Wednesday, January 16, 2013

look like love.

{please click play on the music player}

It's up to you and me to leave a legacy. If we're all they ever see I wanna look like love. 
//Britt Nicole

My Lord is love. My Lord is peace. He is joy. Self-control. Gentleness. Patience. Kindness. He is just. Mighty. So overwhelmingly good to me.  He is the Prince of Peace. The King of all Kings. Lord of Lords.  Salvation. Savior. The Intercessor.  The Lamb that was slain.  The Resurrected Life.  My life. My All in All.  My Redeemer.  My Everything. Words cannot describe just how good and loving my God is.  Just how amazing he is.  When all else fails -- He remains.  He is. Was. Always will be.  There's no stopping my God.

What's just as amazing is that He's inside of me.  What He is capable of, I am capable of. Through Him. Only through Him can I -- can we -- live out His plan.  He's the Creator. The only One capable of anything. It's only by His choice that each and every one of us live each day.  Without Him our lives - our universe - wouldn't exist.  What an amazing joy to give your life and heart to Him.  So, when all else fails, let me be found in the Rock of my salvation! May I look like Him, live like Him. May I look like Love.

  1 Corinthians 13

Saturday, January 12, 2013

of fathers and faith.

{please click play on the music player}

What an encouragement my father is!  What an example of what a man of God is to look like. Better yet, the faith that has been coming out of him lately has been so inspiring.  During a long hour and a half drive a couple of days ago, just him and I had such a God-filled talk. About what the Lord was doing in each of our lives.  About the common denominator of the past few days and weeks: faith.  What an increase of faith I receive listening to my father share his heart, watching his eyes fill with tears at remembering a word he had received years ago, and now seeing the application of that long forgotten word to his present life.  There has been a girl at our church who has been very sick lately.  When  my dad heard about it from our pastor, he began to pray. It wasn't just "Lord, make so-and-so better". No, these were prayers of faith! Casting the sickness out of the girl's body with authority!

These conversations and prayers aren't the only thing that has boosted my faith recently.  My father has a close friend, who owns a gym, and trains quite a few people.  A big guy, while training, fell and hurt his ankle or knee, and couldn't get up and walk.  Immediately my coach (with all the other people around)  walked over to the guy, laid hands on him, and told the man to get up and walk.  The guy was completely normal again! He was healed!  Many things like this have been happening lately.  It's not just for "Bible times", but for today. It has been boosting my faith, and my father's.  In fact, when hearing about the sick girl from church, he and a few men went over and prayed for her.  With faith, and with authority from Heaven.

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." 
John 14:12

We have authority from Heaven. God has given it to us.  When we accept Jesus into our hearts and become His, we are one with Him. We're considered Christ's brothers! We're a child of the King. We get the same authority Jesus had here on earth!  (And Jesus still has that authority, by the way). We have the power to watch someone get healed, to rise up and walk!  We have the power, in Jesus' name, to command the enemy to flee. Faith comes through prayer. If we are not constantly abiding in Christ, and seeking His face in prayer, how are we going to have faith to believe that someone will be saved, or healed?  Faith is for today.  Prayer is for today.  More than ever, because the world shuns it and says we're foolish. But don't the wise things of God confound the wise of this earth?  If our God tells us to do something, then I will forsake everything to do it! This is the cry of my heart right now: "Jesus, fill me with faith from above!"

May each and every one be filled with faith,  filled with the passion and resolve to do anything for Christ! We're called to our Lord's glory! I'm running after the prize, and I will run until I attain it! If others think I'm silly or delusional, well then, so be it.  I'm for Jesus!

"Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this [which is done] to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done."  
Matthew 21:21

"And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."  
Matthew 17:21 (emphasis added)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

trials and tribulations.

{please click play on the music player}

Back in the day before there were factories and machinery to do work for us, there was a process called threshing. It involved wheat, and it involved separation.  You see, on it's own wheat has no value. It is only when the wheat berry has gone through tribulation that it has value and purpose.

Tribulation: an affliction, trouble, etc.

When threshing wheat, the berry would have to go through tribulation. It would go through extreme discomforts to be brought to the place where it could be used. People or workers would beat the wheat to get the chaff to stop clinging to the berry.  Then they would throw up the wheat (along with the aforementioned chaff), and the chaff would blow away in the wind while the wheat came back down. The tribulum, a board with nails, rocks, and spikes protruding from the surface, would be placed facedown on the wheat (which was on the threshing floor) and pulled by horses to separate the chaff from the wheat. The wheat berry would go through this many times to brought to this useful place -- a place where it could help, and not just sit there.  While threshing wheat I'm sure the workers never thought, "Oh, the poor wheat! I am just beating it to death! I'd better stop and give it a break." No, of course not. I'm sure they were looking at the imaginary loaf of bread in their minds as they threw baskets of wheat and chaff into the wind.  

When God allows us to go through hard times, tribulations, does He think that He's hurting us?  That He should stop and give us a break? No! Romans 8:28 states that "all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord".  All things.  When we go through tribulation, then, why do we look at it as 'hard times' or say to ourselves and others "This is simply a terrible time!" Why don't we look at it as it is?  God allowing His life to be formed in us through trials and tribulations! 

"His winnowing fan [is] in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Matthew 3:12

I want to be the wheat that gets stored in His barn! I want to be the one that gets accepted into His kingdom, into Heaven, because I obeyed and surrendered my flesh to Him in those times of trial.  Every day we are faced with the tiny trials, the small decisions that give liberty to either the Spirit or the Flesh.  In 2011 my family went on a missions trip to Mexico, and I saw a sign hanging on a wall that told the story of some fable.  It was about a man telling his grandson that two, hungry dogs were fighting inside of him. One was all good, and the other was all bad.  The grandson asked which was winning. The grandfather simply responded with, "The one I feed the most."    Which are we feeding the most? The Holy Spirit inside of us, or our old man, the Flesh?  When the Lord allows us to go through trials and tribulations, it is because He loves us! He loves us so much that He can't leave us in this place of mixture.  When we go through through our 'hard times', even though it may be painful (which most of the time it is), He is simply separating the chaff from the precious wheat. He has a grand design, an amazing purpose for our lives, and to use us He needs us. He doesn't want or need our sin, our chaff.  He needs what He created to fulfill His plan.  Yeah, life is tough. I'm the first to admit it, trust me! But when looked at as opportunities instead of stumbling blocks, the Lord can use all things for His glory and His praise.

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."  
John 16:33 (emphasis added)

Am I allowing His life to be formed in me?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

call to glory.

{please click play on the music player}

Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise! How great is my God! My Savior! How He loves me, I can never comprehend. Why He sacrificed Himself for me, I'll never understand the boundless wonders of His heart!  But to give myself back to Him for His service, I gladly do! I fling my self at His precious feet...break my box of precious spikenard upon the holy ground upon which He stands.  How holy is my Lord!  This night, where the stars shine gently above the gray, dark clouds which cover the sky, I am filled with such a peace. A peace that comes from above. He is all that needs to fill my heart.  He is everything.  His manifold wisdom will forever confound me, but to it will I look. To Him will I look. He is my all!

His arms are wrapped around me, whispering to me His great promises. Though this world throws out many little and great distractions, I press in, I close in, lean in closer to hear His voice. Listening for His holy word.  His command. "Lord, what would you have me do?"  Here I am, send me.  God is always speaking. Every moment of every day.  But are we listening?  He is forever whispering His will, His desires for the Body of Christ. Are we listening?  I desire to be so close to Him, to always keep my eyes upon His, to watch where He points me to go. "Go unto all the world and deliver My gospel to those who don't yet know the limitlessness of My Love!"  Will I go?  There are orphans lost. Physically and spiritually. There are people chained. Physically and spiritually. Do I have what it takes to give up my time, my money, my desires -- to go unto them to SAVE them? As Jesus did?

I lean in to hear Him. As His tender word reaches my ears, my heart breaks.  Am I willing?  I am sweetly broken in His presence, quiet as it may be, while in the background I listen to the rich conversation of the wise.  Will I ever be as wise and discerning as they are? As my parents and their friends?  Lord, come into my heart and grow me! Stretch me! As Your presence surrounds this place where I am, I am drawn.  I want more.  It's like I'm seeing for the first time!  You want me to be so surrendered.  So broken. So break me. And then heal me.  Make me vulnerable to You, to be used.  Use me, Father!  Consume me.  Come inside of me.

With everything I do, may it be to bring glory and honor to the King's name.  I will GO. I will be spent. Wherever He leads me, I will follow.  I want to be wise, with His wisdom.  With everything He is.  I am confident that though I may stumble, I won't fall, but be drawn ever closer! May this and everything be for the King and His glory.  He is calling. I want to answer Him with my life. He is calling us all to attain His glory! To attain His life!  I will press on with everything. Hold me accountable. Hold me to His standard.  I am called to glory. His glory, His life.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lord, make me more like You!

{please click  play on the music player}

When we talk or ask each other about our New Year’s resolutions, we usually have something in mind like “eat healthier”, “get better grades”, etc.  While those are good things to aim for, is that what we should be so definite and earnest about? To make a resolution means to resolve, to determine to do something. To resolve means to come to definite decision... As this new year is just now upon us, I’ve been thinking a lot about my resolutions, and I do believe every Christian should have this at the top of his/her’s list...

Lord, make me more like You!

There’s nothing more important than becoming more and more like our Heavenly Father. He created us in his image*, and that doesn’t just mean two arms, two legs and a head. He is LOVE, and He created us to be like HIM!  The reason He died for all of us down here on earth was because, first of all, He wanted to have a personal relationship with the people He created, and to do that, we needed to be brought back to what we were in Him before the Fall.  When our Lord made us (in His image), He made us worth far more than gold!  We are precious in His sight**. He sees our worth. He sees what are in Him. Not what we are outside of Him. Why would I ever be so selfish to think that I'm anything outside of Him?  If He loved us so much to DIE, why would we ever just sit back and say a simple "thank you", thinking we're all that great on our own without Him and that we can handle our own lives??  Shouldn't we be prostrate before Him, weeping with joy, and vowing to serve Him forever -- wherever we go or whatever we do? I want to do that... I want to serve Him.  This year, more than I ever have before. I want to be so in love with my Creator, with my Savior, that I don't care what I look like to this world!  He needs to be my Life. My Breath. My All In All. My One and Only.  My Everything.

I pray that this year the cry of my heart would be "Lord, make me more like You!" I don't want this world. I don't need this world.  All I need is the Lover of my Soul, the One who created me. I am precious in His sight! I don't need the world's opinion! I don't need your opinion! I know what my God says about me, and what He requires of me.  I pray that I would be listening to His sweet voice, that I would be drawn into His presence through prayer.  May every one of us purpose to make the Lord our priority this year!

*Gen. 1:27
**Lam 4:2