine whether they are experiencing good or bad times.

Do you have loved ones that are blinded by the enemy this morning so that it seems that they can't see or understand what you are talking about when you try to talk to them about Jesus? Do they become hardened in heart at the mention of the gospel? If so, then pray that the veil that Satan has hung over their minds would be removed so they can see the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ and come to salvation. Saturate them in prayer before you attempt to talk to them about the Lord.

Father, I thank You for providing salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. I know that He was the ultimate sacrifice that paid the penalty for the sin of mankind. I thank You for making it possible for all men to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. This morning, I pray for those who are perishing that the veil that Satan has hung over their minds would be torn down so they can see the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ and be saved. I ask that You would place people in their paths that would be able to share Jesus with them in ways that they will understand and receive. I pray that their hearts would be softened and prepared to receive Your word to them about their need for Jesus as Savior, for without placing their faith in Him there can be no salvation for them. Father, I pray that You will create divine appointments for them to interact with Christians who shine with the glory of God in their faces. Let them see the difference in the lives of those who have spent time with You allowing You to change them to reflect Your glory. Father, I thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 12/13/2012 11:20PM

    Thank you for a great lesson Avanell. It is hard when I see my family who have never been saved and I pray for them. They have problems and constantly blame God for them. I have problems and I thank God for helping me through them. I can see what I was like before I came to Jesus for Salvation. I love your messages, they keep reminding me of how grateful I am to know Christ.

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GABY1948 12/13/2012 6:25PM

    Great blog, again, Avanell. I read a book by Jack Hayford not too long ago where he said among all the things we pray for (pastor, teachers, Israel. etc/) we should always pray that the unsaved persons we are praying for would have a strong desire to seek what God's purpose for their life is. God has a specific purpose for each of our lives. I have done that ever since. I remember when I was in the darkness and I actually WANTED to read the Bible (in my old denominational church) but, of course, it never made the sense it does now. I love your blogs because I always learn something more out of them! I pray that your words get through to someone and maybe they will go out and witness to my family members!

God Bless you dear friend!

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LOOKINGUP2012 12/13/2012 4:37PM

    Praying in agreement for those divine appointments!

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KATCHATTEAM 12/13/2012 4:15PM


yes people have head knowleadge . We so need revelation .
thank you emoticon

God Bless

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HAGIN2010 12/13/2012 1:54PM

    Thanks for your blog this morning, Avanell. I had been blinded for over a year attending church and having just a concept of God but not applying any of it. I had my awakening in October and have started seeing spiritually now.

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EDITOR 12/13/2012 12:19PM

    Good blog. May the blinded to the Gospel see, believe, and receive.

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TONYVAND1 12/13/2012 9:10AM

  Salvation comes through Christ Jesus alone. Thank you for sharing each day. I enjoy reading your blogs.

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1HAPPYSPIRIT 12/13/2012 8:36AM

    emoticon blog! Thanks for sharing!

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MJRVIC2000 12/13/2012 8:32AM

    God helps all to see with our hearts and not rely on our eyes which can deceive us. Thank YOU AVIE! I love to read your blogs. In His Love! Vic.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

There are many times that I awaken in the morning with a scripture running through my mind. I know when that happens to listen for the Lord is speaking something to my spirit. This morning as I got out of bed Hebrews 12:25-29 was the subject matter that the Lord was bringing to my attention.

Hebrews 12:25-29 NIV See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “one more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicated the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”

There are and have been many “shakings” going on in our world in 2012. From major weather events to political unrest and governmental changes, we've seen a year of numerous “shakings”. And for a lot of people those “shakings” were not just world events or major weather happenings, but were very personal “shakings” within their own families. It is at a time of unrest, turmoil and tribulations that we find ourselves looking for a place of refuge; a place of safety where we can hide until the storm passes by.

In this portion of Scripture the Lord tells us to be sure to listen to Him when major “shakings” occur. He shakes those things that are temporal so that the eternal is the only thing that remains. His kingdom is eternal; our world is temporary. When everything in your life is being shaken, what will remain is your spiritual connection to the Living God. Your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is what will not be shaken away. Everything else in life is temporal and subject to a shaking. For many the old song “there's a whole lot of shaking going on” has become a reality in their own personal world. It is often during a time of shaking that people turn to the Lord. They realize that life is finite; we are but a vapor, a mist; only God is infinite.

James 4:13, 14 NIV Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city,spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Life is but for a fleeting moment in the grand scheme of eternity. We have but a few years on this earth to fulfill the plan that God has for each one of us. His ultimate plan for man is that we would receive the greatest gift that was ever given, Jesus Christ, as our own personal Lord and Savior. That entitles us to life eternal, with Him in Heaven. When the shaking is going on we often realize that this life is temporary with no guarantee of security. But God offers us eternal life; life that never ends through a relationship with Him that was purchased through the blood of Jesus.

John 17:3 NKJV “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Jesus said the way to receiving eternal life is through knowing God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

1 John 5:11-13 NKJV And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

It is at this time of the year that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, many only see Him as a babe in a manger, born in Bethlehem. They have never gotten past the birth of the Savior to see the risen Savior, the One who lived a sinless life and died the death of a criminal to pay the price for the sin of mankind. We each have to come to the place where we see Jesus, personally, as our own Savior and Lord. Jesus asked His disciples who they saw Him as when the world around them was saying all kinds of things about Him.

Matthew 16:13-16 When Jesus came into the region of Caesara Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

This morning it doesn't matter who your neighbor says Jesus is, or who your husband or wife says He is. What matters is who do you say He is? Is Jesus real to you, personally? Have you received Him into your heart as your own personal Savior? Do you have a relationship with Him that entitles you to eternal life; a life that continues into eternity even after this life is over? These are questions that only you can answer. No one can make that decision for you. There are no works that can gain access into an eternity spent with the Lord. Works will not earn your salvation; it is a free gift; only receiving Jesus will give you the privilege of living in the presence of the Lord.

Today there's a whole lot of shaking going on, but that shaking can be used for your good if it leads you to the Savior! If you've never invited Jesus into your heart to be your own personal Savior and Lord, I would like to lead you in a prayer to do that; to seal you in Him once and for all eternity. Won't you pray this prayer with me and sincerely mean it in your heart?

Father, I come before you right now realizing that I have never made Jesus my own personal Savior and Lord. I understand that You gave Him to be the payment for my sin; that He died for me and rose to new life that I might also die to my sin and raise to new life in Him. Thank You for the gift of salvation that You have given to the world; to me personally. Father, I ask You to forgive me for living my life for myself. I realize that I am a sinner both by birth and by choice. I choose now to live for You, to give my heart to Jesus and to receive Him as my Savior and Lord. I will live from this day forward for You. I give You my heart and all that I am and ever hope to be. I receive Your gift of salvation in Christ Jesus now and I thank You for saving me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer for the first time and truly meant it in your heart, tell someone about it. It is with the confession of your mouth that salvation is secured according to Romans 10:10. We boldly proclaim that Jesus is our Savior and Lord!

Father, I thank You for those who have received Jesus as Savior and Lord today! Thank You for saving them; for giving them a home in heaven with you when this life is over. Thank You for providing eternal life for each one of us who have believed in our hearts that Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sins and have proclaimed Him as Lord with our mouths. Thank You for so great a salvation. At this time of the year when we celebrate His birth I pray that the eyes of the blind will be opened to see that He is not just a baby in a manger, but He is the Savior of the world. I pray that hearts will be touched and the blinders will be taken off the minds of those who are perishing so that they can see the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ and come to salvation. Father, may the shakings that we are experiencing in our lives be a beacon to lead us to Jesus. I pray that none will be lost, Father, but that all will come to salvation. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TDEMAIO2 12/13/2012 8:49AM

    Thank you for your beautiful words : ) AMEN

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ANHELIC 12/12/2012 11:37PM

    Thank you Avanell for your teaching. There are shaking going on all over the world, with nature especially. I am happy I am a child of God and keep my faith strong in Him. I don't fear "the world ending". Jesus will return for us before anything else happens. I have been hearing people talking about the end of the world. I ask if they know the Lord's Prayer and at the end it says World without end. Then they just stand there and say oh yeah. God bless you for sharing God's message.

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ELISADENK 12/12/2012 8:12PM


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GABY1948 12/12/2012 6:33PM

    Avanell, I forgot to comment today...I am on my second to last day of "strange" men working in my house...

And what a wonderful lesson/blog it is today! And your deisclaimer...I totally forgot...that is how much attention I paid to the mayan calendar. Nada

You are so right when you stat that so many can't get past seeing our Lord as a babe in a manger. How right you are but I never thought of it that way! Thanks for opening my mind to see the relevance...perhaps it will help me reach some family members.

And thank you for your prayer as always...I am always grateful for them.God Bless you, dear friend

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PRESBESS 12/12/2012 3:41PM

    Excellent blog! There is indeed a whole lot of shakin' going on. I thank God for being my safe place.

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DIDMIS 12/12/2012 2:38PM

    That is good and I really liked the way you finished it. It is so true.

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KATCHATTEAM 12/12/2012 2:28PM

    Thank You
for this wonderful Blog
I agree with all coments . I say my faith , my hope, and salvation . will not be shaken.

by any dooms day prediction !!!!!!
The Lord holds the true calandar . He is God not man.

nonsence . Let the author of our faith be true !! all others liars emoticon

God Bless all

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HAGIN2010 12/12/2012 1:50PM


This might just be my first real Christmas. That is because Christ is my personal savior this year. I might not be rushing around looking for gifts but have spent quite a bit of emotional time and stress on getting ready for my move. It will be so good after it happens. I need to realize that these things are just temporary things. I am glad that we really don't exchange gifts too much anymore. We just get together as a family and the ones who are saved give their blessings to Christ.

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ANDREAG89 12/12/2012 10:15AM

    Thank you for the thought, heart, and time you put into this blog.

It's so easy to get caught up in the ugliness of the earthly world when it comes to this time of year. Granted many of us are caught up in it (the purchasing of gifts, running all over the place, etc.) that we forget to feel the peace of His love.

We have been reminded at our church about how Jesus's birth was not peaceful - Herod was brutal - but that His love provides peace. Sometimes, it takes that shaking for us to realize what is there for us, solid as a rock.

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TONYVAND1 12/12/2012 10:11AM

  No one knows the day or the hour that He will return. but we can trust in this fact He will return. Today is the day for salvation. Trust in Him who is unshakeable.

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AVANELL 12/12/2012 10:03AM

    I would like to insert a disclaimer regarding my blog: it was written in no way to substantiate or further the erroneous teaching of the end of the world happening on 12/12/12. No man knows the day nor the hour of the return of Christ. I live by the Word of God, not of man who would try to tell us that the Mayan calendar indicates the end of the world simply because it doesn't go past 12/12/12.

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EDITOR 12/12/2012 9:50AM

    I am very shaken today, Avanell. Not in the sense you speak about, but those who would take advantage of the Kingdom of God!
This year, this day, this month is so important for doomsday sleuths!
I had a trusted, (can we ever) prophet send me me a personal download link on the Mayan calendar PDF link warning for only, $4.95.
What in the world is wrong with God's people!
You present the Word free, daily, as do I. Yes, those that live by the Gospel are in a special category, but not to feed on panic and wives tails. We are called to come out and be separate from ALL who offend.
I thank you for your prayer today and may these little lambs of His, find the faithful, not starving, not ridiculously hungry for money people that will stay true to the Star and Word given to us as we received Him!

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Immeasurably More

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ephesians 3:20, 21 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

“Exceedingly abundantly”.....I like that phrase. God is the God of “exceedingly abundances”. There is no lack, no shortage, no inability or impossibilities with God! He is El Shaddai, the all-sufficient One!

The Amplified Bible records Ephesians 3:20 like this:

Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super abundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]--

God, by His power that works within us is able to do super abundantly more than what we would dare to ask of Him that is far beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams!

I want to ask you this morning: What is it that is far beyond your highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams that you would like to see God do in your life? God is able! God is willing! God has the power to do it! God has the resources to bring it into being!

The question then becomes: Why am I not seeing it happen?

Now that's where the complication comes in. We often do not see the super-abundance that God wants to bring into our lives because we don't believe that He wants to do; that He will do it, or that He is able to do it for us. We can see Him doing great things for other people, but we have difficulty believing that He would do those same things for us.

It then boils down to this question: What power is it that is working within us?

The Scripture says God works His super-abundance within us according to “His power that works in us”! His power is what does the work to provide the super-abundance! But many times the negative, unbelieving power that says “it'll never happen for me” becomes more influential or more outstanding to us than the fact that God's power is greater than any other power that would try to manifest itself in our thinking.

The power that is referred to in this Scripture is the power of God's Spirit within a believer! That is the same Spirit that raised Christ Jesus from the dead after His crucifixion!

The Greek word for “power” in Ephesians 3:20 is “dunamis”. It's definition is force (lit. or fig.); spec. miraculous power; ability, abundance, meaning, might; power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.

It is the word from which we get our English word “dynamite”. The dynamic, miraculous, abundant, wonderful power of God is what works in you to manifest His exceedingly abundant promises!

Exceedingly abundantly – Greek word “perissos” – means super-abundance, excessive, overflowing surplus, over and above, more than enough, profuse, extraordinary, above the ordinary, more than sufficient.

The abundance that is referred to in this scripture is the same abundance that Jesus spoke of in John 10:10:

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may it more abundantly.”

This is the same Greek word “perissos” that means super-abundance. Jesus came to give us a super-abundant life! When we think of abundance as a Biblical term we must understand that God gave His Son, Jesus, to die for us to forgive us from the sin that separates us from God, to heal our bodies, and to deliver us from poverty and lack. Those three areas comprise the needs of the total man: spirit, soul, and body. Biblical abundance or prosperity then means health for your total being (body, mind, emotions, relationships), as well as provision for your material needs. The power of God's Spirit within us works to supply in abundance the provision that is needed in each area of our lives.

Are you seeing the exceedingly abundantly happen in your life? If not, have you asked God to do the miraculous in your situation? If so, are you believing that He will do it?

Everything that we receive from God comes by His grace through our faith. His grace is what supplies the super-abundance and our faith is what carries it to us. God has already laid up in Heaven the grace to supply your every need, even the miraculous things that seem to be too big and too far out of reach.

There is a promise in God's word for every need that we will ever face in our lives. Faith reaches out into God's storehouse of provision and lays hold of the promise that He gives us that meets the need that we are facing. When we place our trust in God, pray for our needs, believe we receive them when we pray and do not doubt, God's word says we will have those things that we have ask of Him.

Mark 11:22-24 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

Faith and doubt cannot co-exist if you want to see the promises of God manifest in your life. I'm sure you have heard the term “doubting Thomas” sometime during your lifetime. It is referring to Thomas in the Bible when he didn't believe that Jesus had risen from the dead without first seeing Him. It is recorded in John 20:24-29:

Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Thomas is termed as “doubting Thomas” because he doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead and refused to believe until he saw Him. Jesus told Thomas that he had believed because he saw the proof right there with him, but those who believe without seeing are the ones who are blessed. Faith reaches out into the spiritual realm where God has laid up His promises for us and pulls those things that we have need of into existence through believing before we see them manifested. Jesus said those are the ones who are blessed!

Paul referred to this act of faith as fighting the good fight of faith and laying hold on eternal life.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

I remember as a little girl that sometimes we would have snapping turtles come into the ditch in front of our house after a big rain and my mother cautioned me about not getting too close to them because with their long necks they could reach out and bite me. She said a snapping turtle wouldn't turn loose until it thundered. Of course, as a little girl that frightened me and has stuck with me all through the years. Fighting the good fight of faith brings that thought back to my remembrance and gives me a picture of fighting like that snapping turtle holding on for dear life. Another term that I think about when I am fighting the good fight of faith is that of “bull-dog tenacity”. In other words, both of these terms give me the connotation to “lay hold of eternal life” as being done with tenacious endurance, fighting as if I were in a fierce battle to win at all costs! That's what faith does!

Hebrews 10:35-39 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith, But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in Him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

Don't give up before the manifestation of your promise! Don't throw away your confidence that God is working in you to do the exceedingly abundantly things that He has promised! Exercise tenacity and endure until it arrives! Live by faith, not by what you see, hear, think, feel or taste. God is faithful to do all that He promises in your life. Will you receive it?

Father, I thank You for the exceedingly abundances that I have seen You do in my life. You have always been faithful to keep Your promises to me. Thank You for Your faithfulness to Your word and to Your people. You are great and greatly to be praised! Wonderful, precious, Almighty God, I worship and praise You today for you are worthy!

Father, I pray this morning for those who are needing a miracle in their lives. I ask You, Father, to bring into manifestation those things that they are praying for, believing for and waiting to see come into existence. Give them a glimpse of what You are doing in their lives so they may continue to hope and put their trust in You. Father, I know that You are able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that they might dare to pray, ask, or imagine according to Your power that works in them. Thank You for fulfilling Your promises in their lives. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMLEAF 12/12/2012 6:30PM


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ANHELIC 12/12/2012 12:23AM

    Thank you God for your super abundance you have done in my life. God's power is awesome and He is there through m\the month when I need help. My help comes from Him in miraculous ways. Thank you for all You do for my my precious Lord and carrying me through showing me the results of my prayers. Thank you for your comments on my sparkpage Avanell. God bless you.

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RONALANA 12/11/2012 8:17PM

    Exceedingly abundant is an attempt in our human words to describe God's awesome power. It's impossible to put it into words!

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EDITOR 12/11/2012 5:07PM

    Super abundance! God is faithful and always on time.
Thank you also for coming to my blog lesson today. I appreciate you so very much, Avanell.

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LOOKINGUP2012 12/11/2012 1:58PM

    How wonderful to rest in His abundance!

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FISHINGLADY66 12/11/2012 12:37PM

    God's power is greater than any other power and I hold strong to that power. I really get a uplift from your blogs. Thank you for being so positive and uplifting to me.
God Bless

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TONYVAND1 12/11/2012 10:01AM

  I have seen God do immeasurably more than I could have ever imagined in my life. Over and over again He has led and directed me through life's journey. What a great and awesome God we serve.


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HAGIN2010 12/11/2012 9:32AM

    Hi Avanell

I am seeing abundance in my life. It is small, however, because I am new to my faith and these things take some time, probably. Am I correct????

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