Saturday, April 07, 2012
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Today is our church's annual Easter outreach to our community. It is a fun day filled with activities for the kids; coloring contests, face painting, free hot dogs and drinks, egg hunt, bicycle give away, drawings for the parents and ending with the gospel message. We have 10,000 eggs to hide, 6 bicycles to be given away, gift cards for the drawing for the parents and we pray that many will receive Jesus as Savior at the end when the gospel message is presented. This is our largest outreach where an all out effort is made to bless our community. We expect a minimum of 600 people will visit our church campus today. As I go this morning to help with the outreach I pray that many will come and receive the blessing of new life that Christ Jesus offers at this Easter season.
I am reminded of Jesus' command as He went back to Heaven after the resurrection. He gave us the same authority that He had in ministering to individuals, the authority to make disciples of all nations. Then in Acts 1:8 He gave us the secret for the power needed to fulfill the commandment He had given us.
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” He said that we would receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon us. The Holy Spirit anoints people to do His work in this world of ours. When Jesus ministered on the earth it is recorded in Acts 10:38 that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him”. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is the power cord, the one connected to the Father who is the Source of all power, that flows through us to touch people for God's kingdom. Jesus said in John 5:30: “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me”. In everything that Jesus did we see the work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father gave the command, Jesus obeyed and the Holy Spirit empowered Him to do the work. He has equipped us to operate in the same manner, with the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. In John 16:8-10 Jesus said about the Holy Spirit: “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; “of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged,”. The Holy Spirit is the convicting power of God in our world today, causing people to see their need for Jesus as their Savior.
Today I pray that the Holy Spirit goes before me convicting people of their need for Jesus so that as we present the Gospel message to them their hearts will be ready to receive the Savior.
Father, please anoint me with Your Holy Spirit and power to do the work of ministry today. I pray that many will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus as they hear the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Be glorified, Father, in Your people today as we bless our community. May this be a fruitful day for the Kingdom of God!
Friday, April 06, 2012
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5,6
There are times in my life when I sense the Holy Spirit speaking to me and through me in a poetic fashion. Here is one of those that I received from the Lord last summer.
Seasons come and seasons go
But this one thing I'm sure I know
That God is just in all He does
His word is true and He says.....”just trust”!
So trust I will with all my heart
'Cause God knows best and He'll do His part!
He'll make a way where there seems to be none
And fight for me til the battle is won.
So I will trust in His perfect plan
The one He's designed for this one wo-”man”
I may not understand all along the way
But all He asks is that I trust and obey!
What about you, my precious friend?
Will you, on your Lord, lean and depend?
Will you trust in His plan for your life today?
Will you cling to Him like there's no other way?
We wonder if we'll make it; will we stand through the fight?
Will we come through the battle at the new morning's light?
These questions we ponder as we walk through each day
And yet all that He asks is that we trust and obey!
Psalm 20:7, 8 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They have bowed down and fallen; But we have risen and stand upright.
My daughter has for about the last 10 years suffered from fibromyalgia and adrenal fatigue. She has been on so many different medications that she now has an enlarged, fatty liver. She had blood work yesterday to determine just what it is that is causing her liver to be so enlarged. I constantly have to trust the Lord for her health. So, God often speaks to me about casting my cares on Him and trusting Him to care for my children.
Maybe you have similar cares regarding your life and family members. Are you trusting and obeying God's directions or are you trying to live according to your own knowledge and understanding? Worry doesn't solve any problems, it only opens the door to fear and doubt. He is the only One that we can trust in that ultimately knows all and has all the answers to life's problems. I want to be able to stand when tomorrow comes knowing that I have trusted not in the world's way of doing things, not dependent upon a man or the government to decide my fate, but only in the Lord for He alone holds my future and that of my children in the palm of His hand. He never fails!
Thank You, Lord, for this day! You alone are the One that I trust in; cling to and rely on. I seek You for the answers to life's problems. Thank You for caring for my daughter and providing the healing that she needs in her body. To You be the glory, honor, and praise in Jesus' name! Amen.
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.
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