Have you been with Jesus

Have you been with Jesus?

Will any part of the world know if you have been with Jesus?  What will your actions, attitudes, mannerisms, behaviors suggests?  Will you show the world the light of His countenance?  Will they be able to see light, grace, mercy?  Will you walk with confidence, and fearing nothing; assured of His power and anointing?  Can you resist the temptation lurking around the water cooler, or on your computer? Will you stand up for the oppressed, or simply go along with the crowd?  Have you been with Jesus?  

The spirit of divine life circulates within every believer.   A healthy Christian carries Jesus’ blood within them; creating and producing the fruit of the spirit.  Christ’s power, love, energy and strength must manifest our conversation and conduct and show our encounters with our Savior.

Have you been with Jesus today?  If not, take a little walk with Him.  The world needs to see that you’ve been with our Lord.

Has He…

From one of my favorite authors, C.H. Spurgeon:

“How much do you owe the Lord?

Has he ever done anything for you? Has he forgiven your sins? Has he covered you with a robe of righteousness?

Has he set your feet upon a rock? Has he established your goings? Has he prepared heaven for you?

Has he prepared you for heaven? Has he written your name in his book of life?

Has he given you countless blessings?  Has he laid up for you a store of mercies, which eye hath not seen nor ear heard?

Then do something for Jesus worthy of his love.

Pray to Maintain

“When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs.

When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy.” Corrie Ten Boom

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Lord, help us to pray passionately for the things of God.  To seek the kingdom of God, and your righteousness first, and then to pray for your peace and wisdom in our relationships, and activities.  Lord, help us to become more Christ like in every way, so we can fulfill the divine mission you placed within us.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen

What Are You Prepared to Do?

 “The Lord is with you when you are with Him.

If you seek Him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.” 2 Chronicles 15:2 b (NIV)

What are you prepared to doWhat are you prepared to do to seek God?  What are you prepared to do to honor and love Him?  What are you prepared to do to gain Christ?  The journey to seek and find God can be an easy or perilous one.   We were designed for the task, and the very best markers were left to guide our paths.   But the real question is, what are you prepared to do?

Scripture said if we seek him, we shall find him.  That if is a huge marker that indicates some action on our part.  We must initiate the seeking.  God is already there waiting for us to discover Him, but it is up to us to do so.  Seeking Him means taking part in the process. When you want something bad enough, you will rally your resources to get the intended object.  If we really want to find God, we will do everything within our power to seek Him out.

Seeking also means serving Him.   Service, when done out of love and deep appreciation for what He did for us, becomes a glorious journey of discovery and experiencing God.   Along the way, you discover why God gave us His very, very best His Son, Christ our blessed redeemer.  The process of seeking also reveals the real purpose for which we were created.   The seeking creates windows of opportunity for the expression of God’s goodness and mercy through service.  And as we serve, our lives become a beautiful reflection of Christ’s magnificent gift.   We learn that we fulfill the whole law as we serve Him.  We lose nothing, we only gain.  We discover love, joy, peace, understanding, diligence, and beauty.   Life becomes more about Him and less about us.  We undercover the true family, fruitful relationships, abilities, gifts, and talents through the gateway of service in His kingdom.   We taste and see that the Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever.  We find out He will be with us until the end of time.

So, what are you prepared to do?   If you forsake the Lord, and all He has done, then the journey to find fulfillment, and happiness becomes empty, shallow reflections; tainted, worthless idols of fame and fortune.  Our souls become bleached and withered from the years of wandering in the wilderness.   If you forsake Him, you lose all; everything; you lose God.  He will not force it; for this is a voluntary act of gratefulness to find Him who is our all in all.    There is a cost to seeking God.  It may cost everything.  But He reassured,  there is great reward.

What are you prepared to do to find God?

 

A Prayer for Peace, Growth, and Recovery

I wanted to share a classic devotional from St. Francis of Assisi from my meditation book, A Daybook of Grace.

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we received. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

May we all aspire to become willing vessels of peace, love and mercy this day.  Amen.

Communicate

Recently, I was involved in an incident with another person where several people were negatively impacted by words. In a rather loosely, and I admit less than clear attempt to communicate, I was met with less than kind words. This escalated when someone else attempted to coach and counsel.  Their advice was refused. The person felt justified in their communication, and no amount of reasoning from the coach was going to changed their position.  And now, their verbal assault changed direction from me to the coach. Surprised by the stubborn refusal to listen and learn, the coach changed his approach and  left well enough alone.

I shared this, because we often feel justified in our communication methods.  This is the way I did it, and so be it.  They can take it, or leave it.  I’m right and they’re wrong.  Our stubborn refusal to seek another way leaves no space for healing, adjustment, or additional growth, ours is the ONLY way.   I was reminded of that picture of Jesus standing at the door, knocking, and waiting for the other person to open it.   However, the person in my story made the decision to clench both fists on the doorknob, clutching it so tightly that no one would be able to even slightly turn the handle.  And taken it a step further, he barred the door, refusing to listen, confident his way was right.

Jesus encountered similar situations.  He tried to reason, but once reason was rejected, He left.   He demonstrated love, but when love was refused, He went to those whose spirits were opened.  I came to those who need a physician. [para-phased]   

Even today, He does not work where doors are barred, ears are shut, minds made up, and hearts closed.  He leaves these souls to their own way.  That’s not to say, there are not markers, signposts, guides, souls whose purpose it is to light the way.  But each of us must be willing to open the door, listen intently, and say yes to the opportunity to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of Him.   Individuals carrying the seeds of hard-hearted-ness, (if this is the right word), will not produce the fruit of the spirit; will not produce a space for reconciliation; will not produce hope.

I carry no ill feelings, only feelings of forgiveness for one who has so much to learn.  And as for my “protector-coach” I am deeply grateful to him for coming to my “rescue.”   The lessons learned for me are to be clearer when I communicate, to continue shine a light, walk in appreciation and love regardless of issues and circumstances, and let divine love take care of the rest.

Where is the Love?

Let me tell you a story.  Once upon a time there was a little girl whose baby brother was very ill.  The little girl watched as her mother and father cared for the little boy.  They wanted so desperately for the boy to get well. But all their attempts at healing failed.  They tried everything, but no one had the answer.   The little girl loved her baby brother.  She thought she must do something to help.  She remembered a story her grandmother told her about a magical bird, a little blue bird with powers to grant wishes to anyone brave enough to find it.  So off the little girl went in search of the mystical creature.

Where is the love?   The little girl in our story went off to find an object, a mythical creature who she hoped would see heart’s desire, and grant her request to cure her baby brother.   When we arrive on this planet, we are also in search of something, or someone who will see our desires, and grant our wishes, and love us.  We struggle with the not only the object, but along the journey.    We go off looking for it, whatever it is, but our internal GPS is off.  We look for love in all the wrong places.  Our vision is distorted, and convoluted. We’ve gotten lost in the jungle, in the desert, in the wilderness; blinded by illusions, lies, legacies, false dreams, images, hurts, pain, disappointments, and those blinded eyes cannot see the truth. We don’t know where is the love, nor what love really is. 

So, where is the love?

Scripture says love comes from God. 1 John 4: 7.  Love is also everlasting.  Love is divine, heavenly, it never fails.  Love is patient, kind; it is not proud or boastful.  Love is wonderous, miraculous, and we were born out of love, so we are both beloved and love.  Now, when I say we are love, and beloved, many of you were probably immediately turned off.  No, not me.  I’m not lovely, I’m not lovable,  I have never really, really been loved.  My father, mother, sisters, brothers, husband, wife; they didn’t love me.  Oh, they said they did, but they didn’t.  If they had loved, they would have___.  If they had, they would have shown me that I was beloved.  Or how can I be beloved when I_______?  Just look at me!  I’ve done so many horrible things.  I don’t know who I am.  I’m all messed up.  No one really loves me.

Beloved is a powerful word.  The mere speaking of it does something to our heart, mind, and soul.  When we first experience what we feel is love, our whole being changes.  Our soul hungers for it.  It becomes a drug.  Once we’ve tasted it, we want more.  But that kind of love is not love as God defines it.    So, where is the love?

“The Lord appeared to us in the past saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3 NIV

Love is a song of life, hope and deliverance.  It is a clear, sweet heart song like none other. And it is special and different to each of us.  We received it at the moment of conception.  God told the angels look at this one, look how marvelous he is, she is.  They will bring something the world has never known.   How beautiful they are?  Look at them, my son, my daughter.  Look at the love.  See how they shine, sparkle;  My children; My crowning achievement.  I made them in my image;  My beloved.   We heard the voice of love right in the very heart of our DNA.  It was a song that said yes to Him who is love.   It is one of recognition, and angels rejoiced at our new birth, because another song of love filled the earth, another soul bringing glory to Father.  Our yes becomes His symphony, and our combined voices fill the atmosphere with love songs to Him, and those needing to find their love songs.

It is love that creates and heals.  It is love that builds, restores, and gives. It is love which endures all things, and demonstrates courage in the midst of the storms.  It is love that makes a home, and a community. It corrects injustice, and sacrifices.  It is a  song one hears that the soul longs for; it is the melody of life – a sweet harmony experienced when we embrace Him.  When we remember He is love, and His very essence, character is divine love, we are complete.  It is astonishing, magnificent, majestic, saving love.  Beloved, when we get the message of Jesus, that He (God) so loved the whole world that He gave us love wrapped up in Christ, then we see, feel and know we are beloved.  And God’s eyes sparkle, and He smiles when we discovered we are loved by Him.  Fully loved.

Say yes to His love, for he created us; you and me out of heavenly love. Remember our love song, our true song, and refuse to allow yourself to become dull, blurred and seared by the world anymore. No more running around to and fro. Cease the frenzy pace.  Stop, because we are no longer seeking the answer to the question where’s the love. The answer was given to each of us; a prime directive from the God Creator of all.   The real question is, does the world see it?   Does it see the love of Christ in you and me?  When you look at me, and I look at me, do we see love?   Are we reflecting the answer to the question, where is the love? Our lives must reflect the love.  Fully aware, transmit love to the world as He did, and does.   Tell the world, He loves with an everlasting love.  Tell them, we are from God, and whoever knows God must hear the voice of love, because we have been born of God’s love.   Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4: 6, 11 [paraphrased].  The world needs to hear the strings of God’s love.  They desperately need to see your belief that you are love, and beloved of God.  It is through us they hear their own love song –  the divine plan of salvation.

So, the answer to the question,where is the love is inside of each of us. It is you.  It is me.  It’s Christ.  Together, we are the answer to question.

O, the little girl in the story, did she ever find the little blue bird?  She discovered, as we all do it where it was.  Right within her.

Today, before another thought of what I have to do; before you begin that internal self talk about this is nothing, or it is not for me, before another moment passes and you say no, come and say yes to love.  Answer the question, where is the love?

 

 

Behold

Behold, I make a covenant:before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord: for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.” Exodus 34:10

God told the children of Israel  Behold, everyone around you, will see how great and marvelous your God is.   They will know without a shadow of doubt I am God.   The Great I AM is with you; his wonders to behold.

Behold says to pay attention, look up or around, pause, and stop what you are doing.   Even when reading the word, it feels like  an exclamation point automatically should follow it.  Because something of importance is about to happen, and it is going to be spectacular.   And when our God speaks, it is always breathtaking, astonishing, magnificent.  So take the words spoken to the children of Israel during their journey to the promised land, and linger in the certainty of this covenant. For we have an even better covenant; one written in the incredible righteousness of Christos, Jesus Christ our redeemer.  For it was/is an awesome thing God did for us through Him our precious Behold.