Monday, May 30, 2011

The Twist

"Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. 'Lord,' the man said, 'if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.'

Jesus reached out and touched him. 'I am willing,' he said. 'Be healed!' And instantly the leprosy disappeared."
Matthew 8:2-3 NLT

Like many of you, I have heard this verse explained a number of times. But today, when I was led here, the Lord showed me a different twist. Follow me and see if this hits a cord with you.

The twist isn't just that Jesus can heal of us our physical diseases. If you took the word 'leprosy' and replaced it with the word 'sin', how would it speak to you? "Suddenly a man with sin approached him and knelt before him. 'Lord, if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean' ...Jesus reached out and touched him. 'I am willing,'...'Be healed!' And instantly the sin disappeared." Would it tell you that you can believe that Jesus will heal you from your sin? That He doesn't hold it over you? That you can believe Him when He says that He came to free you from your bondage. That He died for your sins. To be your covering from them. That He is enough?

You don't have to win the approval of people. You don't have to earn your place with Him. His grace is sufficient. He willed it. All you have to do is believe, ask and receive. Nothing more, nothing less. When you try to please others, or to even please your Heavenly Father, it takes away what He already did for you. Don't take that away from Him. What He did, He did freely without any regrets. Without any second thoughts.

Just give Him what He wants--your heart--totally and complete. With no hidden places. If you do that, He will know it was worth it.

"And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him...When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God." Romans 6:8. 10 NLT

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Lesson Learned

"I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there's one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He's all I've got left."
Lamentations 3:19-23 (The Message)

The prophet Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations. He wrote it after the third siege and fall of Jerusalem. He was overcomed by personal grief. Not only for himself, but for God's nation.

It seemed senseless. It didn't have to come to this. But Jerusalem had become haughty and hard-hearted. They had turned their backs against their God. They had to become totally devastated in order to be able to truly come back to their one true God.

Is that you? Have you had to get to the very bottom of bottom in order to get your life back? To come to your Heavenly Father, truly saved and repented? Ready to do whatever it takes to be one with Him again?

Jeremiah had been thrown into the dungeon by malicious foes, yet he proved the goodness and nearness of God as ever faithful. His cry was heard and deliverance came. Can it be that you are in the dark dungeon of your own making? Despair not--God is near, and He can make your dungeon luminous with the radiance of the His love and the Holy Spirit. Listen for the whisper of His voice. Fear not! Humbly come to Him--He is waiting for you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Teach Me O Lord!

"Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name."
Psalm 86:11 NASB

David was a man after God's own heart. Even so, even with the heritage that David had, he still sinned. He was still a rebelious son. He loved God, He was proud of his heritage, but that didn't keep him on the straight and narrow. He still had his struggles.

Does that give us privilege to sin? No. But each time we fall short, it gives us another chance to grow closer to our Heavenly Father. To experience first hand, His graciousness and merciful spirit. Hopefully, we are learning what is expected of us. We are learning what it is that we should be doing. This is what saved David. Even though he fell time after time, after each occurance, he cried out to his Heavenly Father. He sang His praises and pleaded for forgiveness.

God will honor us if we pray this prayer. Teach me Your way, O Lord. What a prayer! Six words. Six sweet yet powerful words to our Father's ear. A refreshing breathe for His heart.

Praying that the Lord will teach you His ways will allow to you to become a soft plyable heart that the Lord can use to shape and form into the son/daughter that He created you to be. To be what He wants you to be--not what you think you should be.

"and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them." Jeremiah 32:39 NASB

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

No Questions Asked

"Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, the mystery made known to me by revelation..." Ephesians 3:2-3 NIV

Paul is writing this to the Ephesian church. He was under house arrest for obeying Christ in spite of opposition.

As I was pondering this verse, my spirit started speaking to me. This is the reason that I, we, need to have grace for others. God, in His grace, gave us Jesus as our sacrifice of grace, so we should also be able to show grace to those that God brings into our lives.

Do you know what grace means? Simply put, its allowing someone that has hurt you, annoyed you or even attacked you--to be totally forgiven. To have space in your heart & spirit for total forgiveness. Not forgiveness only if you are asked for forgiveness--but grace to the person even if you never ever hear a word of a repented heart or spirit. Do you understand?

It's not easy for us I think. Sometimes it seems that we need to make people squirm a little. That we enjoy that power we have over them for awhile. But is that what Jesus did? Did He sacrifice His very life for us only after we asked for forgiveness? No, He did His complete act of grace for us, for you--before we were even born. Shouldn't we humbly do likewise?

Sometimes, we are like Paul. Except we put ourselves under "house arrest". Not for doing what our Father wants us to--but for NOT doing what He has requested for us to. It may also be a mystery to us when God tells us what He tells us. But we need to do what our spirit tells us anyway. No questions asked.

"However, he has given each one of us a special gift, or grace, through the generosity of Christ." Ephesians 4:7 NLT

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stormy Weather

"When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away,
but the godly have a lasting foundation." Provb 10:25 NLT

Life brings storms. Storms of challenging times. We all face difficulties that at times seem unbearable and overwhelming. But there is hope. Hope is found in Jesus Christ and his word the Bible.

What are you building your life on that is fail proof? Jesus Christ offers us strength for today and hope for tomorrow. Nothing will ever separate us from his love, not even death.

What storms are blasting at you now. Take courage and hope. Receive the living hope of Christ!

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock." Matt 7:24-25 NLT

Monday, May 9, 2011

True Faithfulness

"...Lord God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven above or on earth below! You keep your covenant with your people and show them your love when they live in wholehearted obedience to you." 1 Kings 8:23 GNT

This scripture verse comes from a blessing King Solomon spoke over God's people on the day the nation dedicated the temple. By that point in history, Moses had been dead for well over 400 years. God had give His people ample time to observe His trustworthiness.

What makes Solomon's testimony especially stunning is the fact that during those many years, God's people had chalked up a pretty spotty record in the faith department.

Included in those years were decades spent under the leadership of Joshua and David--on the whole, godly leaders of a godly (yet not sinless) people. In fact, you could use two words to sum up those centuries--idolatrous and brutal.

Yet the golden cord of your Heavenly Father's faithfulness winds its way through every day of all those decades and centuries. Not one word of our Lord's good promises had ever failed. He had proven Himself fully trustworthy time and time again. And of course, He will continue to do that in your life today.

Are you counting on specific promises today? Or are you worried that your faithlessness or disobedience might have voided God's promises to you? Then turn with repentant faith to the cross of your Savior. Confess your sins and cling to His promise to forgive and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Then claim all the other promises you need as well. They are yours in Christ Jesus.

"But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing." 1 John 1:9 GNT

Friday, May 6, 2011


"Yes, grass withers and flowers fade,
but the word of our God endures forever."
Isaiah 40:8 GNT

In a world that is ever changing, isn't it comforting to have a verse such as this! I don't know about you, but whenever changes are happening in my life or the world around me--even a good change--I fight it. Change makes me feel insecure. It makes me nervous. At times it can cause me experience doubt. I want to avoid it. What about you?

But you see, in this verse, it is telling us that all things eventually will go away. Life circumstances will change. Maybe the people in your life. Maybe your heart. But we can ALWAYS count on the word of our God, to be forever standing, forever true.

So, when you have situations in your life that cause you to question--turn to your Father in prayer and His Holy Book, the Bible, in reading--both things will forever be the same, trustworthy sources of wisdom and comfort you can always count on.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Promise

"The LORD said, ' I will go with you and give you peace.'" Exodus 33:14 CEV

As the Lord was making this promise to Moses, the people were about to break camp and set off into the wilderness toward the land God had sworn to give to them--their promise land

You see, God had made that promise to them after the Israelites had been living at the foot of Mount Sinai for about a year. It was a year that had some good parts, such as when Moses was given The Ten Commandments. It was there that He provided them with food and water. It was there that He began to heal the scars of being in slavery for over 400 years. It was also a hard year. A year of living in a new land, with unknown circumstances. But now, it was time to move on into the next phase of their journey that God had planned for them. And they were apprehensive. They were nervous. And some were down-right scared.

What about you? How would you feel? Is God telling you pack up all your earthly belongings and follow Him? Is He moving you into a new stage of your journey with Him--your promise land? Are you nervous? A little apprehensive? Down-right scared?

As your Israelite ancestors before you--you are not alone. Sure, you don't have the visual aid of the cloud of God pulling you along. But because of the cross and empty tomb, you have the presence of Jesus living inside of you--leading the way and never leaving you. In Jesus, God is truly present, living among us. In Jesus, we receive rest--rest from the guilt of our sin, free from the need to worry about our future, rest from the fact, that in spite of our imperfections, we are loved more than words can be expressed.

This verse should give you courage to do whatever the Lord is prompting your spirit. And it should also give you peace. His peace.

"I pray that the Lord, who gives peace, will always bless you with peace. May the Lord be with all of you." 2 Thessalonians 3:16 CEV

Monday, May 2, 2011


"In certain ways we are weak, but the Spirit is here to help us. For example, when we don't know what to pray for, the Spirit prays for us in ways that cannot be put into words." Romans 8:26 CEV

Our God is AWESOME! Just look at what He has done for us! The same God that knows every hair on our head, knew that at times, we would be lost for words when we try to talk to Him. So what did He do? He gave us the third person in the trinity--the holy spirit--to help us during those gaps in our spiritual walk.

Have you been in that place? The place that you have such a deep need for prayer, to talk to your Heavenly Father, but just can't seem to get the words together? I have. I have sat there and become so frustrated with myself because I know that I will feel better when I talk it out with Him, but the words just won't come.

But then the thought comes to me that you don't always have to be talking. I have been learning that. Sometimes, just sitting and opening your spirit up to just listen--once in a while--is a good thing. Just let whatever the Lord wants to say or to have you experience, just happen to you. Just sit in His spirit. It can be very comforting when you allow yourself the freedom to do that without the guilt that's saying, oh, because I can't seem to pray, that there is something wrong with me or my walk. Not necessarily so.

Sometimes, He wants us to be like that little child that crawls up into their Father's lap, allowing the Father to wrap His big, warm arms around them, whispering comforting words in their ear and then just sitting together in a harmonizing spiritual quiet time. How blessful!

"'Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help you and always be with you. The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they don't see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you. I won't leave you like orphans. I will come back to you.'" John 14:16-18 CEV