April 21, 2017

God Moves for Us


But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. ~Hebrews 11:6 

As I’ve been learning to walk by faith and obedience in my relationship with God, my examples have been many of the people in the Bible who exemplify what happens when we make a move of faithGod then moves for us. What do I mean by that? When we answer a call to faith and step out and make a move to demonstrate our faith, then God shows up. And when He moves, He does the supernatural. 

In Joshua 6, Joshua and the Israelites faithfully and obediently marched around the Jericho wall shouting and blowing their trumpets, and the wall fell flat. The wall that was wide enough for two chariots to pass on its top fell flat. No one blew it up—they blew trumpets.

In 1 Samuel 17, David took a slingshot and five stones, and God sent that first stone in a deadly hurl straight into Goliath’s head. David didn’t have a super bionic arm. He had faith in an all-powerful God. 

In Judges 7, God told Gideon to downsize his army and gave him instructions on how to do so. Gideon had obeyed God’s directive and started with an army of thirty two thousand, but God said, tell the ones who are afraid that they may leave, and the numbers quickly dropped to ten thousand. Then God said, that’s still too many, and He dropped the numbers again to three hundred with a water-lapping test. With these three hundred remaining men, the battle was won—with trumpets, pitchers, and torches, not traditional weapons of war!

These are only a few instances of many we read in the Bible, but the lesson is clear in all of them. Faith and obedience please God, and then God moves for us! A demonstration of faith will produce a God-sized result, and a God-sized result is greater than anything we could do on our own.

When we are facing monumental situations in our lives, these examples from scripture remind us to stand firm in our faith, walk diligently in obedience, and fully trust that God is going to move on our behalf. 

April 19, 2017

If Every Sunday Were Easter


Imagine if all the Sundays after Easter were like Easter Sunday.

When everyone makes the effort to come to church because it is a special day.

When the effort is made to invite our family, a friend, neighbor, co-worker, and even the clerk at the store.

When extra chairs need to be put out to accommodate all who come.

When hugs and handshakes fill the room and joy spills over as we rejoice together in the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.

When the truth of the gospel is clearly and boldly proclaimed.

When tears fall as we are moved once again at the depth of the love Jesus has for us.

When singing sounds like a heavenly choir and worship fills the room.

When we bow our heads and pray and know His presence near.

When God whispers and says,

“I am with you, I am pleased!
Your praise has reached the windows of heaven!”


Psalm 122:1  
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go into the house of the Lord.”

April 17, 2017

Abide and Seek


Read John 15:1-18

John 15:4-5
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

This time of year my favorite vine is the honeysuckle vine which is in bloom now and smells wonderful as the honeysuckle scent drifts on a warm spring breeze.

In John 15 Jesus declares Himself to be The Vine and we are the branches and He invites us to abide in Him.

Abide in the Lord and He will bless you more than you ever thought was possible. He will draw you near to His heart and He will never let you go.

When we abide in the Lord above and beyond anything else we do, when we seek Him first and with our whole heart, everything else of life falls into its rightful place.

Abiding in the Lord is where we learn to freely turn all things over to the Lord - and finally understand - in crystal clearness - we never had control at any time, and all things are better held in His hands - than ours. This is such an important and significant step in our relationship with Him.
    
Abiding and seeking must become constant, it must become integrated in all that we do - as natural as each step we take and every breath we breathe. This is where we will find a depth of love from the Lord we did not know before. This is also where we will learn to rest safe and secure in all areas of our lives.

Abiding in the Lord and seeking Him above all else is the place where our hearts will find rich and satisfying contentment.

Matthew 6:33 
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

April 14, 2017

The Easter Story


The Glory and Majesty of heaven came to earth in the flesh and lived among us, and we joyfully celebrated the birth of Christ our Lord at Christmas. The shepherds were heralded with Mighty Angels announcing the good news of a Savior born to us.

As a young twelve year old boy Jesus talked with the priests in the temple and impressed all around Him with His wisdom and knowledge and then was quiet on the scene in our Bibles until He began His ministry at the age of thirty.

His own family questioned Him as He began to perform miracles and teach in parables—upsetting the Pharisees and priests as He challenged them to recognize and believe who He was.

He chose twelve disciples and although they did not understand all He told them, He did warn them of what was to come, that He would be killed and that He would rise again.

When His time came, in the garden His sweat was drops of blood as He anguished and said, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." (Luke 22:42)

Jesus willingly, lovingly gave His life. He could have called ten thousand angels to His rescue. He died shedding His blood on the cross to atone for the sins of all mankind.

Upon His crucifixion on that cross, the temple veil was torn top to bottom and the earth quaked and a vast darkness fell.

Jesus was then buried in the tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea. A stone was placed at its entrance, and guarded so no one could steal His body and lie.

But when they came to the tomb that glorious morning, His body was not there and the Angel asked, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!” (Luke 24:5-6)

He is not dead! Jesus arose! He lives! 

Our Redeemer Lives!

April 12, 2017

The Grave and the Cross: Part 2 of 2


Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24 

Continued….

Donna and Dewayne knew where they were going because they had long ago invited Jesus into their hearts. They had accepted His gift of Salvation and eternal life with Him. They accepted His payment for their sin when He died on the cross and shed His innocent blood and offered complete forgiveness and new life as followers of Christ.

They lived with that hope and understanding that death and the grave was not the end. They believed Jesus rose again that glorious Resurrection morning following His brutal crucifixion and death. The power that raised Him from the dead would also resurrect them for eternity. They lived knowing God so loved the world He gave His only son - for them. 

They knew when they breathed their final earthly breath, Jesus would greet them and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Death did not hold our Lord in the grave, and it doesn’t hold my sister and her husband. They are in heaven where I will see them again one day and for always.

The Resurrection power works for us right here on earth also. When we become followers of Christ, we are made a new person and that power that saves us is the resurrecting power that makes us a new creature. (Recommended Reading Romans 6)

I am so glad Donna and Dewayne were made new in Him. I am also grateful I have been made new as a believer by faith through grace. It was Donna and Dewayne that took me to church one Sunday morning when I was young and I heard the clear and strong gospel message and accepted Jesus as my Savior.

I am also glad because I know I will see them again and every loved one who has also Gone Home.

The message of Jesus and the Cross and His Resurrection on the third day = the hope of Easter for all who believe. 

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9 


In this beautiful family cemetery in the hills of Kentucky, where a family lovingly placed a cross overlooking the graves of loved ones, I was reminded of the power of the cross.

May your Easter be blessed as we celebrate our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ!


Below is a link to the song:The Power of the Cross sung by Kristyn Getty 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aowdjLeaCYs 

If you missed the first part of this story, click here:
The Grave and the Cross: Part 1 of 2