Psalm 5:3 says, "In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart]." An attitude of waiting before the Lord each morning will make a difference in the path ahead.
What are the secret petitions, prayers and thougths of your heart? "Think of the last thing you prayed about---were you devoted to your desire or to God?" (Oswald Chambers). When I read today's devotion in Utmost for His Highest, I had to pause and think about this. Most of the morning I thought what my answer would be. Trying to remember, because I do spend lots of time talking to God, I finally concluded that my answer was, my devotion was for my desire, in that case.
At first I felt shame. I confessed and asked the Lord to make me more aware of my words. That my highest devotion would be to the Father and not for my own spending on self. The scripture I refer to often is Psalm 37:4..."Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart."
This also goes back to verse one...fret not and verse three...trust in the lord. Then, also I may delight in the Lord! That is pure delight. No matter what His will is, I must follow. Then in verse five..."Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass." Here is where I want to hang out today.
The secret thoughts of my heart, I must bring to Him. Not so I can get the desires of my heart, but to find His desires for me. Because I can't see the road for tomorrow, I must depend on His loving-kindness. His mercies that are new this morning. I must praise His name because He is in control.
Yesterday, I mentioned the garden. Not only a place for beauty but a place where weeds can corrupt the plants living there. It wasn't until we moved to Montana did I realize that weed I was frantically trying to pull and take control of was a medicinal plant. Meant for healing. Now I keep a patch of it growing. The 'weed' isn't pretty so I thought it must not be useful! The same goes for anything painful or uncomfortable to me. God has a plan through it all. He uses it to make me more like His Son.
My point is, there are times when we had better go to the Master Gardener to understand what is beneficial and what is not. I sure don't want a harvest of bitterness, unforgiveness and selfishness. Do the secret petitions of my heart align with the Word of God? Are they a waste of breath? Or are they beneficial to the purposes of God?
This is just what is stirring in my mind today. Where, who am I devoted to? To my desires, right or wrong...or am I wholly devoted to God? I am thankful that I am saved, are you? I am thankful that also found in Psalm 37 is a promise...verses 23-24, "The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and busies Himself with his every step]. Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him." Can you say, "Praise the Lord?"
Please consider what is secretly growing in the garden of your life. Your plot may be tiny or very big. In any case, take time to look up to the Father for guidance and allow the Holy Spirit to til up the hard soils of winter. It doesn't feel good, but it must be done. Nothing He does is to harm you. It is for His glory and your good. We gather together in His name, trusting and delighting in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Abundance is...good soil
Good evening brothers and sisters,
How has your day gone? Mine has moved smoothly with a surprise thrown in. Without any planning on my part, I was able to sit with my daughter-in-love for two hours. We talked about Jesus! Wonderful words of life. I could hear in her voice an increased measure of calm, wisdom and contentment. I am so happy for her! We shared the Word and prayed together just before the children started coming in, asking "When are we going on a walk?" Their energy and enthusiasm was catchy. I love it!
What are the Joys you have experienced on your journey today? Who fills the emptiness of your heart and what are you trying to fill those places with? You know, only Jesus can fill that place, don't you? I am learning more and more how true these words are. There doesn't seem to be anyone else, any position or any substance to fill that gap between us and the Father in Heaven. None but His Son.
I feel so safe living one day at a time. I am so happy to see what appointments God makes and learning to obey quickly. One thing we talked about was forgiveness. Forgiveness of those who have hurt us and even the ones we have hurt along the way. To be forgiven and to forgive is the greatest freedom we have. But, not able to do this unless, we are found in Christ.
We also talked about God's nature being love. LOVE. With all the evil in this world we have asked Him "Why did this happen or Why didn't You prevent this disaster in my life?" The answer, is God is also Light. LIGHT. Pure and perfect. So, God being also, Judge, has to judge the darkness of men's souls. Sin. It abounds but the covering grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is over everyone of those, as we bring them to the cross. Lay them at His feet and watch the miracles unfold as we step out in faith. God is good. GOOD.
This is Monday, and not like any other. There may be some of the same movements of the clock, but nothing is the same as before. If you are breathing, the air is filling your lungs with fresh air given to you from the Almighty. Until your heart stops beating, you have a chance to recover from the wounds of unforgiveness. You have a chance to choose love over death by the words of your mouth and the attitudes of your heart. I know, this is what I am learning too.
And, forgiveness isn't easy! But we have Christ's example. He forgave His own people for putting Him on the cross. He forgave Peter, the guy who walked beside Jesus, but then, denied even knowing Him when Jesus needed him the most. There were others. Was Jesus bitter? Not in the least. Hebrews 12:15 says, "See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled."
Right now, the day before Spring, I am searching the ground for evidence of new life. While I am writing you now, I realize in all that growth, there are weeds getting excited about showing up too! That thought sorta dampened my joyful expectation. Oh, well. Point taken. Watch out for the weeds of bitterness too.
Failure to forgive, not only wounds our Lord, our Savior; but it can destroy us. The garden of your life was intended for Love, Light and Goodness. By the tick of the clock we make choices. What will we grow? What will we produce by our lives? Can you say, "I choose" knowing that it pleases God. That you will be faithful in His faithfulness? That you will choose words of blessing and love? Today is the day. Not just any Monday!
Father, we pray that You will give us Your nature of love. When we see others doing it wrong to remember, we have too. It isn't that we want to do it right, anyone can do that; but, that we do it well. That we love well and live well before Your Holiness. Make us like you. Take away our pride, anger, and even when we don't know what to say or how to say it, that we would run to You. Let nothing stand in the way of forgiveness. Help us to be the example like Jesus was. We are blessed to call You Abba and welcome You into our lives. Shine Your Light, Your Love in and through us in the matchless name of Jesus, amen.
Abundance is...Now is the time
Good morning dear friends,
Today is Saint Patricks day and there are many who believe wearing green is the color of choice. My view is, he was a man. As I grow closer to the Lord I am remember all of the people and times that, in the past, I have held in great regard. Putting them above God. Yes, God gives us pictures of hope in many ways. Through many people. Question? Are they pointing the way to God? And, is it true?
Reading in Luke 7:36-50 is the story about a woman. It happened while Jesus was dining in the house of a Pharasee. This woman was regarded as an especially wicked sinner. However, she had a purpose for coming to this Pharasee's home. She crashed his party carrying an alabaster flask of ointment. When she found where Jesus was reclining, she began to wipe the Lord's feet with her tears and dry them with her hair. She even kissed His feet affectionately. If that wasn't enough to get the people riled up, she proceeded to pour the expensive ointment on His feet! The people were miffed, but she didn't notice. Her heart was breaking and being poured out at the feet of the Master.
A great sacrifice! Noted by Jesus. He received the tender care of this social outcast, devoted to sin. By the end of this we read in verse 50..."But Jesus said to the woman, Your faith has saved you; go (enter) into peace [in freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin]." Forgiven was His gift to her!
Jesus sees us as someone worth saving and setting free. Are you free? We can recite all the blessings written by Saint Patrick or any other saint for that matter. We can rehearse over again; "May your troubles be less and your blessings be more and nothing but happiness come through your door." Well, that would be great wouldn't it? Is that what the Lord is calling you too? Rather, I hear Him calling me to come away with Him, to be subject to Him, submisive to the role and circumstance He brings me into and carries me through. My Shepherd.
Okay, I suppose right here you are thinking, "wow, she is sure bringing me down about now". Well, then, you may have not brought a sacrifice of value to the Lord yet. What is it? Your whole heart, mind, soul and strength. I am still learning to apply this to everything in my life. I want to need the Lord more than anything or anyone else. I also need to go forward joyfully! So as far as "bringing you down", let's allow our hearts and minds to be lifted up.
The woman at Jesus feet is the place to be when sin is loaded on your back like a large stone. With every step your feet will soon drag with regret. There is only One Person Who can lift that heavy stone from you. Do we really want freedom from all distresses? The distresses come from selfishness, self-centered ways and a life apart from Christ. To be really free! Can you imagine the smile on this woman's face? As she realized that everyone had their eyes on her...she could lift her head now, free. The weight of her sin gone! She probably felt like she was walking on a cloud! Her sacrifice was worth more now than it was in the alabaster jar.
Will you be poured out in the love you have for Jesus? If I never leave my home today, I will still be pouring out love as His Love fills me, so my cup is overflowing. If someone comes to my door, I will be ready in His readiness.
Your faith has saved you; now go. I pray that you will take this opportunity to bring your gift to Jesus. If you are dirty with sin, it is the best time to come. If you have experienced being a social outcast, devoted to sin, then now is the best time to come to the Lord. You will never be able to fix yourself. You will never be able to 'make' your life a happiness blessing. Not without the Love of Jesus Christ poured into it. Now is the time. Will you come?
My worth to God in public is what I am in private. Oswald Chambers said that. So true! I will pause and think about this today. Galatians 5:1..."In [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off.]" In Jesus name, amen.
Good evening once again,
"Grace (spiritual blessing and favor) be to all of you and [heart] peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)." Philemon 3. Blessed (happy--with life-joy and satisfaction, apart from your outward condition). Praise the Lord, this is possible!
Today, although busy, this kept rolling through my mind from a song. "Thou my best thought, by day or by night, waking or sleeping, thy presence my light." Yes, from the song Be Thou My Vision. No matter what situation we find ourselves in, He is our promised Light. Praise the Lord!
Remember Isaiah 41:10? It says, "Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice." I am praising the Lord! Are you? This is His promise to us, His beloved.
Psalm 34: 1-4 says, "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My life makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble and afflicted hear and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought (inquired of) the Lord and required Him [of necessity and on the authority of His Word], and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." Praise the Lord!
How many of you know someone going to have surgery? How many do you know that are troubled in heart, mind and soul? How many do you know that are completely in the dark of this world? How many do you know that are alone? Hey, are you one of these? Then, there is a Light from the Lord Jesus Christ to shine on your life if...you put your trust in Him. He offers fresh life today. A life no more in bondage to fear and the sins pulling you deeper into the pit. Be free in the name of Jesus Christ today! Praise the Lord!
With all the many distractions around me, I found that my thoughts returned over and over again to my Lord. He is my best thought! All others take a lower place. I pray that it will always be that way. That the Spirit of the Living God will bring victory in my life. I will say it again, Praise the Lord!
Tonight I am still busy with my granddaughters, but wanted to take the time to share with you before the evening closes. Please take care of you before the Throne of Grace. Stay in His presence and sing for joy as you delight in the Lord. He is our soon coming King! Praise the Lord!
Abundance is...Jesus, my best thought
Thank you for your prayers! I was able to sleep without pain in the night. Our prayers really make a difference. I don't take medications, so I rely greatly on prayers and trusting God knows what He is doing. So, thank you!
I read something this morning that I want to share with you because it impacted me. A question. "What if you woke up Today with only the things that you Thanked God for yesterday?" Great question isn't it? What were you thanking God for yesterday? Does it really make a difference for today? I believe it does.
Our thoughts are known by the Lord, everyone of them. He knows when they are negative and dwelling on things of this world. He knows when we are trying to figure out things, without His help. As I read Proverbs 16:3 again, I see a key. Can you? "Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed."
Did you find it? The measure that I take it all to Him is the measure that I will have His mind for every step. When Jesus walked on this earth as a man, He only did what the Father instructed Him to do, in everything. What the Lord wants us to do is begin to go deeper in relationship with Him. Giving thanks for even the small stuff is vital. To do this, it means spending time with Jesus. Whether I am looking for success or to just manage, it still holds true that I want to think as He does!
My heart of thanks today will, in fact, be the platform for my tomorrow. I can trust Him to keep me strong enough for every thing that comes my way, including pain. How can we give thanks for such a thing? Well, each of you may be in a trial, much more demanding than my own. There is no difference, because we each have the same Father! His perfect love will see us through. His love letter, the Bible, tells us the whole story. We just have to take the time to know Him.
Now, what are you thanking God for today that will make the difference in your tomorrow? I feel impressed to leave it right here and close for now. I am praying for you and trust that you are clinging to and trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as you take one step after another. He is able to keep you! Give Him thanks for everything. Father God is absolutely good. Bless you in the mighty, unforgettable name of Jesus, amen.
Abundance is...it is well with my soul