|Posted on May 11, 2019 at 5:35 PM||comments (0)|
For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes. An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness. Proverbs 5:21-23
Looking back on the days I refer to as B.C. (Before Christ) as Job rightly put it in 17:7 “I am a shell of my former self.” But it didn’t happen overnight, it changed one pain staking day at a time. I wish I could tell you that when you receive Christ your life will be easier, but that would be a lie. Following Christ is not for the weak or faint of heart. It is a daily dying of the former in order to become more like him 2 Corinthians 3:18 If there is anything these past few days have shown it’s that He set the bar pretty high.
As I type this I have 4 minutes left on my tea that steeps for 15 minutes. As odd as it sounds, that’s something I never made B.C., hot tea. The time it took to steep and prep was not fast enough for me. If I so much thought I wanted a cup of tea, it’s because I wanted it now, I didn’t have the self-control to exercise patience. But now I don’t mind the wait for the reward. I don’t mind the wait for the benefits tea gives to me even after I have drank it. It’s not just a cup of tea, it is a warm comfort for my soul in a cup. It’s cleansing. It’s an antioxidant. It smells like a simpler time if that time had a scent.
Today is Saturday and when I lived in this world without the Spirit of Christ in me I couldn’t wait for my weekends I looked forward to and treasured them like pure gold. Now it is just another day in the life of me and one day less on the earth. A day unlike the days before that will have joy in it regardless if it falls on a certain day of the week. I do mostly the same thing every day so that one day isn’t that distinguishable from another. You would think I would be bored but it’s kind of exciting unknowing what the day will bring to me.
Each day begins with peace and in that peace I share devotional time with H. Afterwards I listen to some praise and worship while I pick up the room from the day before all so that I can make room to work out this meat puppet and practice gratitude. While this salt of the earth is still pliable I stretch while watching a teaching to slow down my heart rate and make use of those additional brain chemicals. Then listen and sing aloud to more praise and worship music while I get ready for the day ahead. I complete chores or run errands all the while going through the day with song. When the day is done usually before noon, for lunch I get to spend my afternoon here with you. Sharing about my favorite topic, His Word, after all I have spent the morning filling up on it. The afternoon allows time for reflection on what was taught. I sit in awe and wonder filled with His unfailing love. God is good, He is kind to me, gentle in all His power and faithfully beside me. If He can have the self-control not to destroy me surely there has to be some control in me.
I gave my son a ride earlier to grab his lunch and sat in the car with God while I waited. I noticed how He painted the clouds to look like fluffy cotton balls that had fallen across his blue canvas sky. I felt the cool breeze from the warmth of the sun shining brightly in my sunroof. I heard the trees clapping their leaves, thanking Him for the faithfulness of Spring showers the day before. They were nourished and it allowed them to flourish in the warmth of the sun. I heard the birds singing their song of praise. Just another day in the life of His creation another day to praise the LORD.
Without self-control I didn’t take notice of these things before. I looked at my watch, I looked at my phone. I looked everywhere but up. Who had time to look up? Who had time to listen? There was always something that needed to be done. No time to wait I need what I want now. This flesh it ached. I wanted relief I wanted to keep going for fear if I slowed down, what? The hurt would find me, the pain wouldn’t cease. “Be still and know that I am” were the first words He spoke to me. He said them because in my pain to survive, in my struggle to hold on to this miserable life I had no idea who He was. He was the one I cried to, turned to when I was at a complete loss and when I was found, when things were alright I returned to not needing Him I had life figured out. But this time was different. This time I really wanted to know. I didn’t want to go back to my former self. I wanted something new, something divine.
I wasn’t afraid to not know what that life was going to look like. I just knew it had to be better than this, this life that I created that I planned out that I worked for all my life. I was willing to let it all go if just to find out what He intended for me even if it wasn’t my own. It would be what He wanted for me and I had heard that was a good life. I would stop and wait for as long as it took to receive the kind of life I had only heard of that “rich and satisfying life” Jesus talked about in John 10:10.
I was rich in the worldly sense but I wasn’t satisfied. I had everything I wanted and yet I still wasn’t the least bit satisfied with it. I thought if I had more I would be happier but I didn’t know what that more was. The truth was I needed more self-control. I didn’t have to settle for the way I felt every morning. Entertain every thought that came into my head. God had given me control to tell this meat puppet what to feel and what to think it was just a matter of my choosing what it was I wanted to feel and what it was to think on.
I am human but I don’t wage war as humans do. I use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of my human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. I destroy every proud obstacle that keeps me from knowing God. I capture my rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ in me. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 Personal
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.Philippians 4:8
The average Word has about 1,200 pages and I heard the Harry Potter books have over 3,300 pages that I didn’t read but saw all the movies so I figured if I can sit through those movies I can certainly sift through each page of the book of “life” instructions if I was ever going to figure out what life was about. I needed the Word like I needed food and water to live and it would take a huge dose of self-control on my part to seek out this rich and satisfying life my brother died to give me.
I learned that peace wasn’t just sitting in silence. Love was more than something pleasing to me. If being filled with joy was the same as being happy than why can I be unhappy but not unjoyful? These were things I wanted to get to the bottom of. That patience was more than the wait. That being good, kind and gentle were things I was capable of doing without expecting anything in return but because He had been these things to me. That being faithful was more about my relationship with God not about religion. And that the power that all these fruits combined when I possess them apart from God they were absolutely useless to me. But with God, they became a compass through which I could build my life on. He gave me eyes to see these fruits in all their glory in the world and it was like looking through a kaleidoscope, full of color, full of life, each changing daily and what’s more is they were even more brilliant in the light.
Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then He separated the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:3-4
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.* (In Greek we now have this treasure in clay jars.) This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:7
For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Ephesians 5:8-9
|Posted on May 10, 2019 at 4:45 PM||comments (0)|
Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants. Deuteronomy 32:2
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13
There have been things I have gone through in my life that felt like I was in a hurricane, a tornado that had swept up my life and scattered it to the four corners of the globe. Times when the things I have gone through felt like a raging fire had rushed through and destroyed everything I built till there was nothing left but the ashes of a ruined life. Times when my own little world was so shaken that it brought me to my knees unable to get a grip on anything and stand just wait till the time passed. Shaken to my core, my world spinning about, mind going faster than I can control. Thoughts flooding me like a I was caught in the undercurrent of crashing ceaseless waves. One after another pulling me under as I grasped for shore hoping that this wouldn’t kill me. Each time a part of me has died. I have left pieces of me behind scattered in the storm, blown in the ash, pieces of me that crumbled in those earth quaking shattering moments of my life.
Even Job’s friend comfort him by saying in Job 15:11 “Is God’s comfort too little for you? Is His gentle word not enough? Truth is I never heard God speaking in the middle of these moments I only heard Him after those things had passed. When the initial shockwaves wore off, in the silence when all my strength was gone. When I was able to quiet the thoughts, stop the irrational line of questions, fear and doubt. When I was lying down at the end of night waiting for another day to pass. When I was listening to the rise and fall of my own breath confirming I had survived the blast, I was still alive. Though inside my heart was so broken, my mind was so torn, the only reason I was alive is because He allowed me to be He could have taken me out many times over. But instead He chose me to be a witness to it all, this book He had written called my life.
I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. So correct me, LORD, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die. Jeremiah 10:23-24
I dreamt the other day as I was waking up a voice saying “the story is about his life so that his life might be found in you.” Well if you have read the Story you would know there is nothing gentle about life. The story is about human beings and the human nature to survive. The enemies they face as they make their way out of slavery to a life of promised freedom. It starts with a man who sought more for his life than what he was given and followed that voice inside that said there was more. Without knowing where that voice would lead him in faith he left the familiar for something more.
There are mountains they had to climb, giants they had to face, and enemies they needed to conquer to reach the place they hoped would be a better life. Each chapter talks about a challenge, a fear they had to overcome. Generation after generation God proved to be faithful in their journey. They never gave up hoping and believing in a God that had a plan for their lives that was greater than their own.
Is it not my family God has chosen? Yes, He has made an everlasting covenant with me. His agreement is arranged and guaranteed in every detail. He will ensure my safety and success. 2 Samuel 23:5
He has never screamed at me in anger, has never cursed at me in frustration. I imagine there have been times He breathed a sigh in exasperation, closed His eyes and shaken His head. Stubborn is what he called us in Exodus 32:9 in 33:3 He adds rebellious. Yes He knows His servant well. Thank God for forgiveness Moses begs of us in 34:9 but I have to believe that stubbornness He planted in me was so I went give up on my journey.
He has asked me a time or two “What are you doing? Are you done trying to live this life alone?” He has waited patiently for me to give up my ways so He could show me a better way. He has never raised His hand at me for failing to follow His instructions. I have suffered the consequences of my own indecision. I have even suffered for the consequences of others misdirection but each time He has gently guided me. Holding me by my right hand like a child.
He has whispered to me in the quiet, assured me of His presence in the stillness of the night. He has made to remember things He spoke long ago. There are times I get tired and I can lean on His strength to keep going. Times when I think I can’t keep believing, keep hoping in the promises He made to me yet He reminds me of the ones that have been answered before and they remind me He isn’t done with me yet.
Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29
God leads with ropes of kindness and love. Hosea 11:4 a yoke that is easy to bear because the burden He gives to me is light Matthew 11:30 not just in weight to carry but literally visual light. So that I could see where I am going so that I have direction in life. No longer am I in the dark about what the purpose of life is. It is right there written in black and white for anyone to read. He says No misfortune is in His plan for my life. No trouble is in store for my life. The future He has planned for me is good. But that’s not to say I didn’t plot out my own misfortune. I didn’t botch my own plans and bring trouble on myself.
I once drove north for twenty miles thinking I was going west. When I realized I was going the wrong direction I got off the highway and turned around, drove twenty miles south and where I made a left turn I turned right so I could go west. Some corrections in my life are not that easy. I ignore the warning signs and I keep going down the wrong path.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed. We have left God’s path to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. Isaiah 53:6
In life when I leave God’s path, I sin against God and I deny His plan for my own. I purposely go where I should not, I purposely do what I should not be doing and before I know it I am lost, so lost. It requires hurricane force winds, fires and storms to get my attention for me to know I am going the wrong direction. He has to destroy everything I did so that I can start over again, maybe this time with Him. Like a shepherd with his staff He gently nudges me back to the path He laid out before I was born.
The words of the wise are like cattle prods- painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep. Ecclesiastes 12:11
In God’s great mercy He has never abandoned me alone to die in this wilderness I call my life. He still provides a pillar of cloud I can find rest and shade in it still leads me forward by day and the pillar of fire I call the desire in my heart still shows me the way through the night. Through His son He has sent His good Spirit to instruct and gently guide. He never stops feeding me the bread of life and the living water of His Word for my thirst. He has sustained me for forty something years. My life is proof of His provision, I have not lacked anything. My clothes did not wear out, and my feet have not swelled making my way through this wilderness called my life. (taken personally from Nehemiah 9:19-20)
|Posted on May 9, 2019 at 4:40 PM||comments (0)|
I have not kept the good news of Your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about Your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in great assembly of Your unfailing love and faithfulness. Psalm 40:10
When I think about God’s faithfulness I am reminded of the times I was faithless. When I counted on things that weren’t God to get me through the struggles in my life. When I turned to my addictions for relief. When I looked to people to pull me out of the pits of despair I was in. While all those things worked in the moment they never sustained the saving power that God had over my life. As Paul says in his letter to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:13 If we are unfaithful He remains faithful, for He cannot deny who He is.
I have only ever been faithful to one person all my life and that person was myself. In a world where I was taught to look out for myself I did, I did it with such pride and arrogance, quick to boast in my own efforts as if the things that just so happened to go my way contributed to coincidence certainly not anything I couldn’t see working in the background to ensure I got to where I was supposed to be. My faithlessness contributed to one thing my empty, soulless, wretched life but when my son came along suddenly that emptiness wasn’t good enough to pass down though it was passed down faithfully to me.
And your children will be like shepherds, wandering in the wilderness for forty years. In this way, they will pay for your faithfulness, until the last of you lies dead in the wilderness. Because your men explored the land for forty days, you must wander in the wilderness for forty years- a year for each day, suffering the consequences of your sins. Then you will discover what it is like to have Me for an enemy. Numbers 14:33
I didn’t return to the LORD till my late thirties almost forty years in the wilderness I wondered without direction, without any guidance of how to precede, just going in circles around the same mountains. I thought what was good enough for everyone before me must be good enough for my son but there was always that feeling that there had to be more to life than this. There was more to being alive than working for the weekends.
I remember my security question for my job was why do you work? And my answer was for my days off. I worked to enjoy my time off. No other reason than that. I spent every cent I made. I lived check to check. I never gave anything away. My possessions defined me. As the world says the one with the most toys wins. I had nothing to show for my life except my son and even still I had nothing to pass onto him but the same thing I got which was a whole lot of nothing in life but to work, spend, sleep, repeat.
My ancestors were a bit like that too in Psalm 78:56-57 But they kept testing and rebelling against the God Most High. They did not obey His laws. They turned back and were as faithless as their parents. They were as undependable as a crooked bow. Growing up a holiday Catholic shrines and idols were all I knew. I remember lighting candles to saint Jude in hopes of landing a job or winning the lottery. I remember holding onto the rosary like a corded telephone wire praying to my brothers’ mother, Mary. After all she had the power to bring the Son of God into this world surely she could heal me of my illnesses too. I didn’t need to talk to God the Creator who knit me in my mothers’ womb, when I could just repeat a single prayer to Mary over and over again in case she didn’t hear me the first time. In all my faithlessness He remained faithful to me, longing for me to pray to Him, speak to Him my every need, thank Him for all He had done for those thirty something years I was silent.
“I thought to Myself, ‘I would love to treat you as My own children!’ I wanted nothing more than to give You this beautiful land- the finest possession in the world. I looked forward to Your calling me ‘Father,’ and I wanted you never to turn from Me. But you have been unfaithful to me, you people of Israel! You have been like a faithless wife who leaves her husband. I, the LORD, have spoken.” Jeremiah 3:19-20
What did I get for my faithless life well I got to live a lifetime without Him believing in nothing greater than myself. And what was I able to do all by myself, I did nothing, I had nothing to show for this life of selfishness. Never knowing His presence was always with me I was always looking to this world to fill a void, a loneliness only He could fill. Like Cain I felt doomed to wander through the unknown. Alone, fearful of every thought, reacting to this world like I was walking through a freaking haunted house. Never knowing what was going to jump out and perhaps kill me. Death was about the only thing I was certain of. Death was coming for me daily and there would be no more living after that only darkness to expect.
In my searching for something more I came across Hosea 14:1-7 not quoted exact but more personal when it reads “Return, (insert name), to the LORD your God, for your sins have brought you down. Bring your confessions, and return to the LORD. Say to Him, “Forgive all my sins and graciously receive me so that I may offer You my praises.* (In Greek the fruit of my lips) I know now that no one can save me, not even my own strength. Never again will I say to idols that are manmade, handmade and lifeless ‘You are my gods.’ No in You alone do I find mercy.” The LORD says to me “Then I will heal you of your faithlessness; My love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever. I will be to you like a refreshing dew from heaven. You will bloom like a lily and will have deep roots like a cedar tree. Your branches will spread out like a beautiful olive tree, as fragrant as cedar. My people will again live under My shade. They will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines. They will be as fragrant as wine.”
“Forgive all my sins and receive me.” It started with a simple confession. An acknowledgement of all I alone had done to get me to where I was in life that I needed something greater than myself. Then when that wasn’t enough I even confessed for those long gone- my mother and my grandmother and my great grandmother who handed me over to this faithless life. If there was one thing I knew the way of life I was taught was not the way God intended me to live there was more to it, so much more and it started by returning to the One who had been faithful to me.
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psalm 16:11
|Posted on May 8, 2019 at 4:20 PM||comments (0)|
You are good and do only good…Psalm 119:68
Who is able to advise the Spirit of the LORD? Who knows enough to give Him advice or teach Him? Has the LORD ever needed anyone’s advice? Does He need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach Him what is right or show Him the path of justice? Isaiah 40:13-14
Every time something good happened in my life I never thought to thank God for it but every time something wicked, evil or bad happened I was quick to not just blame God but curse Him for it. As I began to understand who He was through the study of His Word I began to understand that it is true what His Word says of Him that “God is light and there is no darkness in Him at all.” 1 John 1:5 Why wasn’t I quick to blame the enemy for the things in my life? Why wasn’t I quick to curse my enemy, despise him for the way he was trying to kill, steal and destroy my life, wickedness will certainly not rescue the wicked. Ecclesiastes 8:8
Even Job in all that he suffered never once blamed God for his suffering as said in Job 1:22 and 2:10 he just wanted to know why the suffering. I never knew it was a sin to blame God for any darkness that happened in my life so one of the first things the Spirit stopped me from doing was dishonoring God by cursing him for these things. Instead I began to trust in Him and recognize Him for all the good that came into my life.
I never knew there were two trees in the garden Genesis 2:9 and the one Eve ate chose to eat from was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Oh how I wish she would have eaten more from the tree of life that tree that would have given her wisdom Proverbs 3:18, or maybe put it in her to perform good deeds 11:30, the tree that would have fulfilled her dreams 13:12, given her the words to speak gently 15:4 but instead she just had to eat from the tree that gave her the spirit of judgement. Not of good and bad, not good and not so good. Not even good and unfortunate. Nope the tree that whispered in our ears like a nagging wife what we thought was good and evil. What was good and evil and who was good and evil based on those thoughts. What was shameful and what was not shameful. Before she took a small bite for mankind there was a time they felt no shame Genesis 2:25.
There is no going back from that kind of knowledge of once you know what is good for you and once you know what is evil for you simply can’t turn a blind eye and un-know it. I know what I know and I don’t know what I don’t know. And just because I knew did not also give me the right to put on a black robe and hold a gavel in my own hand and judge every person I came into contact with on the earth. But somehow I thought that is what it meant. This special knowledge was not given for me to judge whether it applied to people only how this knowledge applied to me. James 4:12
As my brother said only God is the true Judge John 8:50 and even the wisest man in the Word said God would be the one to judge my actions in 1 Kings 8:39 whether my actions were good or evil, if they come from a place of darkness or light, whether the words I spoke were bitter or sweet.
What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. Isaiah 5:20
I noticed this tree was the knowledge of what is good. Not the knowledge of what is right. And the tree also gave me the inherent knowledge of what is evil not the knowledge of what is wrong. As the LORD said in Jeremiah 4:22 “My people are foolish and do not know me,” says the LORD. “They are stupid children who have no understanding. They are clever enough at doing wrong, but they have no idea how to do what is right!” Just because I know what is good and evil for me does in no way prevent me from doing what is right and wrong and as God predicted I did what was evil most times.
The power God gave to me through Jesus was the same power he gave to Peter in Matthew 16:19 and that power was simply this to permit and forbid things as they pertain to my own life not the lives of others. To permit what was good for me and to forbid what I considered evil. He did not permit me to make those decisions for everyone around me. I needed the Spirit in me to direct and guide my thinking as Jesus said in Matthew 7:11 that even sinful people know how to give good gifts to their children how much more will our heavenly Father give good gifts or as the good doctor Luke said give His Spirit in Luke 11:13 to His children who ask Him.
In order to do good I needed to know what good was. Not the worldly definition of the word but how God had been good to me. In life I had already experienced and was going to experience even more things that I would think were not good because they didn’t “feel” good but that did not that make them bad. I don’t like to exercise does that mean exercise is evil and should be avoided like the flu. Of course not! Sometimes what is good for me is not always what is pleasant.
Even the Psalmist said in 119:71 “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to Your decrees.” Is suffering good? No one likes to suffer but if it results in His good maybe it isn’t evil either. In Proverbs 16:26 It is good for workers to have an appetite; an empty stomach drives them on. Is it good to have a feeling of hungry? Jesus said life is more than food, more than what we eat or drink. Luke 12:23; 29
Hezekiah wrote in In Isaiah 38:16 Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! Yes this anguish was good for me, for You have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins. Is discipline good? Ask any expert in any given field, it took discipline to become an expert at it. Is anguish good? Ask Jesus. Sometimes the things I see are not good but they are what is good for me.
When I am faced with things I wouldn’t have chosen to go through I find comfort in knowing God in all His infinite wisdom does not just have knowledge of what is good for me or evil against me as I do, but He also has the wisdom to know in advance what is right for me. He knows what is best for me because He wrote each day of my life out before a day had passed. Even when I think this is not good for me He finds a way to work every single life experience I encounter out for my good because I have been chosen to know and believe that I am loved by Him and have been called according to His purpose for me Isaiah 43:10 and Roman 8:28.
God made a covenant with me in Jeremiah 32:40 that said He would “never stop doing good for me”. He said in verse 41 that He would “find joy in doing good for me.” So no matter what it is I am facing or going through whether I consider it to be good or evil I can still trust that God is still in control of my life. That my present situation regardless if it may seem like a dilemma to me is not the end of my story but merely a part of the story as the author of life has written it for me, not my whole story and that is good.
|Posted on May 7, 2019 at 2:45 PM||comments (0)|
Jesus said in Matthew 5:47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. I can still remember the first time God revealed His kind of kindness to me through this verse. The fall of 2013 our basement had flooded recently and my son had just begun a new school year. I was in my fourth year of turning my life over to God in ways I knew how by watching teachings and spending time in His Word.
God was in the process of transforming me but there were still many areas of my life I was still very much my old self. That’s what I like about God He doesn’t reveal areas that need improvement all at once it is a process He takes you through over time. If I am not in a growth period, I am coming out of one or going into one like the seasons change so my life is being changed from glory to glory. He has only given me what I could handle in each season of growth, enough to make me bend beyond what I thought I could withstand but never more than enough to break me.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4
H had taken a personal day to devote to repairing the basement and to taking our son to his first day of school that morning. When he left the house he accidently or should I say by God’s divine purpose left his cell phone on the bathroom counter and I just so happened to be using the bathroom when it buzzed.
The text read “I waited for you in the parking lot, I am going home now.” This was the same woman at the end of 2017 I learned he had been seeing for the past 10 years off and on throughout our 14 year marriage. It was obvious she was someone he would meet in the parking lot before his shift started. I responded back with all the control I could hold back “I took the day off to take my son to school.” And when he came home I confronted him. There was no time to discuss his father would be over to help him repair the basement, our discussion would have to wait for a later time.
The morning and afternoon passed as I kept myself busy in the house in constant prayer and wanting to flee. I put on the face of a loving wife for my father in law and pretended that everything was alright nothing to see here. Inside I knew my marriage was about to come crashing down with a force not even the strength of Samson could hold up.
By the time his father left my son was home but this couldn’t wait anymore. I gave my son a snack and sent him to play and watch a movie in his room. Then I took my husband outside and before God and the every cloud in the sky I unleashed a fury I had never known in me. I asked to see his phone there was nothing left to hide. She had texted him again something like he needed to stand up to me using vulgar terms and her words were not the least bit kind.
And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other…Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24:10; 12
It was as if the forces of good and evil were about to do battle in me and in that moment I was blinded by everything I had been holding back for hours since seeing the morning text. I threw his phone on the back porch but it only bounced and not shatter like I had hoped. So I picked it up out of the grass and threw it again and again until piece flew and I knew we could have our conversation undisturbed. After all this was a fight for the life I had built with him.
And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes. For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding him back steps out of the way. Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:6
For a moment I tried to hold back the rage growing within, but I failed miserably and I cursed, slapped, punched and kicked him as he was defending each deserved blow. And still the rage within me wasn’t nearly satisfied. All because still he refused to admit his lies and made me to feel like I was insane for believing anything was going on so insane is what I became.
I went inside and began to pack a suitcase. My son confused by the chaos asked what I was doing and I said as calmly as I could “Everything will be alright, you will be alright.” It took me packing for H to finally confess. After his confession I had nothing more to add, nothing more to give it had all been poured out. This had been the most opposite of kind I had ever or would ever be in my life. I looked down as the adrenaline was wearing off, my knuckles were swollen, nicked and bruised for I had come face to face with the devil and it wasn’t apart from me it was inside. How could someone like me have heard the voice of God speaking at one time “Be still and know that I am”, how undeserved I was to hear Him. This wasn’t stillness in me this was a raging sea in the middle of a hurricane. I didn’t want to be this person, this wasn’t who I was anymore.
He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. Psalm 107:27
It would be enough for that day, I wept myself to sleep and as soon he left for work, I had taken the day off to mourn. In utter dismay, I remember running to the empty basement to escape the house that was surrounded of photos of us all the lies, there was no truth in this home. I knelt before my LORD in tears, praying for wisdom, more like crying out for understanding. I didn’t understand how I had turned my life to Him. I had done everything I knew to do. I thought if I did everything I could do than I wouldn’t have to suffer from this kind of heartache anymore. By this time they had been seeing each other over the last 4 years. God had shown me a year into my walk when he texted me to give her a ride out to her car he accidently texted me. That was the first time I heard God. When I stopped weeping I just sat there and listened to my breath, truly praying for it to be stopped but instead I heard Him again through Scripture.
If you love those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. Matthew 5:46
It came with a question, I know you loved H but did you really love him? I responded yes. It said I know you forgave H for all those previous indiscretions but did you really forgive him? I responded yes. Then the Spirit inside me asked how did you love him? And I couldn’t answer that except to say I stayed with him. It asked again how have you shown him your love? And I couldn’t answer that. Then God revealed a truth to me that I wasn’t willing to admit to but couldn’t deny.
Three months into our marriage was when I caught him in his first lie. Having been betrayed many times before I knew myself well enough to know from that moment on I withdrew any kind of kindness toward him, I withdrew the way the world had shown me how to love him. I no longer saw him as my husband just the man that was the father of my son. I convinced myself that he did not love me, the only reason we married was because I was pregnant with our son. Throughout those years he proved many times over that marriage was just a label we placed on our relationship to own up to the responsibilities of raising a child together. I was satisfied with him to be a body in the home that my son could call his father because it was at least more than I had growing up with and that was enough for me.
There was no kindness in our home. I lived my life and he lived his. In the beginning we worked opposite shifts I worked 6am to 230pm, he worked from 3 to midnight so we rarely saw each other except for in passing. We had opposite days off so we rarely made time for one another. Just two people working to pay for the lifestyle we had. I didn’t even do his laundry or clean the house or cook for him. I ate when I was hungry and took care of our son when he was at work and when he wasn’t at work our son was asleep so it’s not like he had many parental responsibilities but to provide. His only duty was to get our son to school on time I would take care of the rest. Every time I got paid I wrote him a check to help cover household expenses and kept the rest to myself for myself. He took care of everything- the finances, the house, the yard work and the vehicle maintenance. I took care of myself and our son and that’s how it was for the first several years of our marriage.
The year I turned my life to God 2009 was the same year he met her. By the grace of God that year I was able to secure a job that worked with my sons’ school schedule so I was able to start after taking my son to school and I was able to pick him up from school and finish out the rest of my shift by working from home. There my truth was laid out before me and I couldn’t deny it or hide it, there was no love. Where was I kind? Where in this did I show him I loved him besides being a person by his side. I wept in shame of myself not for what he had done. By James 4:11 my job is to obey the law not to judge how it applies to anyone. The wisdom I received that day was to stay for one year and in that year to give of myself completely without expecting to be treated in kind. If in that year he had not changed his wicked ways than I could leave with a clear conscience.
Do to others as you would like them to do to you. Luke 6:31
I started by washing his clothes with mine even when he criticized the way I hung them. I even cleaned the house on my days off even when it made me gag, I kept thinking the greatest among you is a servant. After a month I hired a housekeeper to come over once a week so that all I had to do was maintain without feeling overwhelmed. I gave him my entire paycheck minus the amount to cover my own bills so that he could start paying down our debts. I even started cooking what I could, heating up things in the oven and microwave, creating meal plans. Things I thought a woman who actually loved her husband would do. In that year we started going to church. I was baptized officially putting to death my old life. In year two I began Affirm the Word. In year three he fell off the roof and when I thought he was as good as dead the only thing that came to mind was love. With a clear conscience I know that I loved him the best I could for the last three years of our lives and if three years was all we had then it was enough.
God in His kindness saved me that day from being the person I was when all hell broke loose in me. His Spirit remained steadfast within me, the Spirit of His son is what helped me back. In the weeks that followed I took down the photos of us in the house and replaced them with Scriptures to get through the days and months ahead. The world was not kind to Christ but still he went about being kind to the world. It was never about what this world could give to him it was what God had given to him, life. God could have allowed me to leave that day and never see my son again, but I stayed. He could have allowed me leave my son in the sole care of his father and be done with our life built on lies but He gave me the strength it would take to stay and instead He changed my heart that day. No longer did I treat H the way he had mistreated me all those years but instead I treated him with the same kindness that God had shown to me by laying down my life in spite of all he had done. It was God’s love that covered my sins but it was His kindness that helped me to know I was His beloved.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32
|Posted on May 5, 2019 at 3:55 PM||comments (0)|
I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1
I am currently waiting for my pain medication to kick in. Nothing on the bottle says the exact time I should expect relief but by taking it I know that relief will come. I just must wait patiently for it. In the meantime I have eaten a little something to put in my stomach along with the medication so that it can be absorbed more quickly into my bloodstream and not cause that nausea feeling. I took the medication with a full glass of water to push it down my esophagus and into my stomach, all this while I wait.
At times when I feel like I can’t wait for the pain medication to take effect I will rush it along by getting my blood pumping through vigorous activity like exercise, chores- like vacuuming, something that requires exertion. Another trick I use is caffeine if the medication is in tablet form I will take it with a cup of coffee. Today it is liquid form so I expect relief any moment now. I can almost feel it coming with every deep breathe I take. Something else I do, take deep breathes to allow my heart to pump the blood where it needs to go to stop the pain. I shared all this to explain what patience means to me. It’s not just praying and waiting and not doing anything, it is doing what you can and letting God do what you can’t.
My favorite God answer to the Israelites is found when they were caught at the Red Sea in Exodus 14:13-15 But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The LORD Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!” I misunderstood that patience means to wait. Waiting and doing nothing in the wait. Just sitting there breathing in and out and waiting on God to reach His hand down and do everything for me. But that is not the case. (By the way in the time it took me to get to this point in my blog my pain has subsided. Thank you Father for making me so wonderfully complex, your workmanship is marvelous Psalm 149:14 and might I add an efficient being.)
My initial problem started this morning when I developed a migraine. I tried to ignore the gnawing symptom of pain by distracting myself with the day’s activities. The moment I sat to write my migraine was keeping me from staying focused by blurring my vision, another symptom that said to me “Houston, we have a problem.” So I did what I knew to do about the pain not just pray it away but simply by taking pain relief to relieve my symptoms. You might misunderstand that my hope is in the medication but truthfully my hope was in the LORD who formed this body to do everything He had formed it to do. I knew the science behind medication and everything I could do on my end to make the science work for me but I can’t see what’s going on in me only He that lives in me can. I can’t instruct my body to be pain free I can only leave that to the One that lives in me can. Only He has the power to heal. Only He has the power to bandage. I can do what I know to do, but at the end of the day it is God who does it.
Look now; I myself am He! There is no other god but Me! I am the one who kills and gives life; I am the one who wounds and heals; no one can be rescued from my powerful hand! Deuteronomy 32:39
For though He wounds, He also bandages. He strikes, but His hands also heal. Job 5:18
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. Psalm 147:3
…I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak…Ezekiel 34:16
Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces; now He will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. Hosea 6:1
I had read once not to let time be the reason you don’t do something, because the time will pass anyway and that has stuck with me. When God says nothing is impossible in Matthew 17:20, Mark 10:27 and Luke 1:37 it doesn’t mean it is going to happen instantly. It means that everything is possible with a little time and space and during that time there will be work required of me, I will be required to do something not just sit and wait and pray. The answer to every problem I had, every pain that needed to be healed was a little time and a little space. I figure if it took me thirty something years to walk so far off the path that God had for me than if it takes the next thirty something years to walk on the path God has for me then time is what it will take.
I was healed from a 34 year addiction to pleasing my flesh by starving the need to please my flesh year by year. Yes I prayed but I also did not feed my flesh multiple times a day, every week, several times a month like I had done for the last 34 years of my life. I waited patiently by putting my trust in God to remove the urge. Every time I had a craving to feed my flesh, I fed my hunger and thirst with His Word. I am still hungry and thirsty but for His Word now.
Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for Him to act. Psalm 37:7
We did not become debt free in the three and a half years we planned to be, we became debt free in the 14 months of waiting to be. We did not simply pray our debt to disappear we learned to stop spending more than we made and started saving more than we spent. God gave us the wisdom and self-control it took to pay off the debt. He also revealed to us hidden treasures we hadn’t calculated or seen till we made the commitment to be debt free. The debt was both the Egyptians and the Red Sea because we couldn’t see how we could keep our head above water and pay off our debt at the same time and God said “What are you waiting on me for? Keep moving!” For years the obvious solution was right in front of us but we weren’t willing to take the time to solve it, we wanted it instantly.
I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him. Psalm 62:1
When H was healed from his traumatic brain injury, it was the prayers of people believing that his body could and would heal itself. While he was in a coma the only thing he could do was sleep and that is what any injury takes to heal the body it takes time to rest. As soon as he was able God gave him the wisdom to continue to sleep 8 hours a day and take naps so that his brain could continue the healing process. God gave him the self-discipline to drink half his body weight in water so that his body could operate efficiently without being hindered by something as unnoticeable as dehydration.
God gave him the strength and determination to exercise his body physically while calling out Scriptures to believe God was able to heal him from the inside out. He watched teachings daily so that he would be able to build up his endurance and go the distance he needed to go each day in order to get back to where he was. He exercised his brain daily performing mental puzzles, completing workbooks, doing mind game apps on his phone and took quizzes that required him to think differently. He fell from a roof head first onto a concrete driveway Dec 5th started therapy toward recovery Jan 5th medication free and returned to work April 1st.
Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. Psalm 27:13-14
And now our most recent time of waiting on God is with our relationship. Why is bravery and courage needed if you aren’t expected to do something that will require you to be brave and strong because the truth is half the time I don’t know if everything I do will give me the outcome I am waiting patiently for. He has shown me that His will for my life is better than my will. If He wants me to be healed I will be healed. If He wants me to wait on Him I have no choice but to wait on Him, looking to Him in the wait. If He wants me to do something then my plan will succeed.
This has taken more patience in me to wait on God than any fruit of the Spirit has before. Including the time I didn’t know when H would be awakened from his coma (21 days not the 3-4 I was told). But God has given me all these previous examples of His faithfulness when God was able to do the impossible so time is all I have. The longest prayer I ever prayed took 25 years to be answered so trust me I have gotten good at waiting. In this time I am not just praying and waiting and doing nothing for God to rebuild us. We are sharing our views on the devotionals we read together, watch teachings together, praying together, waiting together for God to do a work within us Ephesians 3:20 that we know we can’t do on our own.
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him alone. Psalm 62:5
|Posted on May 4, 2019 at 1:20 PM||comments (0)|
I am leaving you with a gift- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27
Peace is a gift it isn’t given to all of us. A gift that only few receive not because they haven’t received it but because the gift Jesus gave has not been opened. I can give anyone a gift I can have it wrapped. I can spend my time wrapping it in beautiful paper, tying it with a bow. I can give it to them but if they never open it they never know what is inside the box. They never unwrap it believing to themselves this beautiful decorative box is something they can put on their shelf and look loving at it. How pretty it is. It collects dust. It is moved from one spot to another till finally it is put in an another box crowded out by all the other gifts one receives throughout one’s life. That is what the gift of peace of mind and heart is like.
I have told you all of this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33
The words that God has spoken to us are found in the book. The book I often overlooked in my life. I owned a bible. I even carried it around. Then one day I was asked to bring my bible to church with me. The pastor was young and he liked people to open their own words instead of listening to his own. He wanted them to know he wasn’t just making it up or speaking for himself. God actually said these things and it would take you looking at them in your own bibles to see for yourselves Ezekiel 3:10.
When I was faced with troubles and trials of life, when the thought of fear frightened me, when I shed tears over my own sorrows, there was nothing in this world or of this world that brought me comfort that eased my fears that calmed me that made me take courage, that gave me the wisdom to stand. Not a single thing in this world did that. It was only till I started sorting through His Word. When the Creator of all that I am says something, my Spirit inside me stands at attention, my ears perk up, my mind says ooo good one, must remember that, store that for later use. I will need that one day, someday because the truth is the troubles, the trials, the fears, the sorrow never stops. It comes in waves this week alone I was bombarded with thoughts of fear and sorrow, I had trouble and there was a trial. Just another week in the life of me but through it all I remained at peace. A gift the world cannot give he said.
For the LORD will remove his hand of judgement and will disperse the armies of your enemy. And the LORD himself, the King of Israel, will live among you! At last all your troubles will be over, and you will never again fear disaster. On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be, “Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid! For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm your fears.* (Or He will be silent in His love. In Greek He will renew you with His love.) He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:15-17
I never knew there was a book of Zephaniah till I started to read the Word for myself. His love will calm my fears. My fears of being unwanted, rejected and unaccepted. He took delight in me with gladness. I am joyful knowing He is with me. He lives among me I need not fear anymore. I make time to rejoice with song daily even in the days of fear, trouble, trial and sorrow because if there is one thing I have been made aware of is they will come whether I rejoice in God or not but they will not give me strength to overcome I have to find that strength in God.
The Old Testament is about the creation of family, about a family whose Father is God. In Proverbs 8:22-31 speaks about when the fruits of His Spirit were born before anything else He created. How it was love that was the reason it was all formed. How he took delight in every detail before man was created knowing equipping him with what he would need. How peaceful life was before the raging tumultuous sea of emotions were formed. How strength, courage and confidence in the LORD were formed like mountains to withstand the surging blows. How the line between what was good and evil was drawn in the sand that separated the water and the land. And the limits that God set for these emotions to overflow “this far and no farther, your proud waves must stop” Job 38:11 and by His own command they obeyed Mark 4:41 keeping within the boundaries God created in the beginning. Love was the architect by His side the reason He created everything. Love was His constant delight. And loves greatest joy was simply to be in the presence of the LORD where peace was found.
And how happy I was with the world He created; how I rejoiced with the human family! Proverbs 8:31
The world He created was not water, land and sky the world he created was mankind flesh and bone he molded each soul in His hands everything else was simply a command He called out but we are His special design. I spend many times throughout each day in the company of my brother and Father through the very words they spoke John 1:1-4. I also spend time in the company of my ancestors- brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, patriarchs by the words they left behind in the Word. Their journals I like to call them, cover every area of life I would be faced with figuratively and literally. It’s as if they are with me when I read their own stories of triumph over the enemy, an enemy I still battle with today. They instill a peace in me that overflows. Their victories allow me to believe I am well able to overcome with God beside me, every trial, every sorrow, every fear, every trouble because they overcame there is a peace I have knowing that despite all these things overwhelming victory is mine through Christ Romans 8:37.
Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your heart and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6
Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. Romans 16:20
|Posted on May 3, 2019 at 5:30 PM||comments (0)|
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasures of living with You forever. *(In Greek reads You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of Your presence.) Psalm 16:11
When I knew I was loved not by this world or anyone of it but by my Father God, the Creator of heaven and earth and myself this sense of joy filled me, like I knew something no one else knew. Or at least no one else had taught me. That I wasn’t alone, there is a power to be found in those words. A faithful companion even when I forgot to be faithful to Him. It was like I had to quiet my own thoughts to hear His and when I heard Him speak to me, when I felt the sensation of His hand on my shoulder when He said to me “Be still and know that I am.” My mind was flooded with questions of knowing what? He answered not in a voice but a flashback sequence reel in a movie of all the times He had been with me throughout my thirty something years of life.
This sense of both fear and shame came over me. All this time I thought I was alone. All this time I thought no one but me saw the things I did. But He did, He was with me, He saw me, He saw everything the good and the bad and still He loved me. Still He chose me. He knew me, He knew who I was and still He said I am…with you.
Jeremiah 30:18 says that “Jerusalem, which means a place of peace, will be rebuilt on its ruins”. I confess my life was in ruin, utter ruin. There was nothing to be joyful about it. No reason to be celebrated. There it was before me in shambles, in dust, like a wrecking ball had come and demolished it once again. Joy was the last thing I was feeling until He came to me. I remember immediately after He spoke to me, going in the house and looking my husband in the eyes holding his hand and saying “I have found what makes me happy.” Joy was with me, it was beside me. It was in me, it was all around me. I knew from that moment my life would never be the same and it has not.
There is unspeakable joy in knowing I was seen, greater than being seen by anyone in this world. This knowing deep down in my bones that I was never, nor had I ever been alone. That every detail of my life was written as Psalm 139:16 said and I am not so great that I could rewrite my life to bend it to my own will. My life was spared for purpose Exodus 9:16 even if the details in my life have caused me great pain, their purpose was for greater things. Isaiah 66:9
You have endowed him with eternal blessings and given him the joy of Your presence. Psalm 21:6
There are blessings I have in the fruits of His Spirit that nothing on this earth can take away John 16:22. They begin with knowing that I am loved and the joy of knowing He is with me. In life there will be times I am physically alone. Either all by myself with not a soul in sight and times when I am in a crowded room when no one will take notice of me like I am a ghost. As my brother taught me several times in John 8:16 “…I am not alone. The Father who sent me is with me.” 8:29 “And the One who sent me is with me- He has not deserted me.” And 16:32 “Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.” He didn’t say I think He is, I hope He is or even if He is with me like Gideon said in Judges 6:13 there was no doubt in my brothers mind as there is no doubt in mine that My Father is with me.
There is one time my brother was filled with the “joy of the Holy Spirit” when he was sending out His disciples in Luke 10 he gave them instruction, he gave them warning, he gave them authority and he said to them “don’t rejoice because evil spirts obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.” In other words rejoice because everything I told you is truth. Rejoice because there is a God in Heaven who is with you.
He said in Luke 10:21-22 that it pleased His Father to hide these things from those who did not possess childlike faith. That is the kind of faith that listens without inquiry because it has heard the truth and now knows it. If the purpose of inquiry is to get to the truth once the truth is told there is no need to inquire, just accept it as truth.
He said in 10:23-24 “Blessed are the eyes that see what you have seen. I tell you, many prophets and kings longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.”
My eyes have seen the Lord. I have felt Him beside me. No one can take these memories away from me. I know what I heard, felt and saw. The prophets predicted through visions that Christ would come but they didn’t witness the time of his arrival. Kings throughout the Old Testament had all hoped in Him but never once saw Him not even in his prophets He would be seen in His son. God didn’t speak to His people because they told Moses they didn’t want to hear him for fear of dying in Exodus 20:19 but Christ came set us to free of us from being slaves to the fear of dying as said in Hebrews 2:15. So unafraid I was I believed in a God who was listening and like I was taught to say in 1 Samuel 3:9 “Speak, your servant is listening.” Unspeakable joy was found in me when He spoke.
The LORD says, “I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name.”* (Or to a nation that did not bear my name.) Isaiah 65:1
I believe my Father is ready to respond to those He calls His own. He is ready to help those that seek and ask for His help. He is ready to be found by for He said in Jeremiah 29:13-14 when they seek Him they will find Him. I was as surprised as any when He spoke “Be still and know that I am.” He knew me well enough to know that day that I had no idea who He was or what He was capable of it was like He was inviting me to come to know Him. He helped me but not the way I thought I needed His help, He helped me to know I wasn’t alone. He found me in an unexpected place, not during the storm. Not the whole week I worked in silence waiting to get through the end of the week so I didn’t have to be strong anymore. Not even when I was fighting to hang on to this life He found me at the end of my rope when I was asking Him how to let go.
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give You thanks forever! Psalm 30:11-12
|Posted on May 2, 2019 at 5:45 PM||comments (0)|
The other day I read that the way love is described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is often explained how we are to love but what if we looked at it differently that this is the way that God loves me perfectly. He is the only One capable of loving in this way completely so when I experience love from a human in these ways, I know it is God’s love being expressed to me through them.
No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us. 1 John 4:12
Looking over my own life I can see how God was very patient with me 2 Peter 3:9. He waited thirty something years for me to feel my way toward Him Acts 17:27. All the while His grace for me was being poured out even more abundantly. Luke 7:47 Romans 5:20
There is no power I have that is greater than the power God has over me Job 40:9-14. Nothing I possess that God would ask of me Psalm 50:9-12 and Psalm 89:11. He is Jealous with a capital J of one thing and that is His relationship with me Exodus 20:5 and 34:14 This relationship is not when I decide to have a relationship with Him or I am faithful to Him it’s about His faithfulness to me 2 Timothy 2:13. Everything He does is to bring honor to His name Psalm 23:3 and Jeremiah 13:11.
God’s love for me is not based on anything I could boast about like my achievements, possession or abilities nor does he shower more love on me when I have less or more of these things Job 34:19 and Proverbs 22:2. He loves me because He created me. Isaiah 43:7 and 64:8 He made me to be like Him. Genesis 5:1 and Psalm 8:5
God is never rude to me, not once has He raised His voice Isaiah 42:2. He speaks gently 1 Kings 19:12.
God does not demand His own way with me but gives me the free will to choose my own. Proverbs 1:31, Acts 14:16 and Romans 10:3 Yet He sent His Spirit to warn me through His prophets Nehemiah 9:30, Jeremiah 29:19 and Zechariah 7:7 Even His son once said we can read what they wrote and if we won’t listen to them, we won’t be persuaded even if someone, such as himself rises from the dead and he was right. I didn’t believe anyone could change their wickedness until He changed mine. Luke 16:29; 31
God is not irritated by my downfalls Proverbs 24:16. He helps me each time Isaiah 50:7. He pulls me out Psalm 18:16 and places me on high ground Psalm 27:5 and Psalm 40:2 I am after all still human Psalm 130:14 Ecclesiastes 7:20.
God does not rejoice when an injustice is done against me Isaiah 54:17. He rejoices when I stand in His truth. Proverbs 23:15, Psalm 145:18 and John 4:23-24
God never gives up on me Psalm 119:8, Luke 18:1 and 2 Corinthians 4:1;16 but instead gave his own son up for me Romans 8:32 and 1 John 3:16.
God never loses faith that I will not find my way home. Ezekiel 34:16, Luke 15:4-5 and 20 We are his lost sheep Psalm 119:176 Zechariah 10:2, Jeremiah 10:21, 23:4, 50:6, Matthew 10:6 and Matthew 15:24.
God is always hopeful of me. Isaiah 10:21, 30:18 and 44:22 Jeremiah 4:1 Hosea 5:15 Joel 2:13 Zechariah 1:3
God has been with me since the beginning Genesis 26:3 and 28:15 through every circumstance in my life Genesis 35:3 and Deuteronomy 2:7 whether deep waters, rivers of difficulty or fire of oppression Isaiah 43:2 When I was weak and afraid He has been my strength and courage Deuteronomy 31:23 When my enemies came against me He has been there Joshua 1:5 In the valley Psalm 23:4 and the mountaintop He was with me 1 Kings 20:28. He has always protected me Jeremiah 1:8.
This I know, if He had allowed my enemies to overtake me Psalm 124 death would have consumed me 1 Corinthians 15:26 I wouldn’t be here, I would be with Him Ecclesiastes 12:7 and Philippians 1:21. So either way He is always with me Psalm 16:8 and Matthew 28:20.
No one on this earth has ever loved me completely like that, in all those ways perfectly. Don’t misunderstand, I have been loved a little here, a little there just as I have loved them, but definitely not in all these ways at once by one single person because than I wouldn’t need or seek God’s love and that will never happen as long as I am on this side of heaven.
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love. We love each other because He loved us first. 1 John 4:18-19
|Posted on May 1, 2019 at 3:30 PM||comments (0)|
The time is coming when Jacob’s descendants will take root. Israel will bud and blossom and fill the whole earth with fruit! Isaiah 27:6
…I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me. Hosea 14:8
In the beginning God said in Genesis 1:28 “Be fruitful and multiply.” Before there were worldly resources and possessions God told His children “be fruitful” which leads me to believe being fruitful has nothing to do with how much we own. As my brother said in Luke 12:15 “Life is not measured by how much you own.” He went onto say in verse 12:21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
As with anyone in the world I pursue a relationship with, I do so by getting to know them. The way I get to know God is by spending time in His Word. I sit with His Word over a cup of tea or coffee and read about the things He did for my ancestors. The heroic adventures of how He lead His children in the Old Testament. I can see what His Spirit looked like when it was poured into a human being through the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the New Testament. Through the letters to the churches I can see what His Spirit looked like in a human who was the worst sinner of them all. I can wrap up the Word in Revelations. I can see how James the brother of Jesus was affected by his own brothers’ ministry and how it affected what he believed. I can see through the book of Hebrews what His Spirit is like in just about anyone I could imagine. He speaks through His Word continually, I need only to make time to listen.
So as my grass is being cut for the first time this year and the dogwood trees that line the streets are in full bloom I begin the month of May by being reminding myself of the fruits of His light in me, the fruits of the Spirit. He commanded in the beginning for me to “be fruitful and multiply”, I believe that the light He called out of the darkness in me were these things so I pray as Paul prayed over me in Colossian 1:9-12 I ask God to give me complete knowledge of His will for my life and to give me the spiritual wisdom and understanding I will need as I go through another season in my life. May the way I live will always honor and please my Father and may my life produce every kind of good fruit that is available to me. All the while may I grow to know God better and better with each passing day. May I be strengthened with His glorious power so that I will have the endurance and patience I need in the days ahead. May I be filled with joy always thanking my Father for all these things. AMEN!
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing…When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. John 15:4
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23
I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation- the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ.* (In Greek with the first fruit of righteousness through Jesus Christ.)- for this will bring much glory and praise to God. Philippians 1:11