Archive | February, 2013

Battle Cry

26 Feb

Sharing this amazing Scripture with you all, as I was blessed by it again last night. My heart is deep within its comforts today. It is The Promise revealed, The Promise delivered, The Promise shared. What comfort for us in times of darkness.

Sometimes, our enemy is our mind, our ego. We compare ourselves, we feel alone, we worry, we fear, we forget to be thankful even in our difficult times. Sometimes, life is such a battle. This Scripture is our battle cry. We have all we need, if we seek it. May this be a reminder that our Lord loves us and will always protect us, never forsake us, be He loves us so.

He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.

2 Samuel 22

Who HE IS:
3. “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield[a] and the horn[b] of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—
from violent people you save me.
31 “As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
32 For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?

His promise:
33 It is God who arms me with strength[h]
and keeps my way secure.
34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
35 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36 You make your saving help my shield;
your help has made[i] me great.
37 You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.
Who you are to HIM:
21 “The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
23 All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.
24 I have been blameless before him
and have kept myself from sin.
25 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to my cleanness[f] in his sight.
26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
27 to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
28 You save the humble,
but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.
29 You, Lord, are my lamp;
the Lord turns my darkness into light.

Peace.

Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)
17 The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Psalm 73:23-26 (NIV)
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

Lenten Challenge

12 Feb

Typically, for Lent, we are asked to give something up. What if you were to seek something instead?

I have an idea, for those reading this, to seek self control. Its a play on words but it puts a positive spin on the point of Lent. What a gift we can give to God, to ourselves and to others.

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.Proverbs 25:28

Pray constantly to strengthen your ability to control your ego, your desires, your actions. To think before you speak. To seek to understand other’s before you seek to be understood. To see clearly the choices set before you. To act only on those deeds that will benefit not hurt. To spare yourself guilt, or sorrow.

To gain self control is to give up your ego for the betterment of those around you. You know your weakness. You know what you do that is harmful to yourself or to others. Seek wisdom and strength to demonstrate self control rather than the self satisfaction that never brings the long term fulfillment you seek anyways.

Lent begins on Wednesday, February 13. It is never too late to start seeking joy. You will slip, you will fall, you will be able to pick up and start over, time and time again. Strengthen that muscle of self control… I dare you!

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.1 Corinthians 10:13

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.2 Peter 1:5-7

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.1 Corinthians 9:24-27

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.1 Corinthians 9:27

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.Proverbs 16:32

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.1 Peter 4:7

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.2 Timothy 1:7

What’s love got to do with it?

12 Feb

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

February…the month of love… Valentines Day… romance and all that it implies.

When I think about the ways I have shared love in this life, I see an evolution to an almost biblical obedience to love. The grateful and humble heart that gives and receives love today is not the same one it was a few years ago. I am not saying I am great at giving love, because I am not, not every single day.

What I don’t know is this, would I have experienced this being loved if I hadn’t lost the love I thought mattered most? I’m not saying I wasn’t loved in my lifetime, just that I didn’t experience real love, God’s love; most certainly not the love I experience today; thus the way I give love has completely transformed as well.

Biblically, how does this translate? What exactly is love? We get some very clear guidelines from Scripture.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ~ 1 Corinthians 13

This is God’s idea of how we should love; Not just our people, but all people.

God’s love is Holy Love and what he asks of us is to give a more sacrificial love. Unconditional love, love without asking in return. It suffers for the benefit of others and for obedience to God’s instruction. It is Grace and Mercy when the world would have you stand your ground, fight the war, draw the lines. Love is a choice, a verb. We choose to share that love, or not. Without love, faith and hope are lost.

There is a command in God’s words to us. We are to accept His love for us. His love is sufficient and will be our strength, our hope, our joy. It is owning your inheritance. Feeling the blessing of how God loves us, values us; seeing the world through those eyes, the eyes of Christ; With immense love and desire for all to know that same love.

We have our moments of weakness. Those moments bring us new understandings of the suffering around us. Inspiration does not come from contentment. God brings us out of contentment to stretch our muscle of faith and trust, and makes us more legit. Who believes that someone who is wealthy beyond belief could understand the person that begs for his next meal. This is why suffering is of the heart, to put us on the same level of understanding, so we may bless others with the knowledge and insight we gain as we arrive on the other side of the valley.

When you find Him, in the tangles of your ego, there is a peace and knowledge of our own value, of our own love worth. And it humbles you…deeply. From that love, we can find love for anyone, even the most unlovable. Seek that.

Happy Valentines Day.

He who does not love has not become acquainted with God, for God is love. 1 John 4: 8

Potholes

4 Feb

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. ~Ecclesiates 7:14

When our hearts are set on something and the answer is no, there is so much more to it than just the acceptance and sadness of defeat. The process will also bring you wisdom, eventually, but it is a process.

I am not there yet. I am still processing.

I don’t know why certain things happen along our journey, but I definitely know they are important. I do know that our unhappiness is the difference between our own expectations and the acceptance of God’s plan. If we are seeking, that means a movement forward. Shouldn’t that be a seeking of God’s will and not our own? Wouldn’t there be less pain, more peace if our only desire was for His plan? In His incredible humor and genius, He didn’t create us to be grateful or obedient; He created us to be selfish.

As Christians, we know we are heaven bound; that our purpose here is to deepen our bond and trust in God, to have faith. The result from that is become His light here, become more loving, more Holy. As His beloved children, we pretty much fail daily at this one simple task.

I have been consumed with a burden of why’s. Why’s are the epitome of self and of the Devil; Disappointment, discouragement, depression and despair. Me! The upbeat one, the positive one. Ugh!

I was complacent. I guess I figured I had arrived at peaceful contentment. How funny! I know that Heaven is the arrival of the end of trials, not our journey here. This place, this journey, is a journey of heartbreaks, blessings, love, loss, peace, fear, it is all of it.

Our greatest challenge is to have Faith;To trust Him at all times and be joyful, even in our trials.
It is a work in progress. I am a work in progress.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. ~Hebrews 11:1