You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2010.

Even.  Even though.  Even if.  Even when.  This is the way of God.  Anything that we see that may limit is His opportunity to reveal Himself and show His faithfulness.  Faith is more about belief in His belief in us than the other way around.  Life’s challenges and sorrows are prime opportunities for believers to see His faithfulness displayed.

Whatever your evens may be this week, remember that even though things look one way, to God they look another.  Because of His vision and His trustworthy love, there is a way through and a way out.  He promised.

Father God, Your faithfulness is unmatched.  Even though we carry a certain portion of faith in our hearts, it does not compare to Your faith, which carries us.  Be near this week to help us sense Your presence and follow Your lead.  In Jesus, Amen.

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Discoveries.  We often make the most insightful discoveries about ourselves when our spirits are sorrowful.  While clarity may not come until a season of challenge has passed, the Holy Spirit has a way of bringing to our remembrance that which is most useful from that particular season. Whatever sorrows are endured, they have the potential to embellish personal character even though the means to them can seem overwhelming in the process.

God’s ways are not our ways.  Still God’s ways of love, kindness, and grace serve His children so each can become refined into the personal designs as He created.  Jesus’ death on the cross did not look like a way of great victory nor could it be seen as a triumphant act of love.  However, it was.  Love poured out of that ugly human ending.  That same love lives and acts today to accompany your spirit and mine in times of sadness and transitions.  He extends the peace that surpasses all understanding.  This is the way of our utterly loving and refining God.  May His love and peace fill your spirit.

Father of Purpose, Your heart knows how difficult it is for Your children  to live through loss and sadness.  You knew this would be so You sent Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  Thank You, Father.  May Your own  receive a touch of renewal today to carry on.   May Your love envelop those in need of its shelter and its assurance. You have made it such that Your people are never alone.  Thank You for Your powerful and precious presence.
In Christ, Amen.

Citizenship for a Christian is not in this life.  It is above.  Yet the here and now does and shall present challenges that seem permanent.  They are not.  Everything changes in life—everything.  Only God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and The Word of God never change.  The pains and transitions that we experience in this realm as a Christian spirit have a connection to another time and place, all because of a relationship with Jesus. 

Whatever ails, presses, and disturbs one of Christ’s own, is a malady that He shares and suffers as well.  Because one belongs to Jesus, He will walk with and sustain the steps that must be taken even though they are heavy and seemingly endless.  Seasons will pass.  Carry on with the certainly that Jesus accompanies you.  He is there.  He promised He would be.  You are His and He is yours, for this lifetime and for the one that awaits you as one of Heaven’s dear citizens.

Jesus of Companionship, there are times when life gets so difficult that it seems too hard to manage, and it seems as though things will not improve.  Jesus, help those who feel strained by  life’s pain.  You are there to lean on and Your arm does relieve pressure and leads to a better tomorrow.  In Thee, Lord Jesus, Amen.

Do you hear Him?  Do you see Him?  The Holy Spirit, that is.  He is with you.  Yes, with you.  Sorrow, uncertainty, confusion, illness, despondency, do not—cannot—stop the Holy Spirit from moving in your life and in mine when we least expect it, when we do not feel it.  When Jesus told His people that He would send a comforter, the Holy Spirit came.  He rests on God’s people today with a force stronger than any tribulation and separation we face in life.

Life is filled with unanswered questions.  Life as a Christian is also filled with an undeniable presence:  The Holy Spirit.  Advance your faith walk today by trusting His presence with you.  Do not rely on your feelings to assure you He is there.   Rely on the promise of Jesus to assure you that you are not alone.  You have a supernatural guide walking beside you and dwelling within you.  Jesus said so, therefore, it is so.

Holy Spirit of wonder, You reside in God’s people as a living promise made to us by Jesus.  Holy Spirit, make clear to each of God’s children that whatever must be faced in our lives, we face them with You.  You are our company and comfort.  You are our guide and hedge.  Thank You for Your anointing and for Your keeping power over our lives.  In the Name above all names, Jesus, Amen.

HEROES

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be His God, and he shall be my son. Revelation 21:7

Heroes.  Do you know any?  Most of us can name public figures of this day and days gone by; people who awe us by what they have done.  But who are your heroes.  The persons who get little or no acclaim, no fanfare yet are shining figures to you.   Did they create something unforgettable for you such as a life, a lesson, a moment.  You know who they are.

A hero is the person you and I know who live with cancer and endure chemotherapy and still have the energy to say How you are feeling?  A hero is the father who has lost his job and whose hope is frail yet finds the courage to play with his children and later cry with his wife yet stay on his knees before God.  A hero is the pastor who carries the sorrows of the flock, the weights of administration, and the uncertainty of a budget but remains faithful to a big God and His Word.

Heroes are our military, those who have died, those who are wounded, those in active duty.  They are the family members of our military who bravely stay the course at home with its loneliness, worry, and sorrow.  We see heroes in the community in our police officers, firefighters, EMT personnel, teachers, civil servants, and a host of community members who do not even realize they are heroes.

Grievers are heroes.  They are heroic because of their display of courage. The feat of endurance is worthy of hero status.  Anyone who has lived through—loved through—grief, knows what it takes to continue.  It is far more than human capacity; it is divine capacity and wonder that carries the day.  Complete reliance on God and surrender to His will makes carrying on possible.

Surrender seems to make courage absent.  In God’s mysterious manner, surrender is action that states faith and courage—courage beyond feelings.  Surrender to the will of God and resting on His promises and His strength is not a question of feeling like it.  It is a matter of living it, and not giving in or giving too much weight to emotional swings that are common and normal in expressing grief.

We acquire the strength we have overcome, said Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Overcoming is a process of living, of surviving.  Albeit an unwanted process, it is a strengthening agent in the life of a Christian, who is promised the reward of God because of applying God’s strength to his or her life to overcome.  Have you applied God’s strength and His faith to your life?  Have you encouraged someone lately to look to God for endurance?  Jesus is our model for endurance.  His earthly life showed us all about continuing, when life hurts, and when there are no clear answers.  Jesus is the answer.  God and Jesus long to hear your questions of concern, sorrow, and weakness.  However limp a prayer, your prayers are heard in the heart of a loving God who is committed to your life today, your future, and your eternal destiny.  Believe that.  This is His promise.

Heroes.  We all know who our standouts are.  Never lose sight of the fact that to someone you are a hero, solely because you are you.  Not perfect, not without missteps but because you have surrendered to the will of God and remain willing to endure.

Lord, you said that all things will be given to those who overcome.  To receive all things means that while we are living this human life, we are to endure all things that come our way.  Those things that we expect and those things that take us by storm.  But You promise to be with us, no matter what.  May Your Spirit of Holiness blanket Your people so that we are warmed by the truth of Your promise, Your presence, and receive courage to continue so we may overcome.  In the faithfulness of Jesus, Amen.