Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Isaiah 43:1-3 NKJV But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;”
There are times in our lives, according to Ecclesiastes 3:1, when we experience different types of life events. The Bible records them as “seasons” and says that there is a time for every purpose under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war,And a time of peace.
This week there are many who are going through a time of weeping; a time of sorrow and mourning. It is a sad time for them. The Bible says that there will be “times” or “seasons” for these things, but just as the seasons of our world change, so will the seasons in our lives. It is at these “times” of sorrow or fear or uncertainty that we can take refuge in God; we can find comfort in His Word and we can experience peace through the power of His Spirit within us. God is the One who created all things and knows His creation the best. He is the One who goes before us into all seasons of our lives and prepares the way for us to be successful and prosperous in them. He says in Isaiah 43:1 that we do not have to fear in these “times” for He is the One who has redeemed us. We are His and He has called us by name.
I have a unique name, Avanell, and many have difficulty saying it and remembering it. But I do not have to worry about God being able to remember my name. He knows me. I am known by my Creator. He has called us by name!
Isaiah 49:15, 16 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are ever before Me.
God remembers each one of us. He has us inscribed on the palms of His hands. He is aware of every season of life and knows how to guide us through each one. We do not have to fear what lies ahead of us because He knows us intimately and cares for us through each “season” of our lives. God didn't promise that there would not be “seasons” of heartache and disappointment, but He did promise us that He would go with us through them; that He would make sure we made it through the “seasons” of difficulty. That is a comfort to me. It encourages me to know that the God of all creation is holding my hand as I hurt; that He is shining a light before me so I can see to make my way through that particular “season” of life. I know that I will make it because He is my Savior; the One who has bought me back from the dominion of sin and darkness. He is the Light who lights my way; He is my Redeemer!
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'
He is our God; the One who is there to help us, to strengthen us and to lead us through to victory.
Isaiah 41:13 For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'.
They say that the spirit realm is the most active in the early morning hours. It is at that time that a person is the most likely to be visited in their dreams by the evil one who comes to plant fear and despair in their mind. I have so many times been awakened at around 3-3:30 a.m. with fearful thoughts and a heaviness that's like a dark cloud hanging over my head. It is then that I have to take a stand against the evil one to remind him that my God is the One who controls my life; He is the One in whom I place my trust when fear comes knocking at my door. He has said that when I walk through the waters He will be with me and when I go through the rivers they will not overflow me; even when I walk through the fire I shall not be burned or scorched because He is my God; my Savior!
Shadrach, Meschach, and Abed-Nego went through a time of fire in their walk with the Lord when they refused to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar and worship the gold image that he had set up. They held fast to their God and the scripture records that when they went through that fiery furnace that they threw them into that their oppressors looked in and saw not just the three that had been thrown in but a fourth man walking with them that looked like the Son of God. They said that Shadrach, Meschach, and Abed-Nego were loosed of the ropes that had bound them; they were not hurt, the hair of their heads was not singed nor were their garments affected. They didn't even smell like smoke when they came out of that furnace. (Daniel 3:13-30)
God was right there with them, walking through the fire with them and enabling them to come out unharmed. That's the God that we serve! He is the God of impossibilities. He takes care of His own!
This morning you may be walking through a fire of your own. This may be a season of sorrow or discouragement for you. If so, hang on to the hand of your Savior! He will walk with you through it and the “season” will pass.
Father, I thank You for going before us into every season of our lives. And I thank You for walking with us through them. I know that You hold us by the hand to walk us through the difficult times as well as the good times. Thank You for being a personal God; One who knows Your children and calls them by their names. Thank You for taking a personal interest in each of our lives. Father, I pray for those who are sorrowing today. I ask You to be close to them; to let them feel Your presence; to give them the supernatural strength that only comes from You for the day that they are facing. I pray that they will recognize Your hand upon them and that they will sense a closeness with You that they have not known before. Heal their broken hearts, comfort them and strengthen them. Father, remind them that this season in their lives will pass and a brighter one lies ahead of them. Thank You for being there with them, Father. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's confession: When I walk through the waters of adversity and fire, I will not drown or be burned for my God holds my hand and leads me through to victory. He knows me and calls me by my name. I am His and He is mine!
Monday, December 17, 2012
Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'”
Jesus, when He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, quoted scripture to him in order to defeat him. This is a key element to our walking in victory over the attacks of the enemy. The word of God is vitally important in our exercising authority over the devil when he comes to attack our minds. In this first attack that the devil threw at Jesus he challenged Him regarding His physical need for food. Jesus had fasted for forty days and forty nights. He was hungry. This was a primary need in His life at that very moment. There are certain times in our lives when we are more vulnerable to the enemy's attacks than others. It is at those weak times that we will be more apt to have the enemy attack us. This was a time in Jesus' life when He knew He must rely heavily upon the word of God to defeat the attack of the enemy on His life.
Satan, described as the “tempter” came to Jesus and said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” (Matt. 4:3) The “tempter” is one of the names of Satan because it describes him by what he does. He tempts people to go against the word of God thereby taking things into their own hands to try to accomplish God's will in their lives. Jesus was drawing close to the Father through fasting and prayer. He was seeking God's will in His life for the plan that God had to free mankind from the dominion of sin to which they had been held in bondage. The “tempter” came to draw Him away from the plan that God had for His life by tempting Him to do things His own way.
The response that Jesus had towards the temptation of the devil serves as an example to us in how we can defeat his attacks in our lives. Jesus said, “It is written”! The Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword according to Hebrews 4:12. It is described as the sword of the Spirit in Ephesians 6:17 where Paul is speaking to us about the armor of God and it's place in enabling us to be able to fight and stand against the wiles of the devil during times of spiritual warfare. Jesus quoted scripture, used like a sword, to the devil to defeat his attack against Him. When He was attacked regarding hunger He applied the word of God to that particular attack by saying, “It is written”, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” To nourish the physical man you must eat. Likewise, to nourish your spirit man, the inner person, you must eat of the Word of God. Food is necessary in both instances, but physical nourishment will not strengthen the spirit man, only the Word of God will do that. You can't fight a spiritual battle with physical food. The spirit of man will only be strengthened through eating or ingesting the Word of God.
Word – Greek word “rhema” which means the communication of the message. It is a verse taken from the Word of God and spoken to us by the Holy Spirit when needed to defeat the devil in his attacks against our lives. Rhema – the spoken Word of God.
Jesus was being attacked in His hunger. The Holy Spirit spoke the scripture needed to counter the attack upon His physical being. A Rhema word from God's Word will be given to you by the Holy Spirit as you need it to counter an attack upon your life. The key to having the Holy Spirit speak that scripture to you is through you putting the Word of God into your heart. That's why Jesus said, “'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” The spirit man within you cannot live and be strong enough to counter the attacks of the enemy without feeding on the Word of God.
Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit would be given to us, after He ascended back to heaven, that He would be our Helper and would teach us all things and bring back to our remembrance all things that Jesus had said.
John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
The Holy Spirit brings back to our remembrance the Words of Jesus, or the Word of God, when we need them to fight the attacks that Satan arrays against us and to help us in our walk of faith. If we are not ingesting the Word of God, reading, studying and acting on it, the Holy Spirit does not have anything to help us with when the attack comes from the enemy.
God told Joshua that he should not let the Book of the Law, the Word of God, depart from his mouth, but that he should meditate in it day and night, that he might heed it and do all that was written in it so that he might be prosperous and successful in all that he did.
Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart form your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Success in standing against the enemy comes through knowing and speaking the Word of God to him in each attack. God told Joshua that he need not be afraid but to be strong and courageous for He was with him wherever he went. God goes with us through His Word and His Spirit within us. When we are filled with His Word and His Spirit we can effectively stand against the attacks that Satan throws at us. We have no need to fear because our God has empowered us to win. He has given us His Word and His Spirit to enable us to fight and win. Are you prepared for the battle? Does the Word of God hold a high priority in your life? Are you eating of the Word of God as often as you are feeding your physical man?
Father, I thank You for Your Word and Your Spirit who gives us the victory. Thank You for giving us the Word to defeat the devil when he attacks our lives. I thank You for Your Spirit who never leaves us nor forsakes us to fight under our own power. Thank You for helping us to strengthen our spirit man so we can stand against the wiles of the devil. Father, I pray for those who are struggling in a battle this morning. I pray that You will give them the Rhema Word that they need by Your Spirit to fight and win against their enemy. I pray that my friends will eat of Your Word every day to strengthen them for upcoming battles. Father, I know that in these last days the attacks of the enemy will increase as he knows that his time is shortened so I ask You to make us aware of the importance of giving Your Word pre-eminance in our hearts and lives. Thank You for equipping us to win the battles of life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's confession: The Word of God is in my heart and in my mouth. I defeat the devil's attacks through speaking the Word of God into that situation.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Isaiah 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.
What are you meditating on in your heart? That is what will come out of your mouth. The Psalmist says that he prays the words that come out of his mouth and the things that he is thinking about in his heart will be acceptable to God. Have you ever thought about whether or not what you are thinking about and saying are pleasing to God?
Psalm 45:1 My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
The Psalmist here says that his heart is overflowing with a good theme and that is what flows from his tongue. You can tell pretty quickly what a person is thinking about all the time because that's what you hear coming out of the mouth. Words can never be taken back, they simply wait out there in the air to be remembered by whomever spoke them or heard them.
Proverbs 21:23 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.
Proverbs 18:20, 21 A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; From the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. And those who love it will eat it fruit.
There's so much in the word of God regarding the tongue and the effects our words have on ourselves and those around us. In Matthew 12:33-37 Jesus even chastised those around him for the things they were saying.
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Evidently God cares very deeply about what we say, even to the point of holding us accountable on the day of judgment for our words. We will have to give account of them and we'll either be justified by them or condemned. I pray as the Psalmist said in Psalm 19:14 that the words of my mouth and the meditation in my heart would be acceptable to my God!
Father, I come before You this morning ever mindful of the words that I have spoken in so many instances that I know have not been pleasing to You. Father, we may think that as long as we don't use curse words that our language is good, but that's not true. You've said in Your Word that if we are thinking about wrong things and our mouth speaks that out that we can be unacceptable to You. I pray, Father, that there will be a good theme running through my heart that my mouth will speak about. Today I give You my heart and my mouth that You might cleanse them and cause me to think on the good things that will eventually flow out of my mouth. Father, may I speak in accordance with Your Word for Your word is truth. If I think on Your word then my speech will be acceptable to You. Thank You, Father, for cleansing my heart and mouth so I can speak forth the right things. May my words be uplifting and comforting to those around me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Confession for today: My heart is overflowing with the truth of God's Word and my mouth reflects it by it's speech. I speak life into every situation!
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.
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.
Get An Email Alert Each Time AVANELL Posts