At the brink of disaster, He grabbed me!

Here I am an empty vessel. I thirst, I hunger, my longings never cease. I want and I need. Its a constant crave cycle. I need to be filled up, emptiness will never do. Oh, I try to fill it up with nostalgia, with family, and fun, approval, even going to church. These things I know will never fully satisfy. My trust can’t be put in anyone of these single things. These things are all good, but they won’t leave me fully satisfied. This I know to be true with my entire being, because I have tasted the Water of Life; it wasn’t by my own might or power. I did nothing, accept dive into His arms – spirit to Spirit. When I knew I had no hope and I was at the brink of disaster, I didn’t stop and analyze the statistics and weigh my options. I had no other option. I knew this to be true; spirit to Spirit. I jumped. In mid air I went from death to life. He caught me and made me fully alive. I am filled up spirit into His Spirit. I am His and He is mine, not by might not by power but by His Spirit! This old nature is still to be wrestled with, and until I reach glory, I have to jump into His arms daily spirt into His Spirit!

Make me spiritually alive. Fill me up dear Savior!
Amen!

Stranger or Lord?

The setting – Three days had passed. Jesus had just been crucified. Two men were on the road to a village called Emmaus. The story unfolds in Luke 24:13-35

On the road to Emmaus, the men were grieved. They were reasoning and conversing when Jesus drew near to them. Jesus draws near in suffering and sadness and searching, but in this grief they couldn’t recognize him. Jesus was a stranger to them. We often are clouded by our own feelings. As a result, we cannot see the reality and truth.

The stranger asked “What are you discussing?” They explained, are you the only one who doesn’t know these things that have happened; the tragedy, the grief? He answers “What things?” Jesus presents the questions so they can talk it out and search it out and be responsible for what they believe. Where is our perspective? Are we focused on the feeling and clouded by a feeling? It might be the very thing keeping us from seeing Jesus.

They explained all the events that had transpired over the past 3 days. They explained that Jesus was a prophet and that they had hoped that he would be the One but he was betrayed captured and crucified, and now they are saying there is an empty tomb but Where is Jesus? Suffering and sacrifice was not in their plan of how it was all suppoesed to happen.
The stanger said, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Don’t you see the Messaiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?” The stranger began to show them everything in scripture.
Jesus was standing in flesh and blood and yet they didn’t even know and recognize him as he was walking and talking with them. This is a clear indication that you can know a lot about Jesus and think you know him but if you don’t acknowledge the cross and our need and own brokenness we won’t be able to see Jesus.
Our foolishness comes out when we trust our own ways and not His. “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

The men pressed the stranger to stay and have dinner with them. They felt a pressing need for him. And so the stranger stayed. He sat at the table. “Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them.” The two men immediately recognized him! Its Jesus! They were able to then place correctly the feelings that they had.
That great need they felt drew Jesus in and when he broke bread as a symbol of his body being broken for us they saw Jesus!
We recognize Jesus at the cross. There is no other way to see him. His body was broken for us because of our sinfulness. We must be crucified with him. Our old self must be put to death so that Jesus can live in us and through us.

Where are you on the raod? What mile are you on?

Are you in deep grief? Are you asking questions?  Are you confused? Do you see the empty tomb but you don’t see Jesus? Do you feel the need for Jesus? Have you broken bread with Jesus? Have you been to the foot of the cross? Have you been crucified with Christ? Is you heart burning as you search and seek?

Bad? Me? Naah. 

Compared to him, I’m a saint. Compared to her, I really have it together. What about all the good I’ve done, doesn’t that count for something?

The Bible says, “there is no one good, no not one”

Do we really believe this? I have a hard time believing it sometimes. Proverbs 21:2 says, “man’s ways are right in his own eyes, but God looks at the heart.” I want to only look at the good or find the good within myself. It’s a weights and balances right? I’m not all that bad. The good outweighs the bad right? The truth is God doesn’t operate this way. He doesn’t keep points on our goodness. He also doesn’t keep points on the badness. We have all missed the mark. None of us could do enough good to meet God’s standard. We are all sinful in need of redemption. Jesus is our redeemer. All he asks is for us to accept the gift of salvation offered through his grace.

What would ever posses us to not accept this amazing free gift?! Idols. Idol of pride. Idol of power. Idol of control. Idol of success. Idol of money. Idol of approval. We have to lose the idols and admit our nothingness and our need before the free gift seems of any value to us. Some people claim they have received the free gift but I think maybe they are carrying around a gift card that needs to be cashed in. They are carrying around the gift card as an option but they are still holding on to the precious idols. They like having the “Jesus gift card” with them, but they aren’t fully convinced of its real value.

Oh dear Lord help those that are struggling with being a “card holding Christian.” Help them cash that card in. Go all in, holding nothing back. Give up the idols. They will do nothing but devour you inch by inch and rob you blind of all the eternal riches, fullness, and joy that only comes through Jesus.   Don’t let your idols be your demise.

Lord help me to seek you and you alone casting all else aside that would hinder the work of your Spirit.

CS Lewis said,

When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less.

God’s Dwelling Place

1 Kings 9:3 I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

Describe the kind of home you would like to be for Him:

Pure / Clean
Full of love
Sweet fragrance
Giving / full of gifts to give
Clutter free – get rid of distractions
colorful / personality showing Jesus
Always welcoming / hospitable / open door / House of service
Bright / Shining His light
thoughtful / organized….everything in its proper place
Stress free / anxiety free 

Lord, I pray today that you would wash this house, deep clean my soul. Fill me with love and sprinkle Your sweet fragrance so that all would sense your Spirit. Lord, I give all that I have. Let this house be your house of gifts, providing blessings to all those around me. De-clutter this dwelling so that there is less of me and more room for you. Color the walls of this house. Let the personality and gifts that you have given me sparkle for you. Let me be an open door to your Spirit, welcoming Jesus, treating all those around with heart of service. May this house shine with the brightest light of Your Son, so that in whatever darkness may come, this Light will never be extinguished. Father God, renew my mind and organize my thoughts. Put them all in their proper place. May I always put you at the front. I will serve you always in this house. I know that you will supply my needs. There is no need for stress or anxiety when you rule in this house. Thank you for being owner of this house. Praise the Lord now and forever!
In Jesus name,
AMEN

Kiss the wave

“I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me into the Rock of Ages.” Charles Spurgreon

I ran across the incredible quote and it struck me so profoundly. Life is a series of waves; some are small and mellow, others are giant and can seem like we just might drown. The good news is Jesus is riding those waves with us and each crash of the wave pushes us deeper into the Rock.

We can’t avoid the waves and if we look at what each wave is doing to us and in us why would we want to avoid it? I want to be closer to the Rock! I don’t want to be drifting far out in the middle of the ocean aimlessly.
To get closer to the Rock, I have to get ready for some waves! They may be uncomfortable and seem frightening, or they could be exciting and exhilarating.
Thank you Jesus for riding the waves with me and bringing me closer to the Rock of Ages.

IMG_0322.PNG

“Thy Word Have I Hid In My Heart

Why do we put precious valuables in safes? Why do we put alarms on our houses? Why do we lock our cars? We do all these things to keep from harm or danger; for protection.

When I make efforts to read scripture and study it, memorize it, I’m hiding His word in my heart. I’m locking it in a safe with a standing guard. We make great efforts to guard our material things, how much more do we guard our hearts?

Who/what are we guarding against? We have 3 enemies of the soul: the world, the flesh, and the devil.

The world –We are instructed not to love the things of this world 1John 2:15. Worldly wisdom is contradictory to heavenly wisdom. When we become Christians we are to leave these worldly idols behind and follow Christ.

The flesh– The bible says, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Jeremiah 17:9. Our flesh desires what is contrary to the spirit and the spirit what is contrary to the flesh. Galatians 5:17. It’s in opposition.

The devil– Scripture says, “Stay alert! Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

We know the enemies and we are given a way to protect against this danger. After we have repented and first trusted in Jesus we must continue to guard our hearts lest we fall.
We took the first step when we trusted Jesus and he gave us living water. Now we must continue to hide his word in our hearts by reading what he has revealed in his word and through prayer.

Today and everyday “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 Lock his word in your heart and make Jesus the standing guard of your life. If God is for us who can be against us!

Joy in trials? You must be kidding!

“Consider it pure joy, when you face trials of many kinds” James 1:2

No root = fall away

No foundation = fall down

Be prepared!
My heart is heavy. Oh God please hear my prayer. You said you will never leave me or forsake me. You are Lord of Lords and King of Kings. I run to you. I take refuge in you. I need the outstretched arm of the mighty one. This life is full of trials. You are my root. You are my foundation. In you I will put my trust. The joy of the Lord is my strength. Your word says “consider it all joy when facing trials.” This seems impossible Lord.

Its not the joy of Johanna. Its not the joy of approval. Its not the joy of family. Its not the joy of money. Its not the joy of success. Its not the joy of a prosperous life. Where do we get our strength and in turn our joy? Joy comes from the Lord. No other thing or person can give us fullness of joy.

A test, you have to prepare for. A test also has an outcome. A test lasts for only a season. We have to prepare by being rooted in the word, staying close to Jesus. If we don’t, when the tests and temptations comes we will fall away. We are either going to pass the test or fail the test. There are only two outcomes. A test, also doesn’t last forever.
Whenever I had a test in school, if I was prepared I was ready to take it on and had my eyes already set on the “A” I was going to get. I was in anticipation for what I knew was to come because I was prepared. I could go through the test joyfully. On the other side of the coin, when I was ill-prepared I went in with much anxiety and no hope. All I had was chance, and I really knew deep down that the failing grade was coming my way. How could I have joy in that situation. Joy is not something that can be taken away. Joy only comes from the assurance of Jesus. When we believed and trusted Him he gave us the assurance of a passing grade. We have no reason to doubt and this is where we can find our joy through every circumstance. When James said “consider it all joy” I think this is what he meant. He didn’t mean the trial itself was meant to be joyful , but we know the outcome and the outcome is He has overcome it all and He will bring us through it, and this is ALL the reason to be joyful. To HIm be praised. He is my Joy!

My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.

Have you had your heavenly meal today?

I Samuel 3:18 He is Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.

Just as we need earthly food to give our bodies strength, how much more do we need heavenly food to nourish our souls? If we only ate once a week, we would be severely malnourished and probably would not live long. The consequences would be great. Our soul is no different, it needs daily food to thrive. When we deprive ourselves of earthly food, we starve, and when that intense starvation is present, we are weak, and when we are weak we will grab hold of just about anything to put in our bellies even if it’s not healthy or remotely good for us. Our spiritual state is the same, if we are not being nourished consistently in God’s word, and simply feasting on Jesus, the one who fully satisfies, then we will begin to starve, and become weak, and when the trial or temptation comes how do you think we will stand? We can stand strong in the face of adversity or temptation by staying satisfied in Jesus. He will give us the confidence and strength to say “He is Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”

I have found that it is easy to get steered off from reading the Bible and I want to fix that. I want to be full of Jesus and if I neglect time in His word and prayer I will starve.

My prayer: Lord, fill me up so that I can know more of you and in return share Jesus with those around me. Nourish my soul so that I have the strength to stand in adversity and temptation and so that I may be able to give of myself as you gave yourself up for me. In jesus name! Amen!