Saturday, November 24, 2007

Serve Him With All of Your Heart

II Chronicles 6:14 "He said: "O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven or on earth-You who keep Your covenant of love with Your servants who continue wholeheartedly in Your way.""
I read this verse and first reaction is warm fuzzies...another example of a Bible hero {Solomon} praising God for keeping His promises!  Then as I dissect the verse further I learn even more and I am hooked!  I love it when a verse draws me in on one aspect and then deepens my love and respect for our Maker on others!  Ok, I know this is about to be way more biblical history than I normally get into but I think it is important to really grasp the text from which the above verse has been taken so please hang in with me here...
       Alright, so Solomon has got it pretty good at this point in the story...he's been established as the ruler over his earthly father's, David's, kingdom...he has asked for wisdom and God blessed him with wisdom, wealth, riches and honor!  So he has built God a temple and he is dedicating this new holy place to God through a prayer which starts with the above verse.  The very end of this verse "covenant of love with Your servants who continue wholeheartedly in Your way,"" is the part that hit me second...yes God keeps His those who serve Him and continue wholeheartedly in His way.  We've got to shed the "old me" when we come into God's presence and give Him all of us, mind, soul & heart-all of our heart!  As this transition fully comes to pass an amazing thing will happen, the desires of our heart will become more pure and more God pleasing and then, as He has done for His servants as far back as Solomon and farther, He will bless us more than we are even looking for!  Solomon gave himself to God heart, soul, mind & body and his only desire was for wisdom, so he could serve the people whom God had entrusted to his reign and God blessed Solomon with not only wisdom but also many, many other things.  God wants to do this for us!  It is not an easy journey to shed your earthly ways and devote yourself wholly to God and His plan but friends I guarantee it one that is worthwhile and well rewarded with things beyond earthly is well rewarded with the presence of God within your very soul!  Please pray with me:
Father in heaven, We come to You amazed at what works You have done, at what love You have shown, at what promises You have made & kept.  We thank You Lord for the opportunity to take a journey of faith with You that will ultimately lead me to Your ultimate reward, life with You in heaven.  Please help us, Lord, to serve You with our whole hearts - to seek You in all things and to do all that we do to Your glory.  We continue to lift praises to Your holy name for the healing You have already worked in Summer, Kayla and all others for whom we individually name to You.  We keep coming to You and calling upon Your mercy and healing hand to restore their bodies and their lives.  God we want to always thank You for our country's service men and women, these brave soldiers put their own lives at risk every day in order to protect ours.  Please protect and bless them each as well as their families.  Lastly today Father, I personally thank You for all who read these messages that You have allowed me the blessing of typing, I thank You for letting me serve You through sharing Your love with my family, my friends and possibly some I've never met who may be reading this on my web site.  Lord please bless and protect them all as they go through their daily lives this week and always, sending forth Your favor before them in all that they do and everywhere they go.  In Your Son Jesus name we ask that all this may come to pass in accordance with Your will.  Amen. 
Have a blessed weekend and week ahead!
Love through Christ,

Saturday, November 17, 2007

God's Truth Walk

This week I have been inspired by a verse that was in one of Stasi's devotionals.  I am going to give the NIV version of this verse and then the way in which I originally read it, which is the ICB {International Children's Bible.}
Psalm 86:11
"Teach me Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name."
"Lord, teach me what You want me to do.  And I will live by Your truth.  Teach me to respect You completely."
The Orthodox Study Bible was very similar to the NIV but instead of "give me an undivided heart" it asks, "unite my heart." 
I feel very blessed to have the biblical resources in my home that I do!  Sometimes, when something is translated from its original version/language it is easy to lose something in translation and so to me the different perspectives of the Bible verses offer a more complete picture for me.  In my life lately, I have been in a similar mind-set as this verse speaks to me, I have been asking God to teach me what He wants me to be doing.  It's how I got started with these weekly emails over 16 months ago, how I felt God leading me to my new "daily verses" emails and ultimately I believe it is what led my family and me to NC.  I love the two different ways it talks about what truth should be, it should be the way we walk, the way we live!  If you were able to read last weekend's verse you'll recall how much I loved the phrase, "walk in love."  So I would hope it is not a huge surprise how I am equally excited about walking in truth!  I love how this verse ties it together, asking God to teach us His ways that we may walk in truth.  His ways, His truth and respect/fear for His name.  Truth and respect are so closely related in my mind & heart already, I have many times said to those around me that I feel that I am not being given respect when someone lies to me.  Likewise I try my best to tell the truth always because I try my hardest to show my respect to all whom I come in contact with.  We can't lie to God, we might try but He knows everything so He knows the truth already.  How much more do you think He hurts when we try to lie to Him, and to ourselves?  I know as a parent, when my daughter has tried to lie though I already know the truth, well, it feels like someone is stabbing my heart, a physical pain in my chest.  I imagine that for God it's hundreds if not thousands of times worse of a feeling because He is not only our Father He is also our Creator, Savior, Immanuel - God with us!  Let's try hard this week (and always) to walk in His truth and to seek His teaching of what He wants us to do.  Let's pray:
Lord, Heavenly Father,
Thank You for Your truths as You have shared us with in Your precious Word.  Please help us to learn what it is You want us to do & help us also Lord to walk in truth, in Your truth.  We praise Your holy name for the healing's You have already worked in Summer and Kayla.  We continue to beseech Your grace and healing hand in their bodies and their lives.  Father we also thank You for our country's service men and women who put their own lives at risk to protect ours.  Please bless and protect them each as well as their families.  Finally Lord, I thank You for everyone who reads this, I thank You for allowing me the blessing of passing Your love along to many of my family, friends and maybe even some strangers who may be reading this on my web site.  Please bless and protect each of them as they go about their lives this week, allowing Your favor to go before them in all that they do.  In Jesus name we ask that this all may be done according to Your will.  Amen.
Have a blessed weekend & week ahead!
Love through Christ,

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Walking In Love

2 John 6 "And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands.  As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love."
Let me just tell you that I love this verse!  I have read so much of my Bible, many verses repeatedly through the years, yet I do not recall having read this particular one prior to tonight.  I have read that we are to love one another, that we are to be the light, that we are to walk in the light but this expression, "walk in love," well it seriously brings it to a whole other level for me!  It becomes more than simply doing something or acting a certain me - this "walk in love" - it becomes a journey we take.  I feel that to walk in love is to take a journey with God to where He calls us, to where He leads us to where we can live and walk daily in His presence because He is love!  Whoa!  Let me say that again, God is love!  So really, when you think about it from that perspective than to walk in love is to walk in God?  Yes, in God, in His presence, filled with His Holy Spirit, following His commands, obeying His path...walking in and with Him in everything we do.  Oh, I want that!  I so want that!  Don't you?  Doesn't it fire you up to think about that kind of love, that kind of life, that kind of journey?  I'm bursting with this excitement that I hope is coming through in these feeble words.  This is love, this is what we all yearn for and it is right here being given to us through His amazing grace (yes I went there).  I Corinthians says, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  And the greatest of these is love."  God is love, the greatest is love, to truly love is to walk in God.  I feel like I am fumbling over what I want to express here.  I pray that God walks with you each this weekend and the week ahead and shows you His love that you may walk in Him and share His love with others.  I continually thank you for joining me in daily prayers for our troops, for those in need of healing & comfort and for Summer & Kayla who continue their paths of recovery.  I am personally grateful for your time and support each week as you read my messages and I pray for God's blessings to flow continually through each of your lives.  I hope & pray that you have a blessed weekend and week ahead!!!
Love through Christ,

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Wanting to do more...

A thought has been impressed upon my mind this week, beginning a few days ago and continuing to come back to the forefront of my mind repeatedly and so I want to pose this question to you:  Would anyone be interested in a Bible Verse of the Day email?  I would probably not be able to type much else that the verse itself that God reveals to me each morning but if I did have time I may include a short prayer...or when you reply to this email I would love to hear what your ideas are on this. 
I have been praying for ways in which I can serve God further.  I love the time I spend with Him as He inspires the words I type to ya'll each week and I feel more and more that I wish to find ways every day to serve Him.  I have been keeping Him on my mind and in my heart as much as possible each day and have been trying hard to gauge every choice from how I will reply to someone speaking to me to how I will react to the aches and pains in my body and so many others.  Still my heart longs for more and I know in His perfect timing He will use me for His purpose on His scale for my path.  I know I have a lot more growth in my personal relationship with Him and I am ever so grateful for each and every one of you that join me for my weekly emails, it has been such a great honor and humbling experience to share my ever deepening faith with you and to pray with you and for you all.
Enough about me!  I want to know what I can do for you!  I know that some of you may be in need of prayers, some I am already praying for personally...but I would like to know if I may add anyone to the prayers within my emails so that we may all pray for you?  I would use first names only as in the case of Summer and would keep it as vague or detailed as you request but I am a very strong believer in the power of prayer, after salvation and grace {which go hand in hand} I believe prayer is our next best gift from our loving Father!!
I pray you each have a safe, rested and blessed weekend as you walk with God and in His favor!
Love through Christ,

Winning Approval

Galatians 1:10 "Obviously, I'm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God.  If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant". 
How many minutes of everyday have we spent in front of the bathroom mirror?  For some it may be more than others but when we look into that mirror what do we see?  When we are getting dressed for the day, or shopping for new clothes, what do we think about as we gauge the choices in front of us?  How about the topics we choose to discuss with our acquaintances?  Do we stick to only the "safe" ones and avoid the ever increasingly politically incorrect discussion about morals and religion?  I could probably come up with tons more of situations in which we are faced with choices that pull between what would make the people around us happy and what would make God happy, or maybe wouldn't affect His opinion at all, after all I am pretty sure that God's not interested in, "who you're wearing" today!  Wanna know what He is interested in?  Read His Word!  He has sent us this amazing, detailed love letter filled with pages and pages of instructions on what it takes to serve Him, to please Him, to praise Him and to walk with Him in His glory.  We have all heard "You can't please all the people all the time" which is not only true but more importantly it is irrelevant.  Yet, some of us {me especially} have tried our hardest to please those around us the best we can.  But God has been teaching me lately that if we are focusing on pleasing Him, on winning His approval, than chances are in the long run the people who really matter to us, family, friends, etc., will not suffer for it.  Because if we are trying to "win the approval" of God by following His plans for our lives and His directions via His precious Word than we will be living a life of love and serving others as we share God's love & compassion & grace through our actions and when appropriate our words.  I pray that we may each find ourselves able to focus our time on what is pleasing to God and to not get caught up with what may win the approval of this world.  Let us all join together in prayer for Summer, Kayla and for all who are in need of God's continued healing hand.  May He grant those who are suffering physically, mentally and/or spiritually peace in their spirits and comfort as He surrounds them with His loving arms.  Please also join with me daily in prayer for the protection of our military and their families.    I am personally continuing to keep you each in my prayers, asking that our heavenly Father may protect you and grant His favor before you each day.  Have a blessed and awesome week ahead!
Love through Christ,