From Lame and Lonely to filled with Glory

He was growing weary of this unchanging routine day after day.  Sure, he was thankful for his buddies who were willing to carry his lame body day after day to the Beautiful Gate, but life didn’t feel very beautiful there.   And yet it was no ordinary gate for Ezekiel 43:1-4 speaks of how the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate facing toward the east, the Beautiful Gate.

He felt forgotten about, lonely and largely ignored by those who passed by.  Feeling ignored and  lonely were feelings he had hardened himself to as one day turned into  a month that turned into years and here he was. Still spending his days begging alms and praying. 

 “Alms are noted as being compassionate, charitable gifts as exercised toward the poor.  The tender heart of the giver is showing mercy and compassion to the poor.”  They really hadn’t helped him that much as he thought about the depth of his need, the never changing hunger, the ever growing desire for something more, something beyond his reach.

He had to admit his praying had created a hunger inside him for more than just food and money.  He wanted so much more but couldn’t quite put a finger on his need and what would meet it.Continue Reading

Living in the Surpassing Greatness

Don’t you just love it when you discover that something you have said or done has been an answer to someone’s very specific prayer?  I do! 

It gives me a thrill beyond anything to know I moved or spoke in obedience to my Father and became an answer to the heartfelt prayers of another.

There is one prayer in particular I think would be a game changer for us if we chose to be answers to that prayer.

The prayer I have in mind is Paul’s prayer when he prayed in Ephesians 1:15-19 that you and I would know, experience for ourselves, what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

What if we grabbed those words by the horns and hung on until we became living answers to his prayer?

The Lord wants us to know that power! He isn’t hiding or withholding power from us – He has placed this surpassing power within us!

God, may we learn to live from this place of surpassing power. Would you teach us, Father, revealing to us the secrets of Your kingdom?

He hides us within the shelter of His wings; we are hidden in Him and have free access to all of His promises. Continue Reading

Why I am not Giving Up Anything for Lent

 I have never celebrated Lent nor given much thought to it. 

To be completely truthful,  mostly all I know of Lent is from Facebook posts that talk about what the individual is going to give up for Lent.

 Lent has never been part of my Christian walk, nor have I had any teaching on it.

  I think of how Jesus came and took our sin and gave us His righteousness.  God has given us the Way, the Truth and the Life and in Christ, we live and breathe and have our being.  We are loved, wholly, passionately and without reserve by a God who gave His only Son for us and we are well pleasing to Him.  God gave all, He gave the best ~ for you and for me.

…Well, no matter what I know or don’t know, I am not giving up anything for Lent… 

Especially when I can come into His presence and give Him my heart.

As I gaze at the years behind me, I know I have experienced the strength that truly does rise as we wait upon the Lord.  Of even greater importance is the amazing joy and freedom I have experienced after a time of repentance.  The shame I wore for so many years kept me from a real heart to heart relationship with Jesus and when I finally heard the term ‘repentance’ my heart was broken and became completely HIS.Continue Reading

Just to tell You I love You

Probably the most important discipline I have learned as a believer and follower and lover of Jesus, is to pray His word. When we hide His word in our hearts, we have something of substance to chew and stand on in time of trouble.

Instead of letting worry and fear rile up our insides and give us stomach aches, if we choose to meditate on His word, our heart and soul will know peace.  Great peace even in the midst of great trouble.  I don’t think I’m wrong to believe that great peace is something we all hope for in this day and age.

The hiding, meditating and speaking of the Word takes practise, it is a choice we make moment by moment.  After time, after experiencing the ways God moves on our behalf,  it becomes a discipline of much joy as we realize we reap many benefits of the promises of God’s word. 

The Hebrew alphabet at the beginning of Psalm 119:161-168 is “Shin”. It represents a chewing tooth  or teeth that consume and destroy.  Meditating on and speaking out His word is part and parcel of what a ‘chewing tooth’ does.  The lies of the enemy of our soul are brought to light and the Word of God consumes and destroys the work of the evil one. 

I have been working through the Bible study in Beckoned by the King for the last year and a half.  Reading and rereading Psalm 119, longing to have a deeper understanding of how the truths in it can be applied to and lived out in our everyday lives.  I can tell you in all sincerity and honesty – my heart has changed so much, its hard to recognize it as mine!  The fears, doubts and worries I had have all been swallowed up by the beautiful, life changing word of God.  I stand amazed at the work God has done in my heart and soul.  I am so thankful for the absoluteness of the confidence I have in Him and in His word. 

The NIV Study Bible says this about Psalm 119:  “The author of Psalm 119 had a theme that filled his soul, a theme as big as life that ranged the length and breadth and height and depth of a person’s walk with God.  Nothing less than the use of the full power of the language would suffice, and of that the Hebrew alphabet was a most apt symbol.” 

Continue Reading

When we Need His Joystrength We Chew on His Word

Is your heart delighting in and in awe of the power of God’s words?  Are you allowing His word to unfold in your heart and mind so that your soulish patterns change?

In the second to last meditation in Beckoned by the King, these are questions asked in the study, questions that beg to be answered because if you are anything like me, I think we all want to see our soulish pattern change.  Instead of reacting in the flesh, we will respond with love, instead of fear and doubt plaguing our soul, faith will rise. 

Faith will rise when we meditate and chew on the word of God.  When faith rises, doubt ceases, when faith rises, fear flees.

The Hebrew alphabet letter at the beginning of Psalm 119:161-168 is “Shin”.  “Shin” represents a chewing tooth, or teeth that consume and destroy.

As our bodies grow and mature, change transforms us.  Our mouths, once full of baby teeth, now sport adult teeth, molars that are our chewing teeth.  We have grown from needing only milk for nourishment to longing for the meat…of the word of God and our spirit man has grown in order to accommodate that need.  We have spiritual chewing teeth, spiritual molars to chew on the word of God.

Chewing on the word of God consumes and destroys the enemy of our souls

I wish we could walk through life without sadness, without fear of those we love getting sick.  I wish sometimes, for life to just be smoother and easier, but then I realize my heart would not have the opportunity to stand in awe of His words. (v. 161)

When He breathes His breath of life into me, when He encourages me with His love and strengthens and uphold me with His mighty right hand and when I look back and see how every need I have had has been abundantly supplied, it is then I know His word is greater than gold.  I may have silver and gold but only Jesus can supply that which money cannot purchase.

Money will not infuse me with joystrength to face my day, nor will it bring a settled peace to a racing, worried heart.  He takes my cares and worries and carries them on His shoulder, He takes me by the hands and gently hoists me up upon His shoulders too!  All the day long, He carries me, carries my burden and makes a way for provision.

He speaks peace to my heart and I can chew on His words, drawing nourishment from them as they go down deep inside me to become treasures in my heart.

Suffering and Glory walk together.  One cannot be had without the other.  Suffering has taught you the necessity of mercy.  Mercy given and mercy received.  Mercy is compassion and love in action, bringing to fruition that dream for you that I, for eternity have cherished and treasured in My heart for you.

As a child loses its baby teeth, growing molars and larger teeth to chew with, so you have experienced the losses and pains of growth.  I have watched and waited as you have encountered times of hardship and indecision, and you have always placed in My hands that which your mind has struggled with.  You found rest for your soul as you ceased from your own laboring and simply trusted My word and My faithfulness.  My word has given you much to provoke your mind and change your heart.  Your course of direction has altered as you have chosen to move closer and be aligned with Truth.

For how else can we be one, save for the choices of your heart and soul to die so that I may live in and through you?  How else can we be one, save that you are willing to die that you might live in Me,  triumphant, victorious warrior with a girdle of gold about your breast.  Joined in death, we live exultantly, expectantly.

The qualities of your heart will be interwoven with gold because you have been in the Refiner’s Fire and have the glory of the Lord God upon you.  Always remember, that though you be in the midst of the fire, there you are in the midst of Me, for I Am a consuming fire.  You are in the center of My heart and it is burning with passionate love for you.

In the consummation of the fire, we become one in death and life.

He knows the way I take.  I am an open book to Him and even with all my quirkiness He loves me.  Oh, how He loves us!  He has redeemed us, revived us according to His word and poured out His tender mercies over us.

We are redeemed by His blood and washed by the Living Water of His word.  Right now He is perfecting all those things that concern me and has prepared a way through the wilderness, directing me onto the Highway of Holiness.

He knows the way I take.  He knows my frailty and offers me His joystrength.  I am my Beloved’s and He is mine.

Will you walk this high way of holiness with me?  Will you let Him refine and purify you so we become His unblemished bride?

Giving Him my heart and soul, offering my body as a living sacrifice.

Jeannie

 

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