Monday, December 28, 2009

Today is the day of His visitation!

Every day is a new gift from God. Whether you are saved or unsaved, every day is a gift. Every day God is calling to each one of us.

When I was in my teens, I got depressed because I didn't understand the love of God which I am beginning to understand now. (I am only beginning, however, I don't believe we will ever be able to plummet the depths of His love, even in eternity.)

The love of God was demonstrated two thousand years ago when the Son of God was lifted high on the cross at Calvary. As a blameless Lamb with no sin and no spot (I Pet. 1: 18-19), He became the sacrifice that God required to atone for all the sin that has committed been by every single one of us on this planet, except for Jesus of course. For those of us who have believed on Him, He knocks every day on the door of our hearts (Rev. 3:20), and wants to fellowship with us, moment by moment, each and every day. What if the President of the United States called us on the phone and told us he wanted to meet with us personally? How privileged would we feel? And yet every single day without fail the One who put every single molecule in place and holds them all together (Heb. 1:3, Col. 1: 17) is knocking on the door of our hearts. Could there be any higher privilege than that? Today is the day to answer Him!

I think of the words of Jesus as He wept over Jerusalem about the Jews missing the day of their visitation.(Luke 19: 41-44) In a way, we can apply this to our own lives. It is not in eternity that we will decide our level of reward, but right now, every day we choose. Whether we will be an overcomer in the next life or not is by our day to day choices to let Him live His life through us or to live for ourselves, which by the way, I have discovered is a very miserable way to live. I am reading an excellent book called The Overcomer's Handbook by Chuck and Nancy Missler.
They are explaining that not all believers will be overcomers and reign with Christ in the Millenial Kingdom yet to come. It is sobering, yet now is the time to effect a change if we are not going in God's direction. And as long as you are alive, it is never too late.

If you have stumbled upon this blog and you don't know Christ as your Saviour, there is no time like the present to receive Him. ("Behold, now is the accepted time: behold, now is the day of salvation. II Cor. 6: 2b) He came down to this earth in the form of a baby although He was God of very God. (John 1:14) He willingly took your sins and mine when He was nailed to the cross 2,000 years ago.(Heb. 2:9) He took the punishment we each deserved when He died there. God was very, very pleased with what His Son accomplished and is now forever satisfied with Christ's payment for sin (Heb. 10: 12-14). He extends an open invitation for anyone, anyone at all to believe on Him. "For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10: 13. Simply believe that Jesus was who He said He was, the Son of God, that died in your place. Surely there could be no greater thing you could do for yourself this day.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I am Undone

God has been showing me the depths of my depravity lately. The words of Isaiah come to mind when He saw the Lord on His throne, "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the KIng, the Lord of hosts." (Is. 6:5)

Bullinger in the Companion Bible says that this is figure of speech called ecphonesis,which is an "outburst of words,prompted by emotion." About the word "undone", he says: "The essence of true conviction is a concern for what I AM, not for what I have done or not done."

Why did Jesus come down here for us? Did we deserve Him to come? I only know about myself. Romans 3:10 says "As it is written, 'There is none righteous, no, not one..."This verse and the following ones give me a sense of understanding about the human condition. Why do I look to people for help when the Word of God makes clear that leaning upon the flesh for help is like leaning on a sharp stick.

Rom. 3: 12 says"They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no not one." The word for unprofitable means worthless.

By myself I am worthless. There was not one shred of goodness in me that caused Christ to come down from His glory in heaven. Yet He valued us. He placed our needs higher than His own and humbled Himself more than any other man ever in human history. (Phil. 2:5-11) It is for this reason that we bow in awe before Him.

As Thanksgiving day approaches, I give thanks to the Lord that even though there was not one thing to commend Him to save me, He gladly bore all my sin and even though I was undone before Him. For me and all others who have believed on Him that He states about us now that: "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us."

Thank you Jesus for this above all else this Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Be Content My Soul

As the season of "gimme" approaches, I need to remind myself that the Lord is all I really need. I am so tempted to want so many things for myself, but the Scripture reminds me " Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5) I look around me and anticipate others getting fancy things and am tempted to be jealous.
When I truly think about it, I have been given so much already. I have a pastor who pours his soul out in teaching the Word of God, I have wonderful Bibles in abundance, I have wonderful doctrinal books, beautiful Christian music, many wonderful Christian friends. Most of all though, I have the Lord Jesus who died for me on Calvary, who has promised to supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)
There are others in this world who have so little and yet are grateful. I think of the pastors in Vietnam who are literally on the run, yet so zealous to share their faith, the refugees in Darfur who just would be grateful for clean water to drink, the children who will be delighted with a shoebox from Operation Christmas Child, the list goes on....
Father, work in me the desire not to receive for myself this season but to pour my life out for others. I encourage any who reads this to find a charity to share with this season. There are so many worthy ones: Voice of the Martyrs, Gospel for Asia, Operation Christmas Child, Persecution Project are some of my favorites.
Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:42: "And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward."

Monday, November 9, 2009

" In Christ Jesus"

What an amazing amount of hope is found in these 3 little words. I am in the Lord Jesus Christ, the God of this Universe, who took on flesh and humbled Himself more than any other man, who has been exalted to the utmost at God's right hand at the seat of utmost honor and glory.(Phil. 2:9-11) And I am in Him. "But of Him you are IN CHRIST JESUS, who became for us wisdom from God-and righteousness and sanctification and redemption..."(I Cor 1:30)
Think about it. We are all nothings. according to Paul in I Cor. 3:7.("So then he who plants is anything, nor he that waters, but God who gives the increase.") Now that is humbling, but also freeing. In spite of any accomplishments in this life, without Christ I am a nothing. Yet Christ valued me, and the entire world so much that He voluntarily became the object on which God poured out all His wrath, and turn His face away from, so much that Jesus cried out "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? (Matt. 27: 46) I think we will never be able in all eternity to comprehend the depths of Christ's condescension for us sinners, whom He has made to be righteous in His sight. "For He made Him who knew no sin to BE SIN for US, that we might become the righteousness of God IN HIM". II Cor. 5:21
You know, when I look at myself, I am hopeless, for I see one who has an incurable wound.(Jer. 30:12) It is only when I see myself "in Christ" that I have hope, strength to face tomorrow, to face the seemingly insurmountable challenges that this world may throw my way. Thank you Lord, that I am "in Christ" and no one can remove me from His precious hand.(John 10:28)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Too busy to sit at Jesus feet?

Today I was having a wonderful time with the Lord. I am reading through my Bible and finally have arrived in the New Testament. I am in Matthew right now and I try to get 5 chapters a day in. Well, I have these wonderful reference Bibles (the Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible edited by Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D and the Companion Bible edited by E.W.Bullinger). Maybe you are just supposed to read when you read, but I like to read the notes and look up meanings of words, to try and get the sense (Neh.8:8)
Well, there I am and I start feeling this pressure to hurry up and just get through the readings. Like, I have so many IMPORTANT things to do, like work on my writing.
Whoa! Am I going to be like those with indignation at the breaking of the alabaster box and say "Why this waste?(of time- Mark 14:3-9) As if time with the Lord is a waste.
"If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer." (Martin Luther) What a contrast to me when I can barely get 15 minutes for prayer in!
Maybe we think we have advanced in our present state. But when I get too busy for the things of the Lord, than I am too busy. Is Facebook, emails, writing submissions, and all the clamor of the world more important than my relationship with the Lord of this Universe?
The Lord has given me so very much wonderful teaching and resources to know Him better. I have been given much, so much will be required.(Luke 12:48) Oh God, let me remember that nothing in this world will matter one day but what I did with what You gave me.
To quote the chorus of a beautiful old Twila Paris song:
He Is no Fool
If He Would Choose
To Give the Thing He Cannot Keep
To Buy What He Can Never Lose
To See a Treasure in One Soul
That Far Outshines the Brightest Gold
He Is no Fool, He Is no Fool

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Giving thanks changes everything!

In the seventies I had a Phil Keaggy record that had a song called Disappointment His Appointment. In the lyrics it said, "Disappointment, His appointment, change one letter then I see, that the thwarting of my purpose is God's better choice for me."I have found that instead of grumbling, it is so much more mentally healthy to give thanks, even when my plans don't work out the way I want them to.
Today, I had a small disappointment. I had an online class that I very much wanted to take. But my husband said no, that I had too many commitments right now. I was tempted to get discouraged and even argue with him. But the verse "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."(I Thess. 5:18) came to mind. I decided to thank God that He used my husband to perhaps prevent me from not fulfilling His will, but mine. After all, my way will only lead to futility. God, in His wisdom, has a plan for my life, that is so much better than what I could concoct.
I heard the beautiful testimony of the late Sabina Wurmbrand,co-founder of Voice of the Martyrs about giving thanks. This humble servant told of how the hell she suffered in Romanian prison was transformed when she and the other believers greeted each other in the morning with "O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good,For His mercy endureth forever." Psalm 107:1 She said that transformed their outlook. She was forced to go in a dress only to throw large rocks into the freezing Danube, which would subsequently cause her dress to get wet and freeze, and yet she and countless others not only survived, but thrived by following the Biblical principle to give thanks in everything.If anyone wants to read about her amazing life, get the book "The Pastor's Wife" which she wrote. You will be glad you did.
May I give thanks to you Lord this week in all things.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Undergoing sufferings for the cause of Christ

I recently had a fellowship meeting for the Voice of the Martyrs and had a wonderful speaker come and share with us. Believers in other countries are giving all for the name of Christ. They have so little, while we here in America have so much. Yet I wonder if the reverse is really true instead. Maybe they are the ones who are rich, and we are the poor ones.
Doesn't it say to the church at Laodecia,"Because you say, I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing-and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked..." (Rev. 3:17)
I need to examine myself! Do I think I can rest on my laurels, that I know enough already? I was reading from one of their books, The Trimphant Church, where their founder encourages us to prepare NOW for possible persecution. He said we need to rehearse in our minds what our answer will be when persecution comes knocking at our door.
Tnis is not a pleasant subject. Most prefer not to think about it. But Jesus did promise us that "in this world you will have tribulation" (John 16:33) and "For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but to suffer for His sake."(Phil. 1:29)
Lord give me courage to stand for you in that day.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Do you love Me?

I was rereading some notes from church last night. My pastor a while back taught on when Jesus had risen from the dead and when He asked Peter if he loved Him. But my pastor asked us to personalize this verse for ourselves, asking if we indeed loved Him.
I always thought that verse was just for Peter, not me. But the Saviour asked three times, Peter, do you love Me? Maybe I should think about this for a bit. Do I love Him?
I have been musing lately on what would my life be like if I truly gave myself unreservedly to Him. I try to start the day right, with Him and the Word and prayer but at the end of my work day I am usually no different than the rest of the world. I have gossiped, I have slandered, I have been getting impatient and angry when things don't go my way. What if I trusted that even the little things were allowed by Him to mold me into His image? And as a friend once encouraged me, to give thanks in ALL things?
This isn't a dress rehearsal, after all. This day can never be repeated. Lord, show me how to love You. I am scared to say it, but I know in eternity I will not regret it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The time is short

As I look around on the net and see all the networking sites, blogs, twitters, diggs, tweets etc. I can almost go crazy trying to keep up with the flow of information. One site leads to another and soon I forget how I got from one site to the next. How did I find out about this new absolute must read New York times bestseller? One look at the library books I check out over a few weeks time surely confirms this. Heck, I even clipped an article from the paper about how we are more connected than ever before in human history, yet we are actually more alienated by it all in actuality. I clipped the article a couple weeks ago, and haven't got around to reading it yet. Does that tell you something? (By the way, most of the books return to the library skimmed at the best or not even looked at.) Seems like I am caught in a frenzy, like a rat running round and round on a wheel, am I even getting somewhere?
Life didn't seem quite so hectic just a couple decades ago when I was a kid growing up in the seventies. But I know you can't go home again. Did you know this time was prophesied in the Bible about 2600 years ago? Daniel 12:4 says to "seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase." Only in the last century have we had the capability to do these very things with the advent of air and space travel and the world wide web. I believe that Christ's return is imminent. If you are not convinced, you may want to watch a youtube video embedded below. It is mind blowing and the techno music is great too! At the end, it asks "What does it all mean?" It means this: Christ is coming soon!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

By His Grace we Have Made it thus Far

In my Bible reading today, I was reading in Psalm 76, and came across this verse: "Make vows to the Lord your God, and pay them; Let all who are around Him bring presents to Him who ought to be feared." Psalm 76: 11
On this day, 25 years ago, I stood before God and man and made a vow to love, honor and obey my husband. In this day of so many failing marriages, I can truly say it is only because of His mercy that we have made it to this very special day. We have gone through some very rocky times, but thank God we are still together. I was a very naive and foolish bride, but God had mercy on me and brought a very dear friend into my life who taught me the value of a gentle and quiet spirit. See I Peter 3: 1-6. This is what has saved my marriage.
I do thank God for the wonderful man He has given me and can truly say that I am very happy that I decided to marry this man that day 25 years ago.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Best Friend

Did you know I have a friend who is the absolute best, most trustworthy friend in the Universe?
More than that, this Friend of mine is positively longing for you, whoever you are, to be His friend too. It doesn't matter what you have done, even if you have committed the vilest crimes on earth.Your sins, no matter how heinous, have been dealt with one time 2,000 years ago when this Friend hung upon the cross and was punished by God for everyone's sins from Adam and Eve to the very last person born on this earth. We in our humanity cannot even fathom the cost of this sacrifice. But God was so pleased with it that He views it as having happened just this very second. He is so very happy with what His Son has done that He views all sins as having been dealt with once and for all, forever! But isn't God angry at sin you say? No, the only sin that keeps one from God is the sin of UNBELIEF. If you will simply believe that Jesus paid for your sins as the perfect sacrifice upon the cross, you too can be His friend, receive His gift of eternal life and never perish. You do not have to promise Him anything, He knows that we cannot do it, that is why He had to die for us and as us. If you can then, get a Bible and read the gospel of John to begin with. Ask Him to teach you and He will. He LOVES you and longs to have YOU for His friend.

Friday, July 17, 2009

a successful day

I just got an an anthology on prayer by Andrew Murray off Amazon. It is actually a compilation of books. They are written in daily reading sized chunks and have been totally uplifting, The first book is Abide in Christ. What a simple command Jesus gave us, to abide in Him. Murray points out that this is not "law" but grace, a waiting upon God for Him to will and work inside us. The Christian life is easy when we abide in Him, we make it hard when we insist on doing things our own way.
The other day I was reflecting on Mary and Martha. Martha was busy doing so many things for the Lord while Mary sat still listening at Jesus' feet. After all that work, Mary, not Martha was the one who was commended. She was the one simply abiding. There is one catch though, we need to give the Lord some of that precious time of ours so that we can meditate upon His thoughts, and still our souls before Him. In this hectic non-stop world, are we willing to make room for the Saviour in our day so that we can have His peace, joy and meaningfulness in our life?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

My first day here as a new blogger. I celebrate today not only the freedom of the United States of America, but independence from slavery to sin, bought at a much higher cost even than the bravery of our dear military men. I speak of the hero of all time, Jesus Christ, who gave us a way to be independent from the tyranny of sin and death. We will never fathom the price He paid to buy our independence from the power of sin. This is fully explained in the book of Romans, chapters 5 through 8.
Anyone reading this too without this freedom can have it through a simple one time decision to believe in the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour, trusting that He paid the full penalty of your sins on the cross 2,000 years ago.