Saturday, March 31, 2012
John 4:1-4 Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria,
Jesus was headed to Galilee, but He needed to go by way of Samaria. Why did He need to go through Samaria? Well, He had a divine encounter, a special appointment that He had to keep. He knew that this lady needed Him and she would be at Jacob's well at Sychar at noon and He didn't want to miss her. She was thirsty and the only thing that would satisfy was the living water that He could give her.
Are you dry spiritually this morning? Has the flame of your fire for Jesus lost it's intensity? You can have that same encounter with Jesus that the woman at the well had if you will just come to Him and drink of the living water that He offers. She came to that well at noon because all the “respectable” ladies went early in the morning and she was an outcast in the community because she had been married five times and was now living with a man.
Do you feel like an outcast, rejected by those around you, unable to live up to people's expectations? Jesus understands your feelings. He will not turn you away or reject you for the mistakes you may have made in your past. He loves you! He wants to have a personal relationship with you. He said in John 7:37, 38 “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” He has that same living water today to give to whomever will come to Him as He did the day the woman at the well met her Master.
Jesus told that woman everything she had ever done. He didn't condemn her, but He let her know that He knew her and she could find healing and wholeness in Him. He offers that same healing to you today, only for the asking. This woman needed satisfaction and contentment in her life. She had searched from one relationship to another to fill the void in her life. But only Jesus can take the deepest longings of a person's heart and bring into it the satisfaction that is needed. That woman became a great evangelist that day. She went back and told all the “men” about Jesus. She was most comfortable with the men so she started there. They, in turn, told the others and a great revival was started in that city. You see, when you are filled with Living Water, it spills out onto everyone around you. You can't hold it in! Just as that woman couldn't resist telling others about Jesus, so you will, too, when you are filled with the very Spirit of the Living God! His love will fill you to overflowing and you will have a desire to spread that love to all those around you.
Come to Jesus today! Come and receive that which you can't buy; that manna from above, the living water that satisfies.
Thank You, Lord, for Your living water; Your Spirit that fills me to overflowing. I receive today, anew and afresh, the life that only You can give. Thank You, for filling my heart with contentment and satisfaction. Thank You for living within me and flowing through me to touch those around me with Your life. I pray for those who might have lost that fire within this morning, Father, and ask You to renew their love for You. Fill them, once again, Father, with a hunger and thirst for You and You alone that cannot be quenched. Give them the fire of Your Spirit to burn within them and make them into people that You can flow through to touch humanity for Your kingdom. Thank You, Lord, for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Friday, March 30, 2012
1 Timothy 1:19 Cling tightly to your faith in Christ, and always keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.
Disappointments in life, if not submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, can shipwreck a person's faith.
As I was praying this morning about what to say in this blog, I was reminded of the message the Lord gave me to speak to a Singles Group at the church of my late husband.
Larry was a very outgoing person, full of laughter and fun to be around. He not only loved the Lord with all his heart, but he wasn't afraid to share that love with all that he met. He never met a stranger. We had been married only 7 ˝ weeks when he suffered a massive stroke and went home to be with the Lord. I was devastated! I had prayed and sought the Lord's will in this marriage and was looking forward to spending the rest of my life with this one special gentleman. And I had no more than finished sending out thank you notes for wedding gifts when I found myself making funeral arrangements. My faith was being sorely tested! I struggled with the loss of my husband, not just in losing the man I loved, but also in the death of a dream; a dream for a godly marriage which I hadn't had. Much prayer had gone into the making of this marriage even to the point of selling my house, moving from the area that I had lived in for 18 years to a city 90 miles away and leaving a job with over 10 years tenure to take a new job in the City. So many changes had been made that were irreversible. And here I was a widow in unfamiliar surroundings with a new job of only 3 months. All of a sudden everything in my life had changed and I found myself totally dependent upon the Lord to make it through each day. I often questioned “why, Lord”, when I prayed about all these changes and felt so clearly that it was Your will to make them, was I suddenly placed in such a devastating loss. It was then that I came to understand that my faith was being tested and I was in a battle for my life. Suddenly I had no desire to get up and go to work, to go to church or do the things that I had for so many years done. I wanted to curl up in a ball, pull the covers over my head and stay in bed. But I knew that if I did that I would slowly die, both inside and out. I had to force myself to pray, to continue going to work and church and to do the things that would help me keep my sanity.
And so, as life went on, I had to make the decision to either let this devastation destroy me or make me better. It was then that the Lord began to give me the message, “Don't Allow The Disappointments of Life To Shipwreck Your Faith.” He showed me from His word how others had suffered disappointments and those setbacks were actually the springboards that He used to catapult them into the miracles of life that He wanted them to have. Think about Mary and Martha at the death of Lazarus. That was a major disappointment to them and yet Jesus said to them, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”. Then He raised Lazarus from the dead. Their disappointment turned into the manifestation of the glory of God! And then there was Mary and the disciples devastated over the loss of Jesus, their beloved leader, who they thought had come to set up His Kingdom's reign in their day and time. How devastated they were when He was crucified. And then three days later their disappointment turned into joy at His resurrection! Now the way had been paved for Him to be King Jesus in not just their immediate day and time but Savior and Lord to every person who would be born from that time forward who would receive Him into their hearts. God had a bigger plan than what they could see with their natural eyes. The Israelites in the wilderness couldn't see past their disappointments to get a glimpse of the Promised Land that God had prepared for them. They couldn't see the bigger picture. They had no vision of His promises to them. Their disappointments shipwrecked their faith and caused them to die in the wilderness! As God revealed all this to me I realized that He still had a good plan for my life and even though I had suffered a major disappointment, I could go on and look forward to better days ahead.
It wasn't but about a year later that God once again blessed me with a godly mate. He does answer the desires of our hearts when our delight is in Him. So, in October of 2008 I was married to Gerald, a very special gentleman, whom I love with all my heart and who cherishes and loves me as a godly husband should, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her! God turned my disappointment into a major miracle! And I thank Him for not allowing me to wallow in self-pity and remorse for what I lost, but to be able to cherish the good memories and look forward to the future He had for me.
God truly did in my life “exceedingly abundantly more than I could ever ask or hope” just as Ephesians 3:20 proclaims!
So, today I choose to cling tightly to my faith in Christ, because I don't know what the future holds but I know Who holds my future in His hands! He sees the total picture of my life and I know I can trust Him with it.
Thank You, Lord, for Your blessings today. I cling to You, Lord Jesus, for You are the author and finisher of my faith. Thank You for loving me and providing for my every need! You are My God and it's in You that I trust!
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Psalm 91:2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
Sometimes things in life can become overbearing and the cares of this world weigh us down to where we feel discouraged, almost defeated. It is at those times when we can look to the Lord and say, “You are my refuge and my fortress. You are the one that I look to for safety from the storm, Lord. You are my God and it's in You I will trust.” It's in the time of trouble that the reality of who God is comes to rest in our lives. It is in the crucible of life that we often-times turn to the Lord with total abandon, because it is in those times that we are the most needy.
Jesus asked his disciples in Matthew 16:13, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” They responded, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Then He got to the very crux of His conversation when He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Jesus wasn't as interested in what everyone in the world thought of Him as He was of wanting to know what each individual disciple thought of Him. Simon Peter answered Him saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Simon Peter had a revelation of who Jesus was. He had a personal relationship with Jesus that led Him to the revelation knowledge of the deity of Christ.
When Simon Bar-Jonah came to the revelation of who Jesus was to Him, God changed his name to Peter, meaning a rock or stone. When Peter came to that place of understanding that Jesus was to him God in the flesh, he was changed. That's how it is when we come to the Lord and He reveals Himself to us; we are forever changed. We are strengthened to withstand whatever storm life may pitch at us. Each of us comes to that place where Jesus says to us, “Who am I to you? Am I your own personal Savior, Redeemer, Healer, Fortress, Refuge; am I your God?” It is usually in the time of trouble that we have that encounter with the Lord because we have an issue that needs to be addressed at that particular time. If we've never received Jesus as Savior we will be confronted with our sin and realize that we can't be forgiven through our own works of righteousness because God says that our righteousness is as filthy rags and nothing that we can do will earn our salvation. So we trust Him as Savior. It may be that we are experiencing a sickness that we are confronted with the question from the Lord, “Who do you say that I am?” and we see Him as our Healer. Or maybe it is in the time of financial need that we come to the revelation knowledge that God is our Provider. Whatever we are going through is an opportunity for Jesus to reveal Himself to us as the answer to that need. He truly is El Shaddai – the all sufficient God, eternally capable of being all that His people need!
Today I choose to say of the Lord, “You are my God, in You I will trust”. No matter what comes my way I know, Lord, that You are my El Shaddai, the God of plenty, and very capable of being all that I need in my life. I will not look to the right or to the left, but I will focus my eyes on You, for You are my God. I trust You, Lord, and I thank You for taking care of me.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Luke 5:4-6 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." But Simon answered and said to Him, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net." And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.
When Jesus told Simon to launch out into the deep and let down his nets for a catch Simon responded in faith saying even though we've fished all night with no results; "nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net." He recognized that God's word superseded anything that he could see, feel or think about his situation. He chose to take a leap of faith depending on God's word. And when he obeyed the results far outweighed anything that he could have imagined.
Reasoning would say that night fishing is the best; Jesus told him to launch out in the daytime. Reasoning would say I didn't catch anything when I tried the last time; why should I think it will be any different just because Jesus said to try again? Reasoning would say everyone is going to think I am crazy to go back fishing again in these waters where I didn't catch anything in the prime time for fishing. Reasoning stifles faith. Reasoning comes through our minds, faith comes from our hearts. Reasoning comes from walking through life according to our senses; or sight walking. Faith arises from from within as a result of walking according to God's Word and is step by step, trusting in Him, not depending on what we see, feel, or think.
2 Corinthians 4:17, 18 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
We may be going through a difficult time right now, but when we look at that situation through spiritual eyes we can see that it is subject to change. Peter experienced a night of not catching any fish when that was the perfect time to catch them, but when Jesus spoke into his situation, and He followed His direction, His situation took a 180 degree change. He chose to walk by faith, listening and heeding the directions of the Master, instead of what he could see in the natural.
2 Corinthians 5:7 "For we walk by faith, not by sight"
Today, I choose to walk by faith, not by sight. I thank You, Lord, for going before me into every situation that I encounter today. Your Word is truth, O Lord, and what I see with my eyes is temporal, subject to change. So, I thank You, Father, for the truth of Your Word that supersedes the facts of my life today. I trust You, Father with my life knowing that You are watching over me and working in every situation that I encounter. Thank You, Lord, for changing me from the inside out. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Romans 3:3, 4 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.”
Is God's word true in our lives or do we judge the faithfulness of God's word by what we are experiencing in our own lives?
I think the key to understanding this subject and seeing the manifestation of the truth of God's word in our lives falls in the first part of verse 3: “For what if some did not believe?” God's word becomes a reality in our lives as we believe it. The truth of the matter is that what God says about us in His word is always the truth whether our lives reflect it or not. We need to judge our lives by the truth of God's word instead of judging God's word by what is taking place in our lives.
For example, God's word says in Philippians 4:19 “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” But what if I have bills waiting to be paid and not enough money in the bank to pay them? What if my financial state is in ruin? Does that mean that God's word lies and my current situation is the truth? No, God's word is always true; my life's happenings need an adjustment so they will line up with the word of God.
Another example, God's word says that “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” (Matt. 8:17) And 1 Peter 2:24 “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose strips you were healed.” The truth of God's word says that Jesus is our Healer. So, if my body is suffering a physical infirmity does that negate the truth of God's word? I don't think so!!! It means that my body needs to come into alignment with God's word and I need to do the right things to help my body reflect God's healing virtue.
What about this one...Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” So, can I judge God's word by what I see or do I have to believe in my heart and confess with my mouth in order to receive what God's word says?
God brought the truth of this scripture home to me when my middle grandson was born with under-developed lungs. I was believing that God would touch him with His healing power and develop those lungs to sustain his life. I was strong in that belief until I would get a negative report from the doctors. Then I would tell that report to others. Finally, the Lord spoke to my heart and brought this scripture to mind. He said “you need to align the words of your mouth with what you are believing in your heart”. When I made the adjustment and began to speak what I was believing in my heart we saw a turn around in his health. He rapidly changed. The doctors were amazed and his lungs were quickly strengthened until he was strong enough to be released from the hospital. You see, to believe is not just mental assent! The Greek word for believe is “pisteuo”. It is the verb form of the word “pistus” which means “faith”. It means to trust in, have faith in, be fully convinced of, acknowledge, and rely on. It expresses reliance upon and a personal trust that produces obedience. To believe is to be so fully convinced that what you know in your heart is true, that you speak it out your mouth and function as if it were happening right now. That means that if I believe God's word is true I will speak it and act on it. It takes precedence over what I see happening in my life.
James said it this way in James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hears only, deceiving yourselves.” If we are going to believe God's word is true then we must come to the place where we no longer just read it, but we act on it!
Today I choose to believe God's word over what I see happening in my life. I will speak out what I believe in my heart so I can be a doer of His word and not a hearer only.
Thank You, Lord, for the truth of Your Word. I acknowledge it above the experiences of my life. I will judge my life by Your word and when the experiences of my life don't line up with your word I will change what I can to cause them to come into agreement with Your word. That means that I will do what I can to improve my heath so my body reflects You as my Savior, Lord, Healer, Sustainer, Provider and Deliverer! Thank You for being my All in All!
Get An Email Alert Each Time AVANELL Posts