Exalt Him

“Him hath God exalted.”—Acts 5:31.

JESUS, our Lord, once crucified, dead and buried, now sits upon the throne of glory. The highest place that heaven affords is His by undisputed right. It is sweet to remember that the exaltation of Christ in heaven is a representative exaltation. He is exalted at the Father’s right hand, and though as Jehovah He had eminent glories, in which finite creatures cannot share, yet as the Mediator, the honours which Jesus wears in heaven are the heritage of all the saints. It is delightful to reflect how close is Christ’s union with His people. We are actually one with Him; we are members of His body; and His exaltation is our exaltation. He will give us to sit upon His throne, even as He has overcome, and is set down with His Father on His throne; He has a crown, and He gives us crowns too; He has a throne, but He is not content with having a throne to Himself, on His right hand there must be His queen, arrayed in “gold of Ophir.” He cannot be glorified without His bride. Look up, believer, to Jesus now; let the eye of your faith behold Him with many crowns upon His head; and remember that you will one day be like Him, when you shall see Him as He is; you shall not be so great as He is, you shall not be so divine, but still you shall, in a measure, share the same honours, and enjoy the same happiness and the same dignity which He possesses. Be content to live unknown for a little while, and to walk your weary way through the fields of poverty, or up the hills of affliction; for by-and-by you shall reign with Christ, for He has “made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign for ever and ever.” Oh!, wonderful thought for the children of God! We have Christ for our glorious representative in heaven’s courts now, and soon He will come and receive us to Himself, to be with Him there, to behold His glory, and to share His joy. C. H. Spurgeon

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Go Higher in The Presence

“Friend, go up higher.”—Luke 14:10.

HEN first the life of grace begins in the soul, we do indeed draw near to God, but it is with great fear and trembling. The soul conscious of guilt, and humbled thereby, is overawed with the solemnity of its position; it is cast to the earth by a sense of the grandeur of Jehovah, in whose presence it stands. With unfeigned bashfulness it takes the lowest room.
But, in after life, as the Christian grows in grace, although he will never forget the solemnity of his position, and will never lose that holy awe which must encompass a gracious man when he is in the presence of the God who can create or can destroy; yet his fear has all its terror taken out of it; it becomes a holy reverence, and no more an overshadowing dread. He is called up higher, to greater access to God in Christ Jesus.

Then the man of God, walking amid the splendors of Deity, and veiling his face like the glorious cherubim, with those twin wings, the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, will, reverent and bowed in spirit, approach the throne; and seeing there a God of love, of goodness, and of mercy, he will realize rather the covenant character of God than His absolute Deity. He will see in God rather His goodness than His greatness, and more of His love than of His majesty.

Then will the soul, bowing still as humbly as aforetime, enjoy a more sacred liberty of intercession; for while prostrate before the glory of the Infinite God, it will be sustained by the refreshing consciousness of being in the presence of boundless mercy and infinite love, and by the realization of acceptance “in the Beloved.”

Thus the believer is bidden to come up higher, and is enabled to exercise the privilege of rejoicing in God, and drawing near to Him in holy confidence, saying, “Abba, Father.”

“So may we go from strength to strength,
And daily grow in grace,
Till in Thine image raised at length,
We see Thee face to face.”  C. H. SpurgeonMerry Christmas.

Ice Cream is Soul Food

While purging some old papers I came across a story my sister shared with me back in 1997.  It was sent to her anonymously so I can’t give credit to the author. Upon reading it again, I felt compelled to share its timeless message with you.

Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads he said, “God is good. God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And liberty and justice for all! Amen!” Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby I heard a woman remark, “That’s what’s wrong with this country.  Kids today don’t even know how to pray.  Asking God for ice cream!  Why, I never!” ?

Is God mad at me?” As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.  He winked at my son and said, “I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.”

“Really?” my son asked.

“Cross my heart.”  Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing),  “Too bad she never asks God for ice cream.  A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes.”

Naturally, I bought my kids’ ice cream at the end of the meal.  My son stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember the rest of my life.  He picked up his sundae and without a word walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, “Here, this is for you.  Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes and my soul is good already.”



The elderly gentleman’s actions set the stage for a teachable moment for mom, the little boy and of course the woman.  We get so caught up into religious ideology that we forget Christ said to come unto Him with the simplicity and heart of a child.  Our grown up ways cause so much misalignment with our Heavenly Father and with each other.  The streets, workplaces, schools and churches are filled with people ready and willing to “rain” on your parade, inflicting their brand of “righteousness.”  However, we don’t have to become a carrier of negative attitudes and behaviors.  Each moment present the opportunity to cast our lot with the likes of the elderly gentleman, whose brief encounter, listening to the beauty of a child’s prayer, opened the door for joy. In that moment the sound of childlike innocence and laughter brighten the room, and gave purpose to an ordinary meal.  He  made a deposit into the little boy’s heart and soul which the little boy appropriately withdrew and transferred to the woman.  “Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes, and my soul is good already” he stated with the blessed assurance that God was not mad at him, and that he could share his blessing with her.

When was the last time you made such a deposit? ice-cream-sundae

Christ told us to love our enemies, and those who mistreat us. Perhaps if we shared our ice cream with those who need it, there would be a little more joy, love and forgiveness in those places that are much too dark and dreary.   Share some today.   You may be surprised to discover just how really good for the soul ice cream is.

 

 

2014

2014 has arrived with all the usual fanfare, a party in New York Times Square, fireworks, parties, parades, and of course football games.  These elaborate demonstrations are over.  Here is the question of the day.  Have you already broken a new year resolution?  Researchers report the first Monday after new year’s is the most depressing day of the year. People are back to work and depressed they had to go back to the job.  Many have already given up on keeping the new year’s resolution to stay fit.  Others are despondent because they didn’t get what they wanted for Christmas, or are sad due to the lost of a loved one.  Whatever the reason the party is over, and now things back to “normal.”    For many normal is not good.

However, we are called to shine a bright light for those who are experiencing dark days and moments.  God sent a million, million lights of love in the world – that would be us.  “God doesn’t call the qualified He qualifies the called.”  We are “the called.”  Share your bright light and the love of God today.  Someone out there needs it.

Sing Praises for God 2013 and 2014

The psalmist wrote, “It is good to give thanks to the lord, to sing praises to the Most High.  It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening, accompanied by the ten-stringed harp and the melody of the lyre.” Psalm 92:1-3 NLT

Today many are preparing for new year’s eve celebrations.  In just a few short hours 2013 will be history.  The precious gift of time is cause for celebration as well as an opportunity to give thanks to the Lord for all He did in 2013.  The psalmist encouraged us to sing praises to God.  For it was by His Grace and Mercy we celebrate life and His gifts to us.

During this holiday season, my husband and I have had so many reminders in the form of phone calls, cards, texts, FB, visits with family and friends and gifts. These were priceless drops of love from heaven.  They felt like rays of love coming from the throne of Grace.  God was saying I heard your prayers, I know your hearts and thank you.  This time has been glorious, and I am so grateful.

Now, as we prepare for tonight’s watch night service where songs of praise and thanksgiving will be heard, we extend to you and yours blessings for the new year.  Sing farewell to 2013. Sing praises to God and welcome to 2014.

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“May the God of…

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Do you remember these lyrics, “There is no secret what God can do, what He done for others, he’ll do for you?”   This song is not sung that often in today’s churches, however the meaning is true.  Our God is no respecter of person.  He showers blessings upon us each day.  He grants forgiveness to his beloved yet wayward children who frequently mess up. And yet, in His infinite mercy and grace God fills us with His spirit.  We are the recipients of divine hope, immaculate grace, priceless joy, and unmerited love.  Our most wonderful Lord provides us with peace that passes all understanding if we trust in His word. 

Rest in the holy and comforting knowledge that this day you are the recipient of God’s hope.  And may that knowledge strengthen you.  

Joy’s Fountain

A Classic Devotional from D.L. Moody

“Happiness is caused by things that happen around me, and circumstances will mar it; but joy flows right on through trouble; joy flows on through the dark; joy flows in the night as well as in the day; joy flows all through persecution and opposition.  It is an unceasing fountain bubbling up in the hearts; a secret spring the world can’t see and doesn’t know anything about. The Lord gives his people perpetual joy when they walk in obedience to him.

Joy is love exalted peace; peace is love in repose; long-suffering is love enduring; gentleness is love in society; goodness is love in action; faith is love on the battlefield; meekness is love in school; and temperance is love in training.  The world does not understand theology or dogma, but it understands love and sympathy.”

God, thank you for the joy that transcends all situations, problems, conditions.  Help me this day Lord to walk more closely with you, and be a Joy foundation filling up all those empty vessels with Your everlasting joy.  Amen

The Promise

There is coming for those who believe a day like no other.  It is a day when all; the spirit, soul and flesh will behold the promise – the great light of Christ. (Isaiah 9:1)  No matter how dark the circumstances, how bleak the prognosis – the promise will come again. 

Christ is our lighthouse; a light wave blazing through the darkness of our souls; a glistening promise of new life. So bright is His light; so pure is His light that it lifts us out of the darkness of our sins. it radiates and cleanses; it restores and heals; it delivers and makes us whole again.  God’s Promise of our Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace is not to be taken lightly.  It should give us assurance; a blessed assurance that all will be made right today.  No matter how deep the pit – the promise can reach you.  We can rise up this day with shouts of joy and victory that the Promise has come, and will come again.

Moments Away

“Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” 

You may have seen this popular quote on billboards, cards, calendar or wall art.  How many moments recently have taken your breath away?  Was it watching Michael Phelps break all time Olympic record, or the US Women’s Gymnastic Team win Gold? Perhaps it was exuberant hug of a child, or unexpected good news.

Everyday holds the possibility of a miracle someone once said.  God provides moments through the beauty of nature, or through the love of family and friends to remind us He will turn darkness into light, and make our rough places smooth.   He promised never to forsake or abandon us, even in the darkest of times.  So each new day is another opportunity for you and I to experience these precious moments.  So don’t get so caught in the doing things, and miss them.  Every rainbow, warm breeze, and gift of love is God blessing us with moments meant to bring us closer to Him.   Isaiah 42:16 NIV