Friday, August 28, 2009

Dirty Dishes

I was washing one of my pots the other day by hand, unfortunately, because it isn't supposed to go into the dishwasher. It has so many spots where food just loves to stick and I have to scrub those same spots everytime I use this pot. It's quite annoying, actually, and I find myself complaining inwardly when the time comes to have to wash this pot. And as I was scrubbing it, the precious Lord began speaking to me and showed me that sometimes I have spots, blemishes that He scrubs away from my heart. And sometimes those same spots on my heart keep coming back...sometimes daily. My failures, pride, short-comings, and sins tend to creep into my life and my heart more frequently than I would like to acknowledge sometimes. I began to think how often the Lord has to keep re-washing me...keep removing those same sins in my life that I fall into tempation to. But He doesn't do it grudgingly or with complaining. He does it lovingly and tenderly, careful to wash every ounce of blemish away...with patience and kindness and most of all, forgiveness. As I stood there at the sink, I felt touched and greatful for the God I serve that He doesn't wash me with the same attitude that I was my dishes! How loving is our God and His forgiveness is incredible!
Thursday nights are one of my favorite nights because my husband and I have the priviledge of hosting a bible study. The person who led last night spoke on forgiveness and what a blessing it was! I was reminded of how great God's love is toward men that He would forgive us while we were yet in our sins. I have a verse to share: "For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to ALL who call upon You." Psalm 86:5
No matter who you are or what you have done or will yet do...God is ready and waiting for you to call upon Him so He can lavish His perfect love and forgiveness upon you...He cherishes you!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Embracing God's Purpose

"..they were but flesh, a wind that passes and does not return." Psalm 78:39 "So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

So many things surround us in this life...and when I stop and spend time with Lord and listening to His voice I realize how distracted I can get. I want to number my days and make everyday count for the Lord. I want to be a blessing to Him. I want the things that I do to be eternal. I want to live for HIS purpose. But so many distractions! Many of the things that distract us aren't bad in of themselves; in fact, many of them are good things and blessings that God has given us. The issue comes when we put those things before the purpose that God has for us. Our time, our committments, our jobs, our success, our family many times naturally become priority before God's purpose and God's heart. What is God's heart? What is God's purpose for us? Or shall I ask a more appropriate question...What is God's purpose for Himself? You see, we as humans tend to think we are so important and that God's individual purpose for our individual lives is what we should focus on as we live for Him. there something bigger than that? I believe there is and I also believe that He has revealed it in His Word. At our church, my pastor has been speaking on the house of God and that His purpose since the beginning of time has been His dwelling place. Tracing back through scripture, I see this very clearly. The tabernacle and the temple were the center of worship in the Old Testament. What does this picture in the old testament show us? Let the Word of God speak for itself...I am leaving some passages that will proclaim of the temple of God, the dwelling place of God, and His heart for it:
"I will build My church..." Matthew 16:18
"Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up..." John 2:19
"However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands..." Acts 7:48
" are a temple of God..." 1Corinthians 3:16
"...that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith..." Ephesians 3:17
" are being built up a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ..." 1Peter 2:5
**Make all your days be unto the Lord...allow Him to use you everyday for His purpose!**

Monday, August 24, 2009

"I, the Lord, am your God..."

Psalm 81:10 says, "I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide and I will fill it."

I have been shown more and more recently that the old testament is in one sense a picture of what our lives are like in the new testament under grace. Our God has delivered us up from a dark, terrible bondage in the land of sin where we were slaves to sin (just as Israel was in slavery in Egypt) so that we may dwell in the promised land of Christ Himself and posess all that He is. Just like the nation of Israel, we stumble through the wilderness at times because of our lack of faith in God. If only we would believe and receive all that Christ offers us, we would be able to take hold of that promised land and dwell in it! The sins of the nation of Israel are not foreign to us and the same sins take hold of us in the Church. "They did not keep the covenant of God and refused to walk in His law; they forgot His deeds and His miracles that He had shown them," Psalm 78:10-11. Oh people of God, children of the Most High God, do not forget what the Lord has done for you! Remember that it is He that has delivered you from a life of destruction, a slavery to sin, and death. He has done a wonderous miracle in our lives in bringing us up out of the "land of Egypt." And has done numerous good deeds and works in our hearts through the work of the Holy Spirit through sanctification. "Consider your ways!" declared the prophet Haggai to the nation of Israel and I must do the same. Are my ways the ways of the Lord? Am I living in a sacrificial way for the Lord? Am I committed to the building of His Church? The Lord continued to speak to the people through Haggai..."Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house (the temple) lies desolate?" Haggai 1:4. It is so easy to fall in the ways of the world, putting our own lives, our own houses, and our own time before the house of God and the worship of God. I pray as the psalmist writes, "Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name's sake,"Psalm 79:9. So I return to the passage that I began with..."Open your mouth wide and I will fill it." That is our prayer, O God...fill us up with Yourself, Your words, and Your praise. May all the people hear the testimonies of the works that You have done with Your own hand. May all the nations hear of Your salvation because Your people have remembered You and what You have done. Praise be to God!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Love of God

I have recently been blessed that God, our Heavenly Father loves us. His love for us is everlasting. There is nothing in this earth that can even compare to the love that God has for us. I have grown to know that to be loved by God brings the greatest peace, hope, joy, and satisfaction we can ever know. There's no human relationship that could ever offer what God has given us through Jesus Christ our Lord. There is no end to His unsearchable love and He gives it freely to all who will receive it. I am encouraged by the words of Paul, "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of God and to know this love that surpasses all knowledge that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God," Ephesians 3:17-19. I pray that all those who are dissatisfied with what this world has offered them, all who are hurt and broken, all who feel they aren't loved by anyone, all who have no peace, all who have been told that they hold no value will know this love that God has for them...a love that surpasses knowledge. I pray that all those weary souls will have this revelation. I pray that you who do know the love of God will be changed continually by His love to love those around you. Be encouraged to share the love of God and speaking of His demonstration of His love toward man through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. There is no greater love than Jesus laying down His life for men. And may we be changed to His image to love our neighbors as He has commanded us to. "I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Galatians 2:20. And also, "...the love of Christ compels us..."2Corinthians 5:14. Be loved by God, love Him and love others. Its a love that will change the world...and it already has!