Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Living Strong...

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”  Ecclesiastes 4:12

Just like a braid… if you just twisted two pieces of hair or rope or string it might stay for awhile, but it will fall apart.  If you braid three pieces of hair, rope or string it will hold up forever or at least until a part of the trio weakens or becomes frayed. 

How do we keep our hair strong and healthy? By eating right, having good nutrition, cleansing it regularly, trimming the split ends. It is the same in our walk through life… we need to feed on God’s Word, we have to receive every bit of nourishment we can from Him.

We need to ask & allow the Holy Spirit to show us what needs cleansing in us… asking for forgiveness and getting freedom from the “dirt” that can easily build up. Chances are we may not even notice it until it shows up in our stinky attitude! This is where I have to really watch & pray… there have been/still are so many changes going on in my life. Some days I wake up on the “wrong side of the bed”… I need to seek God immediately! These times of weakness & ungratefulness are the moments the “dirt” can start piling up. Who needs to carry around that extra weight? Unlike Pigpen from the Peanuts cartoon, we don’t have a dust cloud following us around to show the filth! But we do have the Holy Spirit to shine light into those dark areas!

And the hardest one of all… we need to accept that God (the gardener) prunes us to produce more fruit in our lives. Ouch! A painful process that can lead to greater things in our life! We have a good, good Father… He doesn’t just make a cut & leave us to bleed out! He gets rid of what is no longer useful, & then places His healing hand of love on that exposed area. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about how precious those moments are… when I throw my hands in the air & tell the Lord to have at it… take what needs to be taken… I surrender… it’s all His anyway! Whatever will bring You glory, Lord!

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken over you.”  ~ John 15:1-3

I don’t know what any of you are going through at this very moment but know that you don’t have to be alone in it! If you are married… the cord of three should be you, your spouse, & God. If you are single… ask God for discernment in what friendships you can trust to strengthen your cord of living for Him. We are not called to live life alone.

“As iron sharpens iron, so a person sharpens the countenance of a friend.” ~ Proverbs 27:17
Rejoicing in Truth!


Monday, April 11, 2016

Accepted… It’s ALL Good

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” ~ Hebrews 4:13 (TNIV)  

What does that verse speak to you?  In the New King James version it says,And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”  I love how the word, “naked” is used!  When I read that it made me see how freeing that is… that God sees me “naked”… warts, moles, lumps, bumps, sin, and all!!! And yet He still chooses to love me and use me in His great plan!!!

You might wonder why I would see it as freeing… how many of us can even fathom the idea of standing naked in front of anyone and the vulnerability that would produce???  I know… yikes!  Almost intolerable, right?  But this verse shows that we are already that vulnerable with God.  We can never pull anything over on our Heavenly Father, so why try???  Do I sin?  Do I make mistakes?  Do I judge others unfairly?  Yes… yes… and yes!  

It is not that I will never screw-up, but when I do it is just so much easier to confess it and seek God’s forgiveness as soon as I recognize my sin.  That is what is so freeing for me!  Father always knows what is coming… we never surprise Him.  And He has promised us He will always forgive when we ask with sincere hearts.

“If we freely admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just, true to His own nature and promises, and will forgive our sins and continuously cleanse us from all unrighteousness (everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action).” ~ I John 1:9 (AMP)

A weight has been lifted off me! I cannot hide my “nakedness” from Him, but that is okay!!!  I challenge you to take the time to read Hebrews 4 and see what other great things God has for you.  Remember to allow yourself to stand “naked” before God… let Him point out those things that may not be quite right.  You are already accepted… it’s ALL good!

Rejoicing in Truth!