O’God, You Are My God

Anything in our lives can become our God. An object, a person, a pastime, a campaign, even a ministry, all have the potential to consume the affections of our hearts.
The Bible says…”Hope deferred makes the heart sick”. When the affections of our hearts are captured by anything other than God, our hope is in that thing and in that, our hope is deferred and our hearts get sick.
This is very different from enjoyment. ‘All good things come from God’ and ‘Our Heavenly Father knows how to give his children good gifts’. All that I am given, I am given to enjoy…and enjoy I shall. But, I must remain on guard about what consumes the affections of my heart and what I place my hope in!
Today, I ask the Lord as the psalmist did…

“God, search me and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts, and show me if there be any grievous way in me.”
And then, I rely on HIM, to…

“Lead me in the way everlasting”
We are told that “we cannot serve two masters” because naturally, “we will hate the one and love the other.” This tells us something important – of course on earth, I can work for two masters quite happily, but here God is not talking about the practical, He is talking about the HEART, and God’s call, His first commandment to us, is to love Him, our Lord God, “with all our heart, soul, mind and strength”. Whilst we can ‘love’ and enjoy in an earthly sense, the things of this earth, when it comes to our hearts, we are called to love with all consuming affection, one thing and one thing only…
Him!
May we be able to say today, and may it be wondrously true, of all of us who know Him, that…
“O’God…you ARE my God!”
X x x

How’s Your Wise-o-meter?

After talking to a friend and advising them to be wise and avoid a certain situation, instead of placing themselves in unnecessary harms way, it got me to thinking about the words from Matthew 10…

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”

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Being wise is very different from paranoia. The latter is fear based and irrational, the former is faith induced, based upon a knowledge of the reality of who we are, where we currently reside and who our enemy is.

The minute we were adopted and redeemed by Christ, we became aliens to this world (John 17:16) and in that, everything changes for us. I sometimes refer to the Kingdom of God as being upside down and back to front – We are called to forgive when hurt; bless when hated and give out of lack, not abundance. What we once regarded as innocent, may not be now?! What we once thought was acceptable, may not be now?! And, what we once considered wise, definitely may not be now?!!

So, we are called to be…”wise as serpents”. Why serpents? Here’s what I found…

“The prudence of the serpent is specially apparent in the quickness of its perception of danger and the rapidity with which it escapes from it”

“The serpent is a very sharp sighted, cunning creature, and uses various arts and stratagems for its own preservation, and especially of its head; and is so far, to be imitated by the followers of Christ….to not expose themselves to UNNECESSARY dangers: and to avoid all snares and TRAPS that are laid for them.”

God was instructing the disciples….

“…to avoid all things which gave advantage to their enemies”

“…to conduct themselves with common sense in avoiding UNNECESSARY danger!”

My question to you and myself tonight is…
How’s our wise-o-meter? How rapidly do we sense danger and unnecessary traps? As a disciple, do we consciously avoid situations that could give advantage to our Enemy?

Good news is, if God calls us to be something, then He supplies us with the means to live it. His word says in James…

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to ALL without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

May we be encouraged to take advantage of this wonderful promise and constantly ask for more!

God bless x x

Accompanying Jesus

“Soon afterward, Jesus went on through towns and villages, preaching and bringing the good news (the Gospel) of the Kingdom of God.  And the twelve apostles were with Him.  And also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had been expelled; And Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager; and Susanna; and many others, who ministered to and provided for Him and them out of their property and personal belongings”.  Luke 7:1-3

I encourage you to meditate on these few questions for a moment using the women written about here as an example…

– Do I minister to Him?  What a question that is!!  Do I start my day ministering to my King, enquiring of HIS needs for this day?  Or, do I only enquire Him of my own?!
– Do I come before Him and ask “What do YOU need of me this day Lord; How can I assist YOU?”
– When did I last put my own comfort before His needs?  When did I cross the road to avoid a person, not open the front door, not answer the phone, stay in bed, not help someone, not provide for someone etc etc…?

– Are my property and belongings open to being used?

– Am I providing for Jesus with the sacrificial surrender of my life/my body, to be used as and when HE chooses?

– Do I consider that it is Jesus himself who shares the Gospel through me?  I don’t have to strive to deliver a ‘good speech’ to someone, I only have to deliver myself up to be used by Him, resting in the knowledge that it is Him that binds up the broken hearted and opens the prisons of all those who are bound.

What are His needs?  Well, St Theresa of Avila says this…
“Christ has no body now on earth but ours, no hands but ours, no feet but ours. Ours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good”

Within the truth of God’s self-sufficiency, we, as His children and representatives, have been chosen to carry and manifest His presence to the people of this world.  The ministry of Jesus, when He was walking this earth, is the very same thing He is doing now.  In the time when the verses above were lived out, the women accompanying Him ministered to Him and the apostles in a very practical way – food, money, shelter, washing etc.  We could wrongly believe that Jesus doesn’t have practical needs today.  He does.  He needs us to be available….to give of ourselves, our lives and our hearts, to such a degree that our first thought in the morning will be “How can I minister to YOU today Lord?  How can I accompany YOU today as You seek to touch the lives of those You love?”

This has really challenged me, encouraged me and stirred me up and I have once again been brought back to the simple truth….
My life is not about my own needs.  And neither is it about everyone else’s.  My life is about HIS needs first and foremost!  In accompanying Jesus and ministering to Him, myself and everyone else’s needs are taken care of.  Yes, God’s Word says that I should ask, that I should make my specific requests known and of course I need to look to God as my provider and love my neighbour and take care of the poor, the lost and the oppressed..but…if I were to really listen to what I pray about, even in my prayers for ministering to others, would they be more about me and my needs, than His???

God Bless x

My “God LOVES Ugly” Moment

Today I have ceased from resisting your love.  I don’t want to fight it anymore…indeed, I cannot.  I can no longer whisper ‘I love You‘ with one breath and resist You in another.  Your love is the highest form of love.  Above it, lies no other.  Today I accept that you did for it me.  You did it for them, but today, you showed me that you did it for me.  Today you showed me my worth to you, my infinite value.  That caused you to die in my place.  Today you showed me my ugliness and made me utterly grateful for Your grace…how deep, how wide.  Today I accept the fullness of the beauty of the Cross, knowing that in it You have made me beautiful.

“I praise You…for I AM wonderfully and fearfully made.  So wonderful are Your works, my soul knows it very well” Psalm 139

Thank you Christa…you wrote the words which speak out the history and future of my heart today.

http://christablack.com/

Imagine…

Imagine you were lost, and someone found you…
Imagine you were broken, and someone restored you…
Imagine you were uncared for, and someone nurtured you…
Imagine you were ill, and someone healed you…
Imagine you were upset, and someone comforted you…
Imagine you didn’t understand, and someone taught you…
Imagine you were dirty, and someone cleaned you…

Imagine you were bullied, and someone defended you…
Imagine you were lonely, and someone came to be with you…

Imagine you were weak, and someone carried you…
Imagine you were angry, and someone calmed you…
Imagine you needed to talk, and someone listened…

Imagine you were hopeless, and someone encouraged you…
Imagine you were crying, and someone cried with you…
Imagine you were orphaned, and someone adopted you…
Imagine you felt unworthy, and someone valued you…
Imagine you were hated, and someone delighted in you…
Imagine you were a slave, and someone redeemed you…
Imagine you were imprisoned, and someone freed you…
Imagine you were unloved, and someone loved you…
Imagine you were due to die, and someone died for you…

Stop Imagining….Someone did
Jesus Christ!

“For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:14-16

It Was Here…

So after a morning of hardcore cleaning at the church I settle down in the garden, on what is an EXTREMELY hot day, taking wondeful shade underneath an overhanging plum tree. I check my emails and there’s a notification, a post from BJ at The River Walk.
It’s a post entitled “The Power of God At Work“.  It’s a good read, a VERY good read.
At the end BJ asks a question…”When was He (God) at His greatest in your life?”

I sat there for just a moment.  it didn’t take me long.  I was looking at this…

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My heart filled with thanks, you see, there was a time when I could only look through the window on a sunny day.  My whole world having been shrunk as I endured long-term, bedridden illness.  My life had become very dark and very down.  I was desperately unhappy.  And besides being physically ill, I was enslaved in a world who’s only goal was to lead me away from the Truth and further onto the path of death!

So I looked upon the scene in the picture above, a garden growing, paints and brushes on the table, light…amazing light, air…fresh air, marvelling at me having been at work all morning and thought “I know when God was greatest in my life!”
It was when He finally pulled me out of bed and brought me into this life.
And it is a moment that has never stopped.
Every single day, my life is growing and growing.
Every single day He does the ‘greatest’ thing again.
Again and again, over and over…He never ceases to restore my life back to me.
In small ways, in large ways…it’s all the same.  It’s all Him. I can take no credit.
My life is the merciful workmanship of His hands alone.  If it had been left to me, I probably still would have been where I was.
But I’m not.  I called out to the Father who has been pursuing us all since the beginning of time.  And He answered my cry for help.
And so today, I am free.  Today I am redeemed.  Today I am well.  Today I am living in the Light.  Today I have a real life, not a fake one based upon earthly desires that were forever crumbling.
No.
Today, my life is founded on the Rock.
Today I am His!

I pondered that question of BJ’s all day, it would not leave my mind, and thanks to God would not leave my heart.  I would love to share with you the moments today that God continued to glorify Himself through the view of my new life.
No longer a window to glance through, but a very real vision of His beauty made manifest.

It was here…as I looked up the garden.  An absolute blessing and vision of countryside beauty in the middle of town.

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It was here…as I sat down to drink a cold glass of water in the kitchen, and just sat quietly as the light streamed through the window and thought to myself…peace, healing, blessing.

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It was here…as I stood at the sink and burst into song, singing “You are stronger, You are stronger, sin is broken, You have saved me…”

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It is here…as I opened the fridge and saw all that gorgeous, fresh food and burst with thankful excitement at knowing I have never having gone without, despite me not actually having had a actual monetary income for the last year!!!

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It is here…simple one really…I had always wanted a glass fronted cupboard kitchen, old cottage style.  Oh yeah!…we have a God of detail!

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It was here…as I thought at how a little girl had lovingly hand stitched this heart for me.
For me?!!  Just because she wanted to bless me.

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It was here…as I looked up at the church building and realized what I do and where I live, that my life has purpose, meaning and life now!

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It was here…

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And here…

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And here…

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And here…as I saw how He has surrounded my life with beauty and light.
Gone is the darkness.  Gone is the depression
Here is my God, my Light, my All!!

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And finally…it was here…when a few painted pebbles told the story of what it has always, and will always be about….

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May you too know, or come to know, that God’s greatest moment was when He gave His love to you, through the sacrifice of His only Son and in doing so set you free too, from the power of sin and death.
May you know, or come to know, that He’s rescued you from darkness and brought you into His marrrrrvelous light!

God Bless
x x x