When What You Have is all You Need

Could you imagine making a promise to God the way the Psalmist does when he promises to keep the Words of the Lord?

I think that is just really bold and brazen of him to stand before the Lord and make that promise with all his heart.  But he doesn’t quit there, he goes on to say he has been seeking His favor also with all his heart and asks Him to be gracious to him according to His Word.

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Hearts Set on Obedience

I have been reading my new Message Bible, reading it as one who thirsts for water.  It is causing me to drink deep from the well.

I love the new translation, the unfamiliar wording gives such a different, practical perspective.

Psalm 119:57 really has me thinking.

Because you have satisfied me, God, I promise to do everything you say.

Wow! Such a tall order for us to fulfill.  We want to make sure, before we make a vow like that to God we can keep our word and live our everyday lives according to what He has said.

Not only is that a tall order, it puts us in a quandary. Do we even know all that God has said so we can keep our promise?

Most of us have a general, good idea.  We know He tells us to love our enemies, bless those who persecute us and love is the fulfillment of the Law. We also know there is so much more-like dying to our natural behaviours and attitudes, when we live in them we cannot live in harmony with His Spirit.

Sometimes it is so hard to love, to bless and to be motivated every day to obey. Some days I catch myself being critical or short tempered.  You may catch yourself gossiping or ________. The blank is yours to fill in!  We are all so different and yet the Lord requires the same thing of each of us.

Micah 6:8 tells us clearly the Lord requires of us that we act justly, we love mercy, and we walk humbly before our God.

The Lord satisfies us not because we are obediently conforming and doing everything we are supposed to.  The Lord satisfies us because it is part of what He has already DONE!

Psalm 103:1-5 excites me!

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is restored like the eagle’s.

Our part is that we bless His holy name.  All that is within us is to bless His holy name.  When we feel grouchy, anxious, fearful, full of dislike for someone, all of those negatives must yield, turn and bless the Lord.

So that means yes, I admit to being impatient and grouchy, anxious and fearful.  My spirit man wants to walk in obedience to the Lord and she is going to win, she is going to overcome and triumph because she is going to not consider those negative qualities, open her mouth and begin to bless the Lord.

God then can begin to fill my mouth and His Word will be the good thing with which He satisfies me.  Our declarations of faith, triumph and victory give God room to move into action in our lives.

Our declarations are not the power source; the power comes from the wind of Holy Spirit as He busies Himself with our every step, bringing redemption.

I can almost hear the whoosh of His wind as He crowns me with His loving kindnesses and then spreads His tender mercies upon me.

 Truly, the Lord is our portion and He will help and support us.  We will learn His ways and what pleases Him; we will walk rejoicing within the boundaries of the hedge of God’s Word and discover we are free. Free to love, free to discover who He created us to be and freed to walk in the plans and purposes He has for us and live out of the Kingdom’s treasuries. (Beckoned by the King)

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Refreshed and Beautiful

The story in Acts 3, tells us of the lame man carried to the Beautiful gate of the temple each day in order to beg alms from those entering the temple to pray.

Alms are charitable gifts, gifts of compassion given to the poor. The giver is showing mercy and compassion and people think he is tender hearted.

How many times had he sat there and how many times had Jesus passed him by? The Bible does not tell us that – but it does teach us that we must recognize and honour the sovereignty of God; the One who rules the universe and yet knows every secret place of all hearts.

We must also see that, even as God is Sovereign, our times are in His hands.

Psalm 31:14 -15 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God, my times are in Your hands”

There is no escaping the reality of unpleasant circumstances at some point throughout our lives and we usually get to the place of understanding later rather than sooner, that God actually uses these for our growth and to show us our even greater need of Him alone!

Of course, Jesus would have seen him begging; He would have seen and been fully aware of his helpless condition as he sat there by the gate.  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.

The lame man was setting himself up to be filled with the Glory of God and I do not think he fully imagined what was about to happen to him!

The lame man had positioned himself to receive, but so far, he had not understood the depth of his need.  Yes! He was lame and therefore had need of financial help.  He was lame, not blind or deaf and surely would have been aware of the talk surrounding the miracles of Jesus.

Now that he knew Jesus had been crucified, perhaps, he felt it was too late for him to receive…  Or perhaps, as he begged, he mulled the idea of the Risen Christ around in his head… Surely, he had seen and recognized Peter and John as two men who had been with Jesus...

Little did he know that by asking for a gift of charity that he would receive an even greater gift given in the fullness of love.  The Spirit of the One who is tender hearted and compassionate toward all of His creation now dwelt within Peter and John.

Mercy and compassion compelled Peter and John into action for the glorious Spirit of God knew that this was the lame man’s hour.  No longer would he sit outside the entrance to the Holy of Holies.  He would begin to live at the Win Gate!

Some lessons to take to heart….

  • God does not want any of His children to be spiritually lame.  How honest we are regarding our spiritual state will determine how much we move forward with God.  What things in our lives need to be put aside and what are some of our areas of need?  Admitting these things will take us into a place of greater intimacy with God – past the outer gates and into the Holy of Holies.
  • We apply God’s Word in our lives at whatever cost to our flesh. The lame man did not resist the spoken word, the choice was to trust and as we trust, our walk is sure and steady.  To walk is to move from one stage to the next having our roots go down deep in the soil of the Word of God.  Cultivating our heart to choose to spend time in worship and prayer and love for the Word and study of the Word causes growth in our walk with God.
  • We do not continue clinging to other believers, rather as faith is imparted to us our trust and confidence in God grows.  We no longer sit passively.  We sit expectantly and with anticipation with a readiness to receive.  We wait for the Presence of God to fall on us and when we wait, our patience is rewarded.
  • The Spirit of God reveals to us areas in our hearts where we are in need of repentance. His desire is that we experience a turning from them cleansed by the Blood of Jesus.  Repentance always brings to our hearts and souls a keen sense of refreshment.
  • Refreshment washes over our lives when we use all of our energies to walk in the ways of God.  This then brings pleasure to the heart of our Father God.  Even as the lame man was walking and leaping and praising God, so are we encouraged in the Word to have undivided hearts; loving God with all of our strength, soul, heart and being.  As we rise up and walk in the power of God, we find ourselves walking farther and farther away from the things of the world. The presence of joy, love, peace, trust and faithfulness to God will mark our lives so they are attractive to those who do not know Jesus.
  • The very Presence of Jesus in our lives ushers us into a life lived in the Holy of Holies.
  • Many times as Jesus entered the temple, He would have passed the lame man by. There are, in each of our lives, circumstances that cause spiritual lameness.  He knows our hearts, our times are in His hands and He is intimately involved with us because of His love for us.  He wants to pour the fullness of Himself into us and in His patience and tenderness, He waits for us.   He knows what causes our lameness; He knows what those deep, hidden and specific areas are in each of our lives.  It is His intention and purposeful plan to orchestrate our comings and our goings in order to meet us in those places of need.

Do you believe that? Have you met Him, face to face, heart to heart?

No longer, do we sit at the outer gate; for the Presence of God, the glory of the Lord has rested upon us and we rise in newness of life, shining with the light and glory of God for all those in our world to see! With the Spirit of God upon us and the anointing of the Lord within us, we go forward, sharing the good news of the Gospel with those who are afflicted.  We know Him as the Balm of Gilead, the Salve that brings healing and restoration to the broken hearted and downtrodden.

We speak the truth of the Word of God from our lips and the power in the Word of God sets people free from the many things that have held them captive and in bondage.

As we live our lives pressing toward the goal of knowing Jesus more and more, we become radiant lights in the midst of an ungodly society.  Our presence, because of the Spirit of God, unfettered within our lives, brings comfort, blessing and healing to others and won by one we will come to Him bringing our pile of ashes to receive a garland of grace, the oil of joy for mourning.

Jesus will create something of great beauty from the pile of ashes that we lay at His feet.

Have you experienced that something of great beauty?  I know I have!

I welcome you to leave a comment and tell me some of your story!

Held in His Palm,

Jeannie

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Servants of Grace and Mercy

There is a lot of outrage these days on Facebook about abortion.  I am one who has had an abortion. 

My heart grieves for the women who have also had one and it grieves for the shame and condemnation they must be feeling when they see all of the anti abortion posts.  And they are not sure where to turn, thinking, who will understand, who will show me compassion?

Now, do not get me wrong, I am against abortion also knowing now what it involves.

 However, I am wondering…instead of being outraged about the abortion issues, imagine the change that would take place if we chose to reach out to wrap our arms around those women who are contemplating it?  Yes, that means we will need to get out of our comfortable spot and make a heart choice to open our arms and extend them in love and acceptance; we will need to open our hearts too so that the mercy, grace and love of God is revealed through us.

I pray that we will get our hearts so wrapped up and entangled in the love of God that we see through His eyes, hear with His ears and feel with a heart that touches the Almighty’s.  May the fire of HIs love ignite us and may we burn with the passion of His supernatural love.

May compassion and mercy flow from us to touch the hearts of those we meet.  One by one, won by love, their lives will be touched, changed to love and live for Jesus.  One by one, they in turn will touch their own circle of friends.  Won by one whose life was changed by one willing to let the love of Jesus shine through.

To live and to love with God’s supernatural love, this is my heart’s desire and continual cry.  To allow my Father to minister grace through me and to be willing to be used by the Father who always leads us in triumph in Christ.  It is through Jesus that He diffuses the sweet fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Whether or not we are willing to be servants of grace and mercy is the issue our hearts need to address.

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Beautiful

Waiting for the lightIsaiah 45:9b  “Shall the clay say to him who forms it, “What are you making?” or shall your handiwork say, ” he has no hands?”                  
              Waiting for the filling of light
I think we can all relate to this verse when we consider the various creative projects each of us have put our hands to.  I have enjoyed creating hand sewn lamp shades over the years and each one begins with a shade design and fabric and trim. And an idea of what it will look like when finished. I don’t know why it is that always the end result has been completely different to how I envisioned it at the beginning. The amazing thing is that they are beautiful.  And they are just right for the particular purpose and environment they are in…
If it were possible, my handiwork would likely find a voice and question what I was making ~ it doesn’t know that finished it really will be lovely and unique, a one of a kind treasure.  The creation is beautiful because the fabric has yielded to the cut of the scissors and to the pull of needle and thread.
I too have been created but unlike me, my Creator makes no mistakes in His creation. He has expressed His creativity freely and flawlessly ~ our lives being the end result.  You are beautiful and don’t even know it because you can’t see yourself the way someone else can.
Isn’t that amazing to really consider ~ I am beautiful.  Read this with yourself in mind.  I am beautiful.  Look in the mirror and say it again, I am beautiful, I am a masterpiece, I am unique and I am valuable because of my uniqueness.  I am beautiful.  I Am lives within me and His beauty also radiates within me and around me and I am beautiful.
The Potter, the Master Creator is absolutely flawless, without error of any kind ~ His judgement is perfect ~ He asks us to yield, to willingly give ourselves over to the finishing work of His hands.  He asks us to be willing to be shaped and molded, stretched and fine tuned so that we bear the image of the fullness of the Son.  No matter how deeply we have dug ourselves into a pit, there is no place too deep for the Finishing Carpenter to shine His light on and then go to work perfecting and finishing.
He has the tools, His hand is skilled, using the tools well and wisely.  We may be in the Refiner’s Fire and feeling the heat, feeling the pressure but His hand is on the the kiln’s temperature gauge maintaining the perfect heat.
In yielding to the Lord we do truly come to a place in time where we no longer have to ask why. Our trust in Him gives us rest.  We have learned that God is a gentle and wise Craftsman, He stills us with His peace. He gives us confidence in Him and simple trust begins to override that place of questioning.    The answer to all of my whys is because!
Because He is the Creator and has the perfected, finished treasure in His mind.  Because He wants me to be like Him sharing His holiness.  Because He loves me.  Because His mercy, tenderness and compassion are all an expression of what He feels for me.  Because He yearns for me to know and understand that His tenderness for me makes Him so approachable.  Just think about the magnitude of these few words, they can forever change your heart….
Because He knows the deep and hidden things in my heart and even the most hurtful, most uncomfortable, awful secret I may try to conceal ~ He knows.  The Carpenter knows.  He wants it exposed to the Light and while it may look ugly and garish alongside the beauty He has created, the Light is a healing balm.
And so ~ I come to Him, seeking wholeness, receiving forgiveness, being honest and trusting His love.
Because unlike me, He knows exactly what He is doing all the way through the fashioning of this life of mine.  This life of yours.
He is the Alpha and Omega. He is amazing and you are beautiful.

 Psalm 119: 105     Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path

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