Saturday, August 28, 2010

Life will flow from us!

… Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:37b-38)

Now here is a promise we can claim and be excited with!  This is a bit different style of writing than I usually do.  It is my interpretation of the experience of another person.  Hope you enjoy it!

Why?! My mind raged against this ridiculous hindrance to my heart’s desire…a good desire. The longing to give blood—the gift of life—fervently burned in my heart. Yet my body would not cooperate. My mind understood the value of giving blood and the minor discomfort was not the slightest deterrent. Yet my body seemed determined to selfishly hold onto every drop of blood possible; it simply would not release the precious drops into the waiting bag of life. The selfish determination of my body thwarted my desire to share life with another in need.

The Red Cross technician gently encouraged me with information on the research potential of my donation and with instructions for future success. The directives for my next opportunity to donate ‘life’ were simple: drink water. I pursued that advice with zeal and consumed vast quantities in the day preceding my appointment. My body seemingly remained intent on thwarting my desire and promptly eliminated all I imbibed. I kept my appointment anyway. The table was readied and I lay down with some doubts about my ability to give what I so desired. I was astounded when just eight minutes later the technician prepared to remove the needle. The bag of life was full; my desire completed! Life offered! I couldn’t wait to share my joy and delight with my friend. As she rejoiced in my triumph, she spoke words of eternal truth: “That’s the way it is with Jesus! When we drink of the living water, life flows easily from us.”

Those words have pierced my soul and transformed the value of my days. Lasting life is not transferred by appointment. It is not a matter of my body’s cooperation, my ability or a specific activity. Sharing my precious gift of life is as easy as drawing on the Source and then simply living. My life is a wellspring for others if I have filled my wells with Him! This indeed is a dying world…His life is needed by all. Those who have received His life are called to share it…encourage those who know Him, enlighten those who don’t. Make your blood donation appointment and let the earthly blood extend the life of another but give the eternal gift of life moment by moment!

Monday, August 23, 2010

His Perfecting Presence

Abram heeded God's call to leave for an unknown land.  Years passed as Abram and Sarai walked on....sometimes faltering, sometimes fearing but pressing forward in faith.  God's faithfulness brought them through lies and mis-steps though He did not remove the earthly consequences and heartaches of those mis-steps.  The verses we will focus on today follow Abram and Sarai's attempt to help God fulfill His promise.  At first look, God's words seem more of an impossible instruction than a precious promise. 

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.   (Genesis 17:1)

These words came almost 25 years after their first footsteps of faith.  Over a decade had passed since they had implemented their own plan for fulfilling the promise.  God's instruction was patient and consistent--walk before me--and His promise assured.  It is the instruction and the assurance we still receive.  Live in the light of God's presence and trust His perfection to bring our lives to perfect completeness.

While God calls us to leave a life of sin, His words of 'be thou perfect' are not without understanding of our inability to walk perfectly.  His words relate to His nature and His perfecting power in our lives.  Our 'works of righteousness' are not the means by which God works; it is our faithful walk which allows God to transform our lives and fulfill His plans.  God was well aware of Abram and Sarai's mis-steps; He is aware of ours.  Just as they were unable to walk perfectly, so are we.  Yet God is sufficient.  He goes ahead of us, comes behind us and surrounds us with His perfect presence. 

Placing our life walk before Him does not mean we will have perfect performance but He will radiate His glory even into our mis-steps.  He will bring about His good and perfect will when we purpose to stay in His light.  God's instruction and promise is simply that we must continue to step out in faith in Him and trust His sufficiency.  His strength is perfected in our weaknesses.  Go out today trusting in Him and not fearing your own mis-steps.  He is willing and He is able! 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Promised Gift!

Let's gaze upon a gift which Jesus promised to Peter.  It is a promised gift to all who like Peter have received an earlier gift directly from God...the gift of seeing Jesus for whom He is.  It is God who reveals Christ to us; and that is the foundation for our spiritual growth. When we understand who Jesus is, we are ready to receive the very keys of heaven!  The keys are a gift with great power, privilege and responsibility.  In truth, I see only a glimmer of their potential but it so delights my soul, I long to share it with you!

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:19)

We, like the disciples, are easily distracted by this material world and mis-hear God's messages.  We filter His words with earthly concerns and fail to embrace the greater spiritual kingdom.  Our minds understand that our battle is 'not against flesh and blood' but against a kingdom of darkness.  We rejoice that we are citizens of heaven...a kingdom of light and good.  Yet we struggle through this world and fail to employ the resources of our homeland!  The keys of heaven are as vital to our journey as the armor of God!

Our earthly experiences are generators of emotions often empowered by spirits.  We can bind these spirits with the keys Jesus gives!  We can unlock the Spirit of life and release Him into every situation of our day.  What an incredible gift!  Consider the power when you next feel a spirit of rejection and you lock it up and turn to Jesus and unlock His unconditional love!  How might that change the situation!!  Or perhaps fear is knocking at your heart--you throw the chains around it and lock it firmly up as you reach out and unlock the very treasures of heaven!

I hope the gift excites you as much as me!  Thank you, Barb, for sharing your enthusiasm and insights into this gift.  Enjoy it my friends.  Use it against the evil that flows in this world and give Jesus a victory today!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Harvest of Joy

He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again

with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalms 126:6

Life in this broken world brings us into some very heart-breaking situations. Unavoidable situations which produce tremendous sorrows are the common experience of each one. Going forward--with and through the tears--is the only good choice. Stubborn refusals to press on, fearful denials of reality or rebellious rejection of the path will simply divert us into other distressing circumstances. Our promise today in Psalms can give us courage to go forward in those tear-filled times.

The key to the promise of a harvest and joy is that we must go forward 'bearing precious seed.' The word the Psalmist used for seed is the same word given in Genesis 3:15 when God promises that Jesus will have victory over Satan. The promise of victory and a harvest that we can rejoice in is assured when we walk with the LORD. We are to carry the truth of who Jesus is into the situations we face; we are walk through those times in that truth and not be distracted by dismay. We must heed Moses admonition to Joshua, 'Be strong and of good courage. The Lord your God goes with you.' We are not victims of any circumstance when we walk in the victory of Jesus. Trust that He is doing more than you can see...and that your tears will water the seeds of faith you plant in your own heart and in the lives of those whom you touch.