Tag Archives: waiting

{in}perfection

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His shoulders slump and his head is down in defeat as he shares with me a repeated sin he committed. He looks frustrated, weary and condemned. I too am frustrated ready to pile on condemning words, until I felt a tinge of compassion fill my heart. I was reminded of the confessing cleansing conversation I had with a friend about my sins just minutes before.

By God’s grace, I knew it was most important to share with my son the spiritual heart of the matter, to tell him the truth about the Truth-Jesus Christ.

To be transparent and share my genuine compassion for his sin struggle because I struggle too. It was a holy opportunity to share the Gospel. To share the gift of forgiveness and mercy that comes through repentance towards God and faith in the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. To share the freedom that comes by power of the resurrected Christ. To walk him to God’s throne of grace.
It was a chance to remind us we’re not perfect and we need a Savior. Any righteousness we have comes from Jesus Christ in us. We are to practice righteousness, press on to maturity, but only God will perfect us until the day of Christ Jesus.
I write this stone of memorial to remind myself, we must practice patience–with ourselves…and one another.

***

When I was a new Christian I was naive to think I would no longer make a mistake. I read  that I was a “new creation” and given a “new heart,”and though I “knew” I was not perfect, I made an expectation for myself that I should be perfect or I was a hypocrite.

This led me to great frustration and even condemnation because I couldn’t understand the continual struggle against sin I was dealing with, let alone the number of times I failed. What I see now is any holiness I have is CHRIST IN me. I have seen my flesh and it’s ugliness to the point I’ve doubted my own salvation! The redeeming part is that my flesh and sin remind me of my need for a Savior. This gives me compassion for those that struggle, beginning in my own family.

A fruitful life comes by a daily walk of abiding in the one who is perfection: Christ.

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Glorify God. Magnify Christ. Edify the brethen.


It’s Hard To Believe…

It IS hard to believe…

It’s hard to believe I need a sacrifice for my sins.
It’s hard to believe God would come down in the flesh and save me.
It’s hard to believe I’ve been forgiven of my past sins.
It’s hard to believe I have the power to overcome future sins.
Its hard to believe I can speak to God Almighty.
It’s hard to believe God can hear me.
It’s hard to believe I can hear Him.
It’s hard to believe God lives in me.

It’s hard to believe God loves me.

It IS hard to believe.

That’s why it takes a working of GOD to save us:
To save us from this of doubt Him.
To save us from this division from Him.
To save us from this depression within.
To save us from this darkness around.
To save us from our sins.
Oh what GRACE is HARD to comprehend!

Please LORD,
Remind me again how Your grace and mercies are new each morning.
Remind me how the blood of Jesus still cleanses;
Remind me of Your faithfulness and righteousness to forgive;
Remind me of Your presence within.

 

***

God saves
When I was first born again six years ago I was overly zealous for Jesus Christ. Though I shared Christ with those around me, I was trying to make others believe. I had salvation ambition and I came across as a ‘Bible thumper.’ I wanted so badly for others to be rescued out of the darkness and depression I once knew.

But what I didn’t fully realize then that I do now is this…I can’t make anyone believe, not even myself. Saving faith is a work of God.

So today I sow the Word implanted in me…I sow with my mouth, I sow with my writing, I sow with my living and I sow with my tears.

I pray and wait as God causes a growth.

May this God Friday be the day of someone’s salvation.

*Read Titus 3


Going through it to get to it…

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Sometimes the shortest distance isn’t always best.

“Now when Pharaoh had let the people go God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines even though it was near; for God said, “The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” Exodus 13:17

God had appointed Moses to set the captive Israelites free from the oppression of the Egyptians, and God had an appointed plan for them to walk out. The Israelites probably wondered why they had to go through the wilderness to the Red Sea, even though it seemed better and faster to go to the land of the Philistines. Besides, what were they going to do when they got to the Red Sea?

I must admit my mind can ask similar questions. If I was one of the Israelites I would walk the path but I would probably be tempted to grumble, and try to assert my ideas and suggestions. I must confess, I sometimes still do.

God has appointed Jesus Christ as the Way to lead us in the paths of righteousness and now we have unlimited access to God’s throne of grace. God has an appointed plan and specific works He has prepared for us to walk out.

I have left the slavery to sin and entered into life abundant through Jesus Christ, and yet sometimes I wonder why is He leading me through the wilderness, and how and when will the Red Sea part? However, when I remember God is love I settle down. I meditate on His word and wonder in the sovereignty and character of God. I remember His purposes and plans are not to harm, and they extend beyond my own life and what I can see.

God sets a hedge of protection around us, helping us to stay on the path. He has given us Jesus Christ as a settlement for all those times we get off the path, He has given us the Holy Spirit to convict us to get back on the path. As children of God we have all we need for this walk of faith. This path of righteousness is where we experience abundant life and joy, because we are walking in the presence of God.

Whatever wilderness God is leading you through, you must remember He knows the future, He knows the consequences, He knows your heart, He knows what’s best. Yoke yourself to Jesus Christ and He will lead you in the way you should go.

May you enJOY your journey with Jesus and continue to walk by faith, for that is how the righteous live.

*John 10:9-11 *Ephesians 2:10


A Message of Living Hope

The Dove brings us a message of living hope

When you see an image of a dove with an olive leaf do you think of peace? I do.

I also view the dove with an olive leaf as a message of living hope.

Hope is “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.”

For Noah and his family, the dove with an olive leaf represented hope of the flood water receding, hope of getting off the ark and onto dry land. It was a message of hope for the physical salvation of Noah and his family.

Looking closely you will see it was also a message of hope for the spiritual salvation of this sin flooded world. It was a message of hope for you.

The Olive branch foreshadows the event at the foot of the Mount of Olives, also known as the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prayed so fervently His sweat became like drops of blood as He submitted to the will of the Father.

Jesus took on the punishment of sin and death giving us access to the Holy Father by one Spirit. We know that Jesus Christ rose on the third day and is now seated at the right hand of the Father still praying for us who believe.

For those that have been drawn by the Father with cords of compassion and flooded by His grace, they can see their sin sick heart and need of a Savior. This grace beckons them to confess and repent turning from their sin to a life of righteousness in Christ. These are the Christians, the ones with a different kind of hope.

It is a living hope of having a ‘joyful confident expectation‘ of eternal salvation that comes by faith in The Lord Jesus Christ.

The Christian knows:

Maybe you’ve lived long enough in this sin flooded world to see we can not place our hope in education, a job, a program, our family, the government, in riches, or in yourself.

Maybe you have been tempted to feel hopeless and depressed asking yourself, ‘is that all there is?’ or ‘why am I here?’ or ‘why can’t I stop doing ____?’

I’ve been there. I write to testify there is only one place where you can place your hope where you will not be disappointed. It is in Jesus Christ alone.

Beloved, there is not much time left.

Remember the words of Jesus:

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.” Matthew 24:36-41

Jesus also tells us we will be able to recognize when the Kingdom of God is near:

“…Behold the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is no near. So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near.” Luke 21:29-31 (*Read Luke 21:5-31 to know what ‘these things’ are)

Beloved, just as the Bible says:

“…there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and wicked…” (Acts 24:14). We will live in eternal unhindered fellowship with our God our Father or eternally separated from Him.

Come into the safety of the Ark of Christ and your life will be hidden with Christ in God. May God draw you to Himself today, and may you watch and wait in confident expectation for triumphant return of our Beloved Messiah Jesus Christ!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3-9

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Striving Raven or Abiding Dove?

Jesus Christ is LORD!

Imagine entering into an ark, a vessel of safety for you and your family in which you built obediently with the wisdom and direction of God. You know God will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights just as He has said. But you don’t know how LONG you will have to WAIT for the surface of the ground to be dry and when God will allow you to ‘go out of the ark’.

There were two birds that were sent out to see if the flood water were abated. These birds can represent how our minds might behave when we wait for the ‘flood’ of our circumstances to subside: the Striving Raven or the Abiding Dove.

“Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made; and he sent out the raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth.”     Genesis 8:6-7

Since the raven never returned to the safety of the ark, Noah sent out another bird, the dove:

“Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark, for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself.” Genesis 8:8-9

Do you see the difference between the raven and the dove? The raven is like our flesh, striving and flying, never resting in the ark of safety that has been given but being self sufficient to the point of exhaustion.

The dove represents abiding peace, life and rest which comes when we RETURN to the safety of the ark. There is rest for your soul in Jesus Christ!

Are you like the raven, flying ‘to and fro’ striving to fly above this sin flooded world in your own strength? Or are you like the dove returning to the place of abiding rest in Christ?

“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace…” Romans 8:6

If you are a Christian, you have entered into an ark of safety–you have peace with God through Jesus Christ. No matter your circumstances, be still and don’t try to ‘save yourself’ but continue to place your trust and faith in Jesus Christ. May you rest in the finished work of Christ being an ark, a vessel for the Holy Spirit to rest in by continually abiding in Christ.

**This dove also brings a message of abiding hope…{this post is to be continued….}


Daily Holy COMMUN{ion}

This is a picture when I was eight years old. The day I made my first holy communion but it wasn't until I was 33 that I really had my 'First' holy communion with God!

“for through Him {Jesus Christ} we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.” Ephesians 2:18

Do you prefer communication or communion with God?

Communication’ and ‘Communion’ have similar definitions. The first is the ‘imparting or exchanging of information or news’ and the latter is ‘the sharing of intimate thoughts and feelings…’

Communication can be cold and distant, while communion is intimate and relational and results in fellowship.

We were made to have unbroken communion, or fellowship with God.  Fellowship, or Koinōnia means: “fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse.”

Spending time with God in Holy Communion is a privilege we can experience because of what Jesus Christ has done (Ephesians 2:13; Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12).

For years I tried in my own strength to communicate with God; I prayed, I wrote to Him in journals, I even ‘completed’ my ‘first holy communion’. However, it was not until I was still and stopped talking, and started listening that I heard God for myself and had my first Holy COMMUNion with Him.

My religion turned into a relationship.

It was no longer a one way cold communication giving God my wish list of things I wanted, but became an intimate communion and sweet fellowship with Him. I wanted to know God. The more I sought God, the more I saw He is Holy and I am not.

God’s holiness shone so brightly I couldn’t help but see my own sin and undeserving heart to speak with the Creator Himself. But grace. God immersed me with His grace, and I understood what it meant to say, “Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” A phrase I memorized at eight to make my first holy communion.

In the Spring of 2009 my eyes were unveiled and I saw how the sacrifice and blood of Jesus Christ cleansed me from my past and current sins allowing me to draw near to God. I saw how the resurrection power of Jesus Christ gives me power to abstain from future sin.  That day I was taken out of darkness and put into God’s marvelous light, given a new heart and title of daughter–a privilege to call the Creator, My Abba…Father.

It was the blood of Jesus Christ that cleansed me and brought me near to God, and it is still the blood of Jesus that cleanses me and keeps me near God giving me the power to ‘master sin’.

No, I have not yet‘mastered’ sin perfectly but I know my role: I ‘practice’ righteousness and God ‘perfects. I am on a journey towards perfection called sanctification and my mind is catching up with how God sees me in Christ. I’m learning the faith, power and victory to master sin comes from God alone, He dispenses the seeds of faith, Bread of Life and anointing for each day, it is up to me whether I take it.

I have tasted the Bread of Life and seen for myself the Lord is good, faithful and righteous. I want this treasure of communion with God more than ANYTHING and I desire to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ so that I may have unbroken fellowship with God the Father through His Holy Spirit to be used as a vessel of mercy and grace for His kingdom purposes.

I am learning we can’t have unbroken fellowship or commune with God if we are practicing sin; His Word says,

“If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear;” Psalm 66:18

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. How blessed is the man who fears always, but he who hardens his heart will fall until calamity.” Proverbs 28:13-14

I am learning to come to boldly to God’s throne of grace and begin the day in a God morning.  This is a discipline turning into devotion for me. With the many fatal distractions and noise in this world I am making it a practice to wake up early in humble prayer asking God to help me set my mind on the things above not on the things of this earth.  I am learning to cast all my anxiety on God believing He cares for me. I am also learning to put my agenda, expectations and ‘to do’ lists on the altar remembering my life is no longer my own. I am beginning to delight myself in my crucifixion allowing my death to precede His living breath.

This is something I must do every morning and I’m learning to do it more throughout the day. I welcome and cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He reveals and convicts me of any sin in my life helping me to confess and repent and walk by faith in His righteous ways. I am learning transparency is transforming and God heals what we reveal. God does not finger point or condemn me for my sin, but rather He is there to save me from my sin…even the future sin.

In seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness first I am learning about the things I do which grieves the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit convicts me of what I am doing (or not doing) I confess my sins, repent (turn from that behavior and turn to God).  I call this daily devotion: Retreat, Repent, Restore, Revive.

  • I Retreat from all physical and spiritual distractions to be alone with God with the intent to be still and listen
  • God’s Holiness reveals and gently convicts me of any current sin and I confess and He grants me the sorrow to Repent
  • God Restores me keeping me from condemnation encouraging me I am to walk by the Spirit He put in me
  • God Revives me according to His Words of life and His Spirit; I am made alive and I am giddy to have personally heard from my Abba—not through someone else’s devotion to God or book, or blog but from Him directly. This intimacy and love I have for Him gives me a desire to obey Him.

In this daily practice I have been experiencing revival by His Word and I have been receiving His times of refreshing that comes from his cleansing forgiveness and grace. I am learning to walk in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

The more time I spend with God, the more I know Him. The more I know God the more I love and trust Him, that is how I am learning to abide in Him–I am learning to rest in His purposes, His ways and His timing.

Why am I sharing this stone of remembrance with you? It is as John said under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

“…what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.” 1 John 1:3-4

I am praying for you beLoved reader:

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen” 2 Corinthians 13:14


Recline Now, Or Later?

"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

Heroes are fearless and full of courage.  One of my favorite heroes is Harriet Tubman. “Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made more than nineteen missions to rescue more than 300 slaves…”

 What amazes me the most about Harriet Tubman is what she did AFTER she was free….she went back to set the captives free!

Like Harriet Tubman, I too was born into slavery…a different kind of slavery: slavery to sin, but praise be to God I have been set free through Jesus Christ and now that I know Him and have tasted and seen the LORD is good I have the calling to set the captives free!

I’m learning there are a lot of things that can happen between now and my physical death, and my salvation is more than living in heaven with God…eternal life started when I was born again and I was given ears to hear God, eyes to seek His kingdom and a heart to know and love God. I have been entrusted with these gifts and now I am a steward of the mysteries of God. What I do with these gifts will determine whether I am a faithful steward…or not.

God says, “to those who have been given much, much is required.” I am enjoying my relationship with God, and this sweet fellowship through the blood of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit is more fulfilling than anything I can explain.

But now what? Am I to recline with my Bible, listen and sing worship music and pray in one place only? Is that what I’m called to do? No! God has been clear: I must go and tell others the good news while clothed and anointed by His Holy Spirit, I must proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to prisoners! (Matthew 28:19 Acts 1:4-5 Isaiah 61)

With a mournful heart I look out in this world and see:

  • People in bondage to sin, lonely and lost and yet do not know the remedy.
  • People in bondage to sin and yet do not want anything different.
  • People who have tasted and seen the LORD is good but have become distracted by the things of this world and quench and grieve the Holy Spirit living in them.
  • People who are free but are still standing in their jail cells with gates wide open unable to walk through the threshold because they lack faith and do not believe they have been forgiven because the accuser whispers lies to them.

With a joyful heart I also see soldiers for Christ clothed in the armor of God setting captives free through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I have been every one of these examples but the one I want to remain is a soldier for Christ filled with His Spirit setting captives free!

The only remaining I want to do is to remain in Christ. The only waiting I want to do is in The Lord, waiting patiently for the filling of His Holy Spirit because it is only by the anointing of His Holy Spirit that the captives are set free!

I embrace the responsibility to be a faithful steward of the ministry of reconciliation I have been given. I don’t always do this perfectly and I’ve had plenty of missed opportunities but in those occasions I fall on God’s grace and mercy and press on toward the upward calling He has given me.

I’m learning I must continually be in a position of humility taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, confessing my sins and remaining in repentance toward God so I can remain holy as He is Holy.

I must be careful not to quench or grieve the Holy Spirit Who lives in me…only then can God use me as a holy sanctified vessel for His use. He is the One who does it and He is looking for yielded vessels that will cooperate with the Holy Spirit, vessels of mercy and grace that will say, not my will but Your will be done...’

The love of God compels me to tell those in bondage they no longer have to be a slave to sin and death. Though sin has created a separation between us and God,  God has made a way to be reconciled through the blood of Jesus Christ who has taken the punishment of the sins of the world. Jesus not only died for our sins but He rose from the dead three days later and He is alive today and has prayed we would receive a Helper, the Holy Spirit Who guides us into all truth and gives us the courage to live in this world!

We must believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths Jesus Christ as Lord and yield ourselves completely to His Holy Spirit and walk in newness of LIFE! May God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven!

Recline now or later? I choose later…

Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.” Luke 12:37
More bread to feast on:
Luke 12:35-40; 2 Corinthians 3; 2 Corinthians 4
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