Dear family of God,
My focus today is Jesus, our Bridegroom and His preparing the Bride. We are His temple and in a season of cleansing. Not just a foot bath but, head to toe washing. I'm ready are you?
This is what I know. God sent His only Son, Jesus to our world for the sole purpose of salvation. Jesus humbled Himself to become a man, yet without sin. The only sin He carried was ours. The cross was heavy judgement that should have been ours. Yet, He went and then after death He conquered death in all that is means. Jesus rose from the grave to show us that we too can rise in new life with Him and spend eternity with the Father. We have been redeemed back to the Father. A place we could never come to without this sacrifice.
Now, I don't know what you believe and I sure didn't fill in all the details, but I just wanted to say this. As the day draws nearer, we are required to surrender our hearts. To kill the flesh so we can walk humbly with God. To be ready and waiting, while sharing the Good News, the gospel of Jesus Christ with all we meet.
Maybe you are in terrible circumstances right now. I know many are suffering even in my own family. Somehow though, God will see us to the very end. I place all my hope in Him. I honestly can't imagine life without Him. I am nothing without the Life of Jesus Christ dwelling in me!
Jesus died on Calvary. WE are not required to do anything but receive His free gift and surrender our heart, soul and mind to Him. Let Him be Lord.
Looking around my home I am questioning how much I can really do without. What would I be willing to give up in exchange for fresh life in Jesus Christ?
The Holy Spirit convicts us doesn't He? Holy Spirit acts in accordance to the Father in Heaven. As we look around we can see the blantent disregard for the Lord. Even pure hatred. But, the Holy Spirit still calls these that haven't turned their lives to Jesus.
Because the time is ripe for picking, the Bride of Christ is being prepared to come and be washed clean. We don't even have to stand in line. WE can step up and be showered with the wonderful love of the Lord. Will you? Will I? I say, "Yes!"
Psalm 51:1-2 says, "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to the multitude of Your tender mercy and loving-kindness blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly [and repeatedly] from my iniquity and gult and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin!"
Acts 22:16 says, "And now, why do you delay? Rise and be baptized, and by calling upon His name, wash away your sins."
What makes this so complicated is our unwillingness to get rid of the idols in our lives. The continual craving for things to satisfy our flesh. Oh, Lord heal us! Give us the gumption to stop what we are doing and turn completely to You.
Last time we talked about the fire purifying silver. I just keep thinking about this. Fire burns hot and is hungry to consume anything in its path. We are seeing this especially in the northwest of our nation. God is up to something and I will keep believing although the enemy is loud and destructive, God will cause something wonder to rise up out of the ashes.
My heart goes out to you if you have lost your home to fire. I hope I never have to experience that. I am praying for you today. My prayer is that you find the Solid Rock to cling to. Jesus will never be consumed by evil. We must run to Him!
It may be a strange picture to speak about but I see the Bride of Christ standing on a Rock. She has her feet firmly planted there with arms raised in worship to Her Bridegroom and soon coming King. This thrills me! I want to be that Bride. Washed and ready to go!
There is much to pray about isn't there? Keep Jesus your focus and dwell on your blessings. As you nod off to sleep let a song of praise be your lullaby.
Revelation 22:17..."The [Holy] Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who is listening say, Come! And let everyone come who is thirsty [who is painfully conscious of his need of those things by whiche the soul is refreshed, supported, and strengthened]; and whoever [earnestly] desires to do it, let him come, take, appropriate, and drink the water of Life without cost."
The Lord bless you and keep you in His matchless love, amen.
Abundance is...ready to go
Dear family and friends,
I know you are struggling while the fires are burning all around. For those of you in Oregon, Washington and California I pray for perfect peace in the name of Jesus Christ.
Most of my family are in hard places with heavy smoke and dark skies. So much burning! While here in Montana we are seeing blue sky and calm winds. I can only pray for those of you outside of this blessing. My heart goes out to so many that my prayers seem redundant. Yet, I know the Holy Spirit is with you and praying with words I can't seem to form. Jesus is praying for you before the Throne of Grace. Each by name. Every heart exposed.
I didn't know what I should write today. My heart aches. The thing that keeps coming to mind is cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you. Do you know this?
This begins with a humble heart before God. In 1 Peter 5:6-7..."Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you."
Don't you and I know that these days are the days to separate the precious from the worthless? If you have to evacuate, you can't take it all can you? You have to decide what is most important. This goes spiritually and physically. It even goes emotionally where we get to determine what we will keep our minds on.
Right now the only place I know to run is to the feet of Jesus! I can't figure out any other source of strength but in Him. So, the lower I go, the Higher He is. Sure I have to look up from the floor! It is a good place to be. I have to stay down in my own estimation because I am nothing otherwise. His hand is mighty to save! All wisdom comes from Him so I can ask for it.
"Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully."
Do you know how silver is refined? In Malachi 3:3 in the old testiment we see that "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver..."
God's nature is to take something that is not right and make it glow for His glory. Our lives, though in trials of many kinds, are meant to do the same. A silversmith holds a piece of silver over the fire to let it heat up. The silver has to be held in the middle of the fire where the flames are the hottest to burn away all the impurities.
Have you noticed God doesn't take us out of the trial until His work is done? He sits like the silversmith in front of the fire the whole time the silver is being refined. He keeps his eyes on the silver the entire time it is in the fire. He knows if left a moment too long in the flames, it would be damaged. So, he watches.
Just like God. When I learned this I seemed to settle down for the process. No complaint, just thankfulness He is with me the whole time. I am learning to be still, to be refined. I am still learning.
How does the silversmith know when the silver is refined? Easy, when he sees his own image in it. Wow! Pause and think about this! WE are being changed into the image of Jesus Christ. It may seem a bit hot right now but trust Him to do a perfect work. He will not leave until it is done!
Praise the Lord! No matter if you are in a trial of fire or sitting content under a blue sky; the work of the Master's hand is doing something greater and good in your life. Trust Him and be conformed to His image.
I am so glad I came here today. I hope you are too. Heartstrings is really from my heart to yours, so I hope you are encouraged as I am. Holy Spirit is our teacher and we can trust Him. If you don't know Him, call out to God and seek His face. Come as you are, humbly bow your life before Him. Let Him wash away all your sins so you can walk in the fire and not be burned.
"Now may the Lord of peace Himself grant you His peace (the peace of His kingdom) at all times and in all ways [under all circumstances and conditions, whatever come]. The Lord [be] with you all." 2 Thessalonians 3:16. In the matchless name which is above all other names, Jesus, amen.
Abundance is...walking through the flames
Dear family of God,
Welcome back to Heartstrings. I pray you will be blessed by the Holy Spirit today. I want to share with you a couple of things from my devotions and hope they touch you as they have touched me. God's grace really is amazing and His plans are always perfect.
Personally, I am learning that praise needs to be lifted up before I ever see the answers to my prayers. Haven't you found God works as we surrender our situation to Him first and really let go?
In 2 Corinthians 12:9 we read, "And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me."
There is a song I learned when I was young enough that my feet didn't even touch the floor under the pew. Here it is.
"He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater, He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;To added affliction He addeth His mercies,To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,When we reach the end of our hoarded resources Our Father's full giving is only begun.
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in Jesus He giveth and giveth and giveth again." AMEN
I don't know Annie Johnson Flint and her story but, when I read these words they give us a glimpse into her life that makes an impression that she knew the Father personally. This is the kind of faith I want to have and share with others.
There is no doubt that we will face various trials. Wasn't it in the book of James that he tells us this? But, wait a minute! Don't leave out the first four words of James 1:2! Consider it all joy...
Right there will make the difference. The only way for me to consider it all joy is to begin with praise. Setting my heart and my mind on the truths of the Word of God and what He did for me in giving His only Son to redeem me back to the Father from my sinful state! Even before I see the answers. What is on your heart right now?
Regardless of my circumstances, or my weakness, it is the power of praise that brings the answers needed. It is HIs grace that covers us whether we are hearing rioters outside our door or the fierce wind blowing and breaking branches overhead. Jesus Christ provides all we need! He is enough!
I wonder, do you know Jesus? Have you made Him your Lord and King? Right now is the time to come, just as you are and confess your need for forgiveness. He will cleanse you and forgive you and give you fresh life. You will find peace that passes all understanding, regardless of your story. The outcome will change in the moment you invite Jesus to be your Savior. Your story will be spent in the presence of the Lord from this day and forever more! Please take the time while you have it. You don't want to miss this opportunity! God bless you!
Abundance is...to trust Him
Good morning brothers and sisters,
Praise the Lord for His matchless, unchanging love! While my day has just begun, I want to keep the Lord in my thoughts and His Word in the forefront of my mind. The best way I know is to begin with praise before ever rising out of bed.
Something I saw yesterday while in the city was a sea of people going to purchase things, yet so many downcast as they moved along pushing carts full of stuff. Of course, I didn't see smiles on their faces because those were covered up. I saw three people in that whole store who didn't wear a mask! They, like myself had a medical exemption I assume. Were they happy? You would think that they would be. I only had a few things that I could hold in my hands and felt so blessed. What makes the difference?
At one stop I couldn't go in so, sat in the car while my son and grandson went inside. It was an hour and a half waiting while the hand surgeon checked the progress of his hand and removed stitches. What did I do while waiting? I prayed for sure! We will know soon whether or not his finger will be okay or have to be amputated. So, you can bet this grandma is still praying!
Well, I am so glad I had my little Bible with me! I felt like reading in Exodus. Exodus 14:14..."The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest."
Praise God! His Word never returns empty! The timing was so perfect. I had to stop worrying. This meant so much to me, like having Jesus sitting in that hot car alongside me. Do you know the rest of the story?
Moses led the people to the place beside the Red Sea. Exactly where He wanted them. Of course they are complaining and saying they would have been better off alone in Egypt. To serve them than to die in the wilderness.
Have you ever felt that way? After Moses tells the people to walk forward and watch God fight for them, He tells Moses "Why do you cry to Me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward!"
Yes, it is really there in your Bible! I had to laugh at the Lord! In other words...quit bellyaching Moses and get them to move, now!
Sure enough the Egyptians are hot on their trail and pressing closer and closer. Moses raises his staff over the sea and it parts wide enough for thousands of people to make their way through. What an experience!
When on the other side, the water crashes down again and the army of Pharoah is swallowed up and drown. I realized in reading this that the sea will part for us if we allow God to have a voice in our journey. But, will we listen and obey quickly?
The next place I went in my Bible was to the Psalms where there is much exultation in the last few chapters. I read them outloud and worshipped the Lord right there in that parking lot! I didn't care if anyone saw me. What was important was, and is today, that my life gives glory to Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace and Lord of Lords.
Then all the anxiety and heaviness I felt burdening me was lifted. I sat there in perfect peace. The kind which surpasses all understanding.
Will you trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior today? There is no better time than this present moment. Ask Him to forgive you of all your sins and humble yourself under His loving hand and He will perform a marvelous transformation in you. Your burden will be lifted and you will find the very thing you were born to find. A reason to worship Him. He will fill you with His Holy Spirit and will never leave you, ever. He will give you fresh life where the enemy has brought death. You are now free! Go and tell others!
One more scripture before I close. Psalm 28:7..."The Lord is my Strength and my [impenetrable] Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise Him!"
God is good all the time but if you don't recognize Him, you won't know this Truth. As you go forward through this day know He will part that sea before you.
"Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring, Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord." Psalm 27:14. In Jesus matchless name, amen.
Abundance is...faith is on the move
Dear family and friends,
Do you sense how quickly things are coming to pass that were foretold in the scriptures? More than any other time in history we are seeing God's plans unfolding before our very eyes. I know how anxious I can get when I only see what the media shows. Most of which makes me wonder what is really true and what is a falsehood.
The enemy, Satan, would like to hoodwink the children of God. To cause us to follow the wrong path and be afraid. Have you noticed? That is why I am spending more time in God's Word for direction and protection. My Spirit is surprisingly at peace, while still on edge and ready for a command from the Lord.
Let's talk a bit about 2 Timothy 2. In the first 4 verses Paul is speaking to Timothy and guiding him into what is true. He begins..."So you, my son, be strong (strengthened inwardly) in the grace (spiritual blessing) that is [to be found only] in Christ Jesus."
Where do your blessings come from? From your wealth, your job, your friends list and being noticed? None of that matters in the kingdom of God. It is being found in Grace through Jesus Christ...only in Him.
"And the [instructions] which you have heard from me along with many witnesses, transmit and entrust [as a deposit] to reliable and faithful men who will be competent and qualified to teach others also."
We are called with one purpose and that is to tell others the Good News of Jesus our Redeemer and make disciples of those you are leading so they will be able to pass along this report of God's Grace so many are being saved.
"Take [with me] your share of the hardships and suffering [which you are called to endure] as a good (first-class) soldier of Christ Jesus."
Are you wearing the armor of God as spoken in Ephesians 6? Are you taking to heart what the Bible tells you? I had to ask myself that question recently. What parts are too easy to just slip by because they are challenging and don't sound happy like a sunny song? Really, we were told by Jesus that trouble would be ours if we belong to Him.
What you are suffering now, Jesus knows and sees. Remember that He promised to never leave you or forsake you. Stand courageous until the trouble passes. It will. I would rather have Jesus than anything or anyone in this whole wide world!
"No soldier when in service gets entangled in the enterprises of [civilian] life; his aim is to satisfy and please the one who enlisted him."
So like our walk! We need to know the plan. At least for the next step ahead. And, He will show you and keep you from falling for the trappings and distractions of the world. You may feel stuck in a war zone so intense that all you can think about is survival. That dank, dark pit you are in? Call out to the Lord. Keep your mind on God's promises. Let praise and thanksgiving arise with healing over your soul.
Are you a wounded soldier? Pray this from Jeremiah 17:14..."Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for You are my praise." Amen!
When you read further down in 2 Timothy 2 you will also see competitive games and the one crowned for crossing the finish line. You will see the hard-working farmer whose reward for his labors is to be the first partaker of that harvest.
Paul tells Timothy to think over these things and grasp the application. The Lord will grant full insight and understanding in everything. Wow! That is a great promise!
He also said to be constantly keeping in mind Jesus as risen from the dead. And that the Word of God is not chained or imprisoned!
What do you think about that? Can you say, "Regardless of my circumstances, I know He is Risen indeed?" Praise the Lord as the world presses in and compounds life with those stupid rules to keep you in chains. Praise the Lord when suddenly the sun shines through the heavy cloud cover and the rain glistens like diamonds on His creation. Don't be gullible!
What I am trying to grasp here is that, more than anything else, I need to be so in tune with the Holy Spirit there is no doubt which path is the right one. There is no fear while I am sheltered in His Love. There is no question as to who I belong to!
Are you ready to make disciples by the way you handle tough stuff? What will be your testimony? What is on your mind right now? Getting back to that movie or how you can make more money in your business? Are you really seeing the people who cross your path? Take a chance and prayerfully look in their eyes.
Pray for one another! We need each encouraging word sent our way. I love you all and pray for you to know the Lord God as your Abba. That your relationship with Jesus Christ will be intimate. There in lies your safety as Psalm 91 says.
God bless you and keep you in this fight in the matchless name of our warrior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Abundance is...being prepared