Thursday, April 05, 2012
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you. Psalm 32:8,9
What a fantastic promise this is that the Lord has made to us. We can trust God to direct us, to guide us ever so gently as if only using His eye to move us in the direction that He would have us take. The key here is that in order for Him to be able to direct us with His eye we must be close enough to Him to see His eyes. You can't see someone's eye until you are up close and personal. As a Mother my children knew when they had crossed over the line into something they shouldn't have been doing when I gave them a certain look. They saw it in my eyes! Matthew 6:22 says, “The lamp of the body is the eye...” Your eyes can show people that you are happy or sad, questioning or understanding, loving or cold. When we look into the eyes of Jesus we see love, compassion, caring and encouragement. His eyes reveal to us His character and nature.
Have you looked into the eyes of Jesus lately? Jesus said to Philip in John 14:9 “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father;...” Even though Philip had been closely associated with Jesus there was something that he had missed in his relationship with the Lord. He failed to see past the physical appearance of Jesus. He was looking only at the natural and not the supernatural. Our vision will be limited if we only look at Jesus through the eyes of the natural pictures that we see of Him in the Word. Jesus said in John 5:39,40 “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” The Word leads us to Him and then we must seek Him through prayer in order to step over into the spiritual realm to see His eyes, to be able to follow His guidance. In John 17:3 Jesus said that eternal life is knowing God and Jesus Christ whom He had sent. That word for “know” in the Greek is ginosko and it means to know not by mere intellect but through experience. We must have both the Word and the experience of being in His presence through prayer in order to fully “know” the Lord. The balance of both will bring the closeness that we need to spiritually “see” His eyes!
Today you may feel that He is distant and far removed from where you are. Maybe you haven't taken the time to get to know Him, to really see with spiritual eyes what He has for you. He longs for you to know Him, really understand His ways and live according to the plan that He has for your life. So many times we try to do things on our own when the Father longs for us to seek His ways so we don't encounter so many obstacles in our path. With His guidance we can avoid a lot of pot holes in the road of life that we are traveling.
I pray today that you will seek the Lord with all your heart; that you will not depend on your own understanding in how to live your life, but that you will trust the Lord to show you the paths of success that He has waiting for you.
Father, I thank You for leading us in the way that we should go today. Thank You for giving us wisdom and knowledge regarding the circumstances of our lives. Thank You for showing us the way to take in every situation. Thank You for being Lord in my life! In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Well, here it is in the wee hours of the morning and sleep has, once again, eluded me. Company came last night to spend a couple of days with us and questions are rolling through my mind. Do I have my meals planned well enough? Dale is diabetic so do I have sufficient food for his diet? What about my own diet? Will I be able to stay on my diet plan? Tonight is Women's Ministry night at church. Have I prepared adequately to teach my class of ladies? I've asked Mona to give her testimony about how God has revealed His love to her during difficult times in her life. Will the ladies respond to her and see that if God spoke to her and calmed her fears while she was experiencing a life challenge that He will do the same for them?
So many questions and yet I am reminded of the time when I arose in the morning and was standing at the back of the house looking out over the valley and I saw a car traveling down a road so far below. It looked to be about ¼ inch long and I could barely see it moving along the road. The Lord quietly spoke to me and said, “I look down upon the people I have created. I see them hurrying here and there, many of them living their lives oblivious to the fact that I am looking down seeing their every move. And yet, I am here watching over them, loving them and caring for them.” I think about a Southern gospel song that says “Who am I that a King would bleed and die for? Who am I that He would say, “not My will, thine Lord? The answer I may never know, why he ever loved me so. But to an old rugged cross He'd go, for who am I?” The word says in Psalm 8:3-6 “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.” As I reflect on all of this, how could I be concerned about the questions that run through my mind? How could I allow them to rob me of the rest and sleep that my body needs to function at its optimum? They seem so insignificant when I think about how God loved us so much that He created us in His very own image and likeness. And then when man sinned He gave His very own Son to purchase our salvation. If He did all that out of love for His creation, will He not take care of the details of my life?
It is now that I must bring all my thoughts into submission to the Word of God. I must silence the voice of concern running through my mind and listen to what the Lord spoke through the Psalmist in Psalm 46:10, 11 “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah” My God is with me! He is a very present help in the time of need. He is my refuge from the storm; my fortress in the time of trouble. He is watching over me and caring for those things that I care about. I am a child of the living God. He loves me and provides for my every need. I am the apple of His eye and just as He watches over the sparrow, so He watches over me. If God is for me who could possibly be against me? He has made me more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus who loves me. I can deal with the questions of life because the Spirit of God lives within me and greater is He that is within me than He that is in the world. Nothing is impossible with God and all things are possible to him who believes.
There, now that I have taken authority over the negative thoughts and questions in my mind I can go back to bed and rest, content in knowing that everything will be all right!
Thank You, Father, for Your continuing care over me and the things that I am concerned about. Thank You for providing for my every need and for watching over every step that I take. You are my strength, my fortress, my high tower and my refuge. It is in You that I trust. Thank You for going before me into this day and for directing my steps. May I be a glory unto You today!
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Psalm 19:1-3 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.
It's a beautiful morning here in SE Tennessee. Gerald got up early to go turkey hunting so my morning routine started with taking Abby, our poodle, out. As we rounded the front of the house this morning three deer jumped up from the little woody area in front of our home. It was such a beautiful sight! They raised their tails up in the air and bounded off to the heavier wooded area across the highway. I am forever amazed at God's creation. When I look out the back off the mountain I can see halfway across Tennessee on a clear day. And the view at night is one of the lights of the valley below. When the fog sets in it is like everyone has turned off their lights and there's no one home down there. The serene setting has such a calming effect on me. I am constantly reminded of where I came from, the hustle and bustle of city life to such a lovely, quiet place. Gerald and I were married in the backyard with the backdrop of the valley below. It took place at a time in my life when I had experienced so much heartache and disappointment and God met me here to reveal His love to me!
God reveals His love to us in so many different ways. Have you ever had a time when you were especially troubled about something and suddenly God showed up with His love and assurance that everything was going to be okay? His timing is perfect and if we will listen He will speak words of reassurance and peace to us. I am getting ready to teach a Bible Study to our Women's Ministry entitled “Love Revealed”. It is to help us learn how to watch for God's love as He reveals it to us so we can then be sensitive to the Holy Spirit when He wants to reveal His love THROUGH us to someone else in need. I had a Sunday School teacher years ago tell me to look at the experiences of my life with spiritual eyes so I could see God's hand at work even in the difficult times. I am so thankful that the Lord speaks to my heart and reveals His love to me.
Today as I reflect on my weight loss journey I am aware that God is revealing His love to me as He teaches me how to choose healthy foods over those that are not as beneficial to the nourishment of my body. I am becoming more aware of how I feel when I eat something that is “not so good”. He is so patient with me and ready to help when I ask Him.
Psalm 119:130 The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.
When God speaks His words to me I am suddenly ushered into the light and understanding enters the arena of my life's experiences. Just one word from God can change my whole life. I have seen it happen time and time again. He gives wisdom without reproach, without condemnation and with hope!
If you are discouraged this morning, take a minute to look around you at all God has created and sit quietly before Him and wait for Him to speak calming words to you. He will come into your situation and give you peace and hope, just as He's done for me so many times before.
Father, thank You, for Your love, Your mercy and Your grace this morning. Thank You for giving me the wisdom that I need to make the right choices for my health today. Thank You for speaking calming words of reassurance when I am anxious and for revealing Your love to me in so many different ways. I pray that I may be a channel of blessing to those around me today, Lord. Let Your love flow through me to touch their hearts in ways that will reveal Your love to them. Thank You, Lord, for such a beautiful day! In Jesus' name, Amen.
Monday, April 02, 2012
On the way to church yesterday morning we passed a “dude ranch” that is close to our home and there were some riders on their horses getting ready to hit the trails for a day of horseback riding. It was at that time that the Lord began speaking to me about living life not for myself, but for someone else. He said to me “You have chosen to take the high road, the road less traveled. That is the road that you take when you choose to live for someone else instead of living to fulfill the desires of your flesh. You have chosen to live for Me, to do those things that please Me and to care about the things that I care about. They have chosen to live their lives for themselves!”
It was then that I began to see the correlation between Jesus' life and mine. Not that my life in any way comes near to His, but I am His and called to carry on His work. I began to understand more clearly how Jesus had chosen to walk that road when He chose to go to Calvary to pay for my sins. He chose to take the high road, the road less traveled, the one that would open the door for people to receive God's great gift of salvation even when it meant sacrificing His own flesh and dying a sinner's death. Jesus said in John 10:17, 18:“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” He made the choice to live for someone else!
The Lord went on to give me another analogy of what it means to walk the road less traveled. He reminded me of when I was praying for a godly mate and He was teaching me about what it meant to be married. He spoke one time to me to say that marriage is not about what you can get from another person, but it is all about what you can give to that other person; what you can deposit into their lives to help them be all that He has created them to be. So many times people marry to find completion for themselves or to feel significant or thinking that the other person will meet their needs, and then are disappointed and fail because they don't find the satisfaction and contentment that they are searching for! It's because it's only in Jesus that you can be made whole. No other person can bring that inner contentment!
So we went on to church to experience an awesome prayer meeting! Our service was not a traditional Palm Sunday service, although we waived palm leaves to the Lord during our Praise and Worship of Him, but our service was a participation service where we prayed for the sick, those challenged by the cares of life and for our upcoming Easter outreach to our community next Saturday. We had a wonderful service! The presence of the Lord was heavily upon us as we worshiped, prayed and partook of Communion.
After church, Gerald and I made a hospital visit, a home visit to pray for a lady who recently was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a visit to encourage a teen who had just come home from two months in a state-run substance abuse facility and a visit to a dear elderly relative! Oh, and we even worked in time to eat lunch out....although it wasn't the best meal for my diet (but I did stay within my calorie limits)! We made it home at 3:30, and thanks to DVR, Gerald got to watch the NASCAR race.
So, I learned yesterday what it means to take the road less traveled..... and, once again, I was not disappointed. What inner rewards I find in doing the work of ministry!
Thank You, Lord, for choosing me! You loved me that I might love You and those that you love. Thank You, for giving me the opportunity to take the high road, to be Your disciple, to carry Your love to the world around me. Thank You for the awesome privilege of walking the road less traveled!
Sunday, April 01, 2012
Have you ever gotten up and just felt like you didn't have much to say? I am more of a thinker than a talker and many days I spend just in quiet reflection of life, the wonders of My God, and the life that I am privileged to live. This morning I have been reflecting on this time of the year, the week of the crucifixion and all that Jesus purchased for me on the cross. Had it not been for His sacrifice on my behalf I would not have the life that I live today!
One thing that Jesus said when He was talking with His disciples about what would take place was this: "Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour." (John 12:27) Jesus, in His humanity, didn't look forward to the suffering and shame of the cross. His flesh would have rather not had to go through that suffering, but as an obedient Son He chose to do the Father's will even to the point of dying a criminal's death on the cross.
I think about what He went through for me and I am in awe of the magnitude of His determination and desire to do the Father's will at all costs. Hebrews 12:2 says that He endured the cross, despising the shame because He looked at the joy that was set before Him. He looked at a bigger picture than what was facing Him at the time of the crucifixion. He looked further out to see the joy of many people being born into the Kingdom of God because of His act of obedience. Hebrews 12:3, 4 says "For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin."
From these scriptures in Hebrews I can gain the strength to go on through whatever life throws at me because I can look at how Jesus endured what the world did to Him. If He resisted sin to the point of bloodshed for me, how can I not resist the temptations that come into my life when they are not to the point of bloodshed? The obstacles that I encounter are so much less traumatic and life-altering than what He went through!
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for choosing to go to the cross for me! Thank You, for making my life with You possible. If You had not gone to the cross to pay the price for my sin I would be forever doomed to an eternity apart from the Father, spent in misery and torment. Thank You, Lord, for so great a price paid for my salvation! You, Lord Jesus, alone are worthy to be praised! I give You my life, Lord, to do with as you please. Mold me and make me into the person that You want me to be. Thank You, Lord, for filling my life with Your very presence. You are my Lord and Savior! Amen.
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