Monday, December 17, 2012
From Ephesians 1:17, I pray this over you and myself as the new year approaches, "May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him." It is God's desire to commune with His creation and through the incomparable gift of Jesus, we actually can! In this Christmas season, I trust you'll draw closer to the Creator of the universe, who gave us His all and desires nothing more in return. May His love surround you, His presence envelop you, His friendship inspire you, His peace astound you and His blessings overtake you as you pursue Him and all that He is.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
As I was reading in I John 4 this morning, I was praying for revelation (as I nearly always do when reading the Bible). When I finished the twenty-one verses of the chapter, I realized I had marked parts of each verse! I know people are funny about whether writing in their Bible's is acceptable, but I have highlighted, underlined, starred, circled and double-underlined things that stand out, or that I need to remember, or I want to memorize for years. Verses 4, 16, 18 & 21 racked up the most marks this morning. From the Amplified version they read: 4"Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world." 16"And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him." 18"There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love's complete perfection]." 21"And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [believer] also." These are some pretty powerful statements! Yes, we've heard them before, but have we really understood them to the degree that they are actually realities in our lives - are we living them? Am I living them? Do my actions and thoughts and life reflect and reinforce the truths contained within them? I'm praying for continued and unfolding understanding and revelation regarding them: That because God (Love) lives inside me (and I in Him), I have the most powerful force in the universe within me. That any enemy that is contrary to Him in my life has already been defeated & I have already overcome it! That in Him (Love), fear and dread does not exist because it kicks out every trace of terror! And because of all of this, I am able to love others! Wow! Here's a prayer I wrote in my journal as a response - feel free to use it, too: "Lord, help me to become overwhelmingly conscious of Your love for me. Help me to understand that You long for me to know Your love. Let the revelation of that reality so become a part of me that my thoughts and actions are a reflection of that truth - as evidenced by my love for others and the absolute absence of fear (in any form) in my life. Thank You for this gift. I receive it with great joy and thankfulness. To You be all honor and glory forever and ever. In Jesus' name amen!"
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Many of my friends are posting things they are thankful for on their Facebook pages for each day of November. I believe this is a wonderful practice and reminds me of a time when I kept what I called a "blessing book". I challenged myself to write at least one blessing I had received daily. Some days were more difficult than others but it made me keenly aware of how much we are blessed and how often we overlook the countless blessings we enjoy all the time. Much of the past three and half years, my life has been in transition. It's been incredibly frustrating, emotionally exhausting, financially challenging, and just plain hard. I think I can relate to the children of Israel who wandered in the desert for 40 years - many of whom died in the desert without inheriting their promised land. I believe God led me on this journey - much like the Israelites - though I don't attribute all the confusion, heartache, wandering or uncertainty to Him. I've made choices and not all of them were the right ones. Sometime we have to "go around the mountain" a few times before we realize the error of our ways. Sometimes the difficulties are merely to strengthen us for what lies ahead - those battles we'll face in order to cross over into "the promised land". This journey has strengthened me to a degree that I refuse to wander in the desert any longer. I remember God's promises to me and I can see them in the not too distant future - though it may not be a cake walk to possess them. I'm not willing to let go of them and I will "take the land" no matter how huge the giants who inhabit it may be. With God ALL things are possible! So, I'm tankful for the journey and its lessons. I'm blessed beyond measure and comprehension! Maybe I'll take up writing in my blessing book again. I trust this encourages and strengthens you on your journey. Relish His countless blessings by vocalizing your thankfulness every day (not just in November) and remember Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."