Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Essence of God

"The singers were accompanied in perfect harmony by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, as they praised the Lord singing:

Praise the Lord, because he is good,
And his love is eternal.

As the priests were leaving the Temple, it was suddenly filled with a cloud shining with the dazzling light of the Lord's presence, and they could not continue the service of worship."
2 Chronicles 5:13-14 GNT

It must have been an awesome sight when the glory of the Lord so filled His house that the priests could not even finish ministering.

How would it feel to experience such an overwhelming sense of God's presence and glory in our lives? That His presence would just fill us to overflowing? I yearn for that--don't you? If there was some way that I could make sure that that could happen, I would so love it to be. But I know me--I know that it's not that God can't or won't be that presence in me. It's my sin that keeps Him from doing it. Do you know what I mean?

Toby Mac sings a song that says that we need to fill our homes with so much love that the back door has to crack to let some of the love ooze out. I think of that with this idea. That if we could let God enter our lives and fill it up so much that we have to open up and give some of it away in order to not explode--what a witness that would be!

My prayer for us today is this: Please, allow your Heavenly Father to come in like a cloud and fill us--each and every little teeny, tiny corner with ALL of Him. That we reek with the essence of Him. That people from a mile away, will be able to see that He is in us and we are in Him.

If this was to happen, what a spiritual life it would be. I so desire to be glory-filled. How about you?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Driver's Training

"Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. 'Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?'"Matthew 16:24-26(MSG)

How many times have we invited Christ into our lives and then we tell Him what we want Him to do? Does it sometimes seem as if we think that we are the ruler, the holy one and God was just created to help us to have an easier life?

We may have good intentions, but sometimes our intentions block what God had intented to be used for our growth. For example, the verses right before these were the exchange between Jesus and His disciple, Peter. You see, Jesus had just told the disciples that He was going to Jerusalem and while there, He was going to have to suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law. He also told them that He would be killed (His words were 'must be') and on the third day be raised to life.

Well, Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Jesus saying, "Never Lord! This shall never happen to you!" Was Peter trying to be hurtful? No. Was he trying to be controlling? What do you think? I think, that in his love for Jesus, he wanted to protect Him and just the thought of someone being mean, hurtful and killing his friend--he got protectively controlling. As a mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend, I can understand that. There are times that in my love, I have probably cause a life lesson learned to be unlearned. I've stood in the way of God's plan because I didn't want to see the ones I love hurt or hurting.

But then, my spirit gets a check. I need to trust that even if the situation is not the most desirable one that I would want to have myself or a loved one to experience or be in--if I truly trust my God 100%--then I need to trust that He has the better interest in mind and heart. Do you understand that?

Can you imagine if Peter had been successful and talked Jesus out of going or was able to prevent Him from getting to Jerusalem and being crucified? What would have happened to God's perfect plan then? We would be so sadly lost. Do you realize that? Do you realize that if Jerusalem and that whole situation--sad and horrible as it was--hadn't happened, that we would not even be able to know our God or have a relationship with Him? How awful!

So the lesson learned is that even if we cannot understand what the bigger picture is--God does. Even if it causes us pain or is uncomfortable--it is still God's plan. And as God's plan, He's in the driver's seat. If we truly want God to be the head of our lives, if we are truly handing Him the steering wheel--we have to let Him have both hands on it and not just one. Get it?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Just Turn Around

"O God, you are my God,
and I long for you.
My whole being desires you;
like a dry, worn-out, and waterless land,
my soul is thirsty for you.
2 Let me see you in the sanctuary;
let me see how mighty and glorious you are.
3 Your constant love is better than life itself,
and so I will praise you.
4 I will give you thanks as long as I live;
I will raise my hands to you in prayer.
5 My soul will feast and be satisfied,
and I will sing glad songs of praise to you."
Psalm 63:1 GNT

David was such a complex man. On one hand, he was very human and made human mistakes--sin. On the other, he loved God with all his heart. You can see and feel that when you read through the Psalms.

When he was in the Desert of Judah, David wrote this Psalm as a confession of longing for God and for the security His presence offers when deadly enemies were threatening him. He remembered the peace and freedom that his close relationship with God felt like. And he yearned for that feeling of warmth and security--back again.

Have you been there? Have you been in a situation that you wished that you weren't in? You wished you could go back in time and just be like a child who could crawl up into your Father's lap and feel loved, safe, forgiven and secure? You can.

Your heavenly Father is just waiting for you to ask Him. All you have to do is turn around and come running. There is nothing so bad or so awful that your heavenly Father would turn His back on you. You see, we will always be like a David. We will also desire to be good and perfect for our Heavenly Father, but fall short. Why? Because we're also descendants of Adam and Eve. We will always have that tug-a-war inside of us. Free-will verses God-will. Some days we will overcome it, and then there will be those hard days when it will overcome us.

Your Father knows that. That is why He sent Jesus. He sent Jesus down to be our bridge. Because on our own, we would never be able to have a true relationship with Him. So, Jesus had to come. And freely Jesus came--He loved us that much.

Along with Jesus, He also sent down the Holy Spirit. You see, again, the trinity--the Father, Son and Holy Spirit--three persons so entwined that they are one. It takes the presence of the trinity in our lives for us to be the faithful children we need to be.

So, please, just turn around. Turn around and come running to your Father. Pour out, as David has, all your sorrow, your shame for acts done, all your love to Him--asking for forgiveness. If you do that, then you will also see and experience the strength, gloriousness, forgiveness and constant love of His being.

It will only take a second--but what a mighty second!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Power of Three

"16 I ask God from the wealth of his glory to give you power through his Spirit to be strong in your inner selves,17 and I pray that Christ will make his home in your hearts through faith. I pray that you may have your roots and foundation in love,18 so that you, together with all God's people, may have the power to understand how broad and long, how high and deep, is Christ's love.19 Yes, may you come to know his love although it can never be fully known and so be completely filled with the very nature of God." Ephesians 3:16-19 (GNT)

What touched my spirit about when I was lead to these verses was that I felt the love. I found myself thinking, "Wouldn't that be the beautiful prayer to pray over someone?" And then I thought, "I would love to have someone pray that prayer over me."

In those verses, if you look at them closely, you will discover the trinity. How? Well, first of all, verse 16, Paul is asking that God's Spirit would make you strong. Secondly, verse 17, that by Christ's indwelling-making His home--in your hearts through faith and thirdly, verse 19, and that they would be filled to the measure of all the fullness by the very nature of God. This threefold fullness of God is the believers state in God.

You see, in order to be a full, well-rounded Christian, you need to have all three persons in the trinity--The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are all interlaced and entwined with each other to help make you strong. If you have any less than three, you are vulnerable. You are exposed. It's like being outside in the snow--you have your boots, your gloves but no jacket. Are you going to be protected by the elements? Well, your feet and hands will but the rest of you are subjected to freeze--so in the end, so will your hands and feet.

Let's cover each other with that prayer, shall we? Your God is SO awesome. He truly is.

Monday, June 20, 2011


"36 Do you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? Of course not!37 There is nothing you can give to regain your life." Mark 8:36-37(GNT)

Sometimes is seems that some people would give up everything to get ahead. To win that promotion. To purchase that house in the ritzy neighborhood. To get that 'to-die-for' body. The mate of a lifetime.

But in the end, what would you have to show for it? Promotions go away. Homes are just houses without a soul. Bodies get old. Not all mates are meant for a lifetime--only the one God made for you.

So--at times, you may have to make a choice--do I sacrifice it all for what I think is important or do I sacrifice everything for what the Lord is telling me is important? Because in the end, everything else may go by the wayside, but what God had begun as a good work in you, that will stay, if you don't neglect it.

What do you need to do? Keep your eyes focus on the goal--Jesus. If you do that, then you should find the rest of you following close behind. Will it be easy? No. Not always. But you know, some treasures are more valuable the harder they are to find. The same goes with your walk. It's worth the fight.

"2 Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God's throne." Hebrews 12:2(GNT)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

O Lord, Which One?

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10 NIV

This verse seems to go hand-in-hand with Luke 4:42b-44. This is where Jesus had just returned from being in a solitary place with His Father. The people didn't want Him to leave. He had healed many of their own, driven out demons and they wanted to keep Him all for themselves.

But what did Jesus do? Jesus said, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent." Luke 4:43. He couldn't stay. His purpose was to be a traveling preacher.

Jesus had many gifts--in fact--He had all the Spiritual gifts. But He knew what purpose and gift He was to do and use. What about you? Do you know your purpose and gift(s)? If you have more than one gift, do you know which one the Lord wants you to use for His glory and purpose? Or are you running around, at one point you think it's this one and then at another point you think it's that one? You feel a little crazy. A little frazzled.

Do you know how Jesus knew which of His many gifts He was to focus on? What His purpose was? He took time to get away and be alone with His Heavenly Father. A place of solitude. People are crazily looking for Him everywhere. Where was He? Alone with His Father, communing with Him.

If you don't have a clear purpose, a clear vision on what gift that your Heavenly Father wants you to use, then why not do what Jesus did? Go to a solitary place and commune with Him. Prayerfully consult with Him about your desire to have a clear purpose and vision. You may not get it that very second, but please, be faithful in the asking. He will give it to you.

Don't wear yourself out like a butterfly--fluttering here and there, looking for the next best flower that will have the sweetest nectar. God wants you close to Him. He is your source. Tap into it. And once it is revealed to you, apply it as the verse above says, use it to serve others in your Father's gracious name and do it faithfully.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


"But the crowd laughed at him because they all knew she had died. Then Jesus took her by the hand and said in a loud voice, 'My child, get up!' Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up.” Luke 8:53-55 NLT

What do we know about this child? We know that the child was a girl, and if you read a couple of verses earlier, you find out that she is about 12 years old and her father, Jairus, was a ruler of the synagogue. We also discover that she was dying and because of that, her father came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with Him to come to his house.

Jesus does come, but not after healing a woman of internal bleeding just because her faith was so great that all she had to do was touch the edge of His cloak.

Do we know if the girl was a believer? Do we know if she was baptized? If she had given her life to Jesus? No. But do you notice how Jesus addresses her when he finds her dead in her home? Look closely. He says to her, "My child, get up!" He doesn't say, "Little girl, get up." or "Hey you, get up." He doesn't even say simply, "Child, get up."

Instead, He calls her "My" child. What could we take away from this? We can take the fact that we are born God's children. That we are His from day one of conception. That He has loved us from the beginning of time and died for that love. He has claimed us from the alpha-the very first--and continues to love us until the omega--the end.

Then what is this business about asking Jesus into our lives in order to be saved? Very good question. That is when we accept His presence. His unending love. His arms full of graciousness. His faith in us. Does this make sense to you? You see, He has always and forever loved and had faith in you. Asking Him into your life and to be your Lord and Savior is your way of showing Him your love and faith for Him.

So, now that you know that you have been His child from the very beginning, how about asking Him to be your Heavenly Father from this moment on? He will come running, with joy everlasting.