Posts Tagged ‘Personal’

Deep Waters

Posted: February 4, 2010 in Bible, Christian, faith, Religion
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16    He reached down from on high and took hold of me;

he drew me out of deep waters.

17    He rescued me from my powerful enemy,

from my foes, who were too strong for me.

18    They confronted me in the day of my disaster,

but the Lord was my support.

19    He brought me out into a spacious place;

he rescued me because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:16-19

6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Heb. 11:6

Are you beaten down? Fed up? Closed in?

Is the weight of debt bearing down?

Is the certainty of separation terrifying?

Is the pain of suffering exhausting?

Is your resolve evaporating?

Are you wounded? Weary? Worried?

Then you know deep waters.

This Psalm was part of my reading today and it was very timely. You see, someone I love is suffering and has only days to live. The joy I feel for him that soon he will enter into the glory of heaven and the presence of our heavenly Father (whom my friend loves deeply) is tempered by the despair from the inevitable void that will be created when he is separated from us. My friend Bob is like a father to so many fatherless. He is a strong anchor to which we tether our weaker crafts keeping us from drifting into the darkness. And now we must find our way relying on the truth he so laboriously invested in us.

Grief can sometimes engulf us leaving us floundering in the dark, drifting, sinking. King David wrote Psalm 18 after he was delivered from Saul’s hand. He had been driven out to the wilderness by someone who wanted him dead. He was hiding like a criminal in a cave: cold, desperate and alone. David knew despair, he knew deep waters.

Our Savior was no stranger to suffering and sorrow either. But as compassionate as he was about our temporal sufferings, Jesus was most concerned about our eternity. “Christ reached down and took hold of me, He drew me out of deep waters.” Just as air is most precious to a drowning man, the grace of God is most precious to a depraved man. Yet, He rescued me because he delighted in me? Faith delights the Lord. He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. And seek Him we must, lest we drown in our own depravity.

Are you in deep waters right now? Tether yourself to Christ. Even if your circumstances do not improve to your liking, the condition of your heart will. We cannot seek something we believe does not exist. When the heart is pure, the mind is willing to submit, to endure, to overcome. Christ said we would suffer; he did not rescue us from pain. He gives purpose to the pain and in doing so, He gives us hope. After the recent earthquake in Haiti it was reported that the people (80% of which are Christians) were singing in the streets. A pure heart knows hope. When a believer is stripped of all that identifies him as self, then he sees clearly to grasp the only hand that can draw him out of the deep waters.

Update 2/4/2010: Bob went to be with the Lord today. We will miss him terribly, but assuradly we will honor the investment he made in us. Bob, you loved the Lord well and it has been one of the greatest priveleges of my life to call you “friend.”

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This is a Call to Arms for mothers everywhere.  Satan’s time is short and he has declared war on your family.  He is successfully enticing Christian mothers all over the world to sin.  One thing is evident:  Godly mothers do ungodly things.  Oh, you already knew that?  Are you living evidence of that fact?  You bear the image of a Holy and Righteous God making you the target of an merciless and ferocious enemy, hell-bent on destroying you and all that you hold dear.  But Mom, it is you who are called to be the defender of your domain!  What hope do you have? What hope does your family have against this prowling lion? 

 

Feeling singled out? That is what the enemy would want you to believe, but you do not suffer alone.  1 Pet 5:9 says your sisters throughout the world are undergoing the same type of suffering.  There is a strange comfort in cooperative oppression.  Other moms struggle with anger, a vicious tongue, and secret sins that we do not dare utter.  You never speak of the sins committed in your most hideous and ugliest moments, keeping them secret even from the Lord–or so you convince yourself.  My dear sister, that silence holds you captive.

 

In Rev. 12:11 John says the Saints overcame Satan by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony. That is good news and bad news for us. The good news is that Satan cannot do anything about the blood.  You are living post-resurrection.  You are a receiver of grace, no longer an object of wrath and judgment – signed and sealed by the Lamb of God.  Just as God demonstrated at the first Passover, the blood of the lamb has been painted on the doorposts of your soul and neither Satan nor his demons can enter in.  You are a dwelling of the Holy Spirit.  The bad news is that although our adversary cannot control you from within, but he can and does try to control you through your circumstances.  Since he is defeated by the blood, the only strategy he has left is to influence your word, your testimony.  So you lose your temper, you react; you lash out and punish the people you love for making you angry.  Sometimes there is not a hint of love on your tongue — only the poison of sin.  Is that your testimony? Dear one, this is not a testimony that overcomes.

 

When was the last time you were really honest with yourself about your life, your lifestyle. When was the last time you took a really hard look at yourself, a moral inventory if you will? Most of us avoid such an uncomforatble introspection, some tragically live with a lifelong avoidance of the truth. But you and I need to face the truth before our holy God if we want to render the enemy defenseless. Don’t hide, don’t deceive, but bare your soul before God.

 

When Arnold Schwarzenegger was accused of sexual misconduct during the election for the Governor of CA, he did not take his queues from Clinton.  We can all picture the past president wagging his finger at the camera and adamantly stating, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”  And the ramifications of his sin went far beyond Bill and Monica, casting our entire nation into a cesspool of international shame.  No, Arnold quickly called a press conference and in his Arnold way, confessed and apologized.  And the other party threw their clipboards and election war plans to the ground in disgust.  He left them with no ammunition. I am not defending Arnold or his alleged behavior.  The point is this: you need to confess to the One holding you accountable and leave your enemy standing speechless dropping his war plan in the dust.

 

The guilt and shame of your failures, of your humanness is a triumph of an enemy whose greatest prize is the fall of a godly mother.  You are the white tiger he wants hanging on his wall.  Why?  Because if he can get to you, who is left protecting your children?

 

Today spend 15 minutes alone in prayer.  Write a letter to God.  Tell him about your darkest secret sins, your hateful thoughts, your frustrations, your anger, and your cruel fantasies.  Be honest with God.  He can take it.  He has big shoulders. 

 

Father God, you know all and see all.  There is nothing in me that is hidden from you.  I confess my failures to you.  It is against you that I have sinned and it is to you I need to be restored.  I love you, Lord God.  I lay my list of hidden sins before you.  I am broken before you and I need your healing power.  I need your power to work in me.  Place a guard upon my lips that I may not sin against you.  Strengthen my faith. Help me with my unbelief!  I am a woman after your own heart and my deepest desire is to please you.  I praise you Father for your mercy and grace.  Thank you for your forgiveness.  Because of your great mercy upon me, I can extend that same mercy to my husband and children.  Grant me an extra measure of patience and your holy discernment.  I believe you for the promises you have spoken to me.  I am your humble servant; use me according to your purpose.  Amen

 

 

Now tear up the letter into a million pieces and throw it away.  Did you hear that?  It is the enemy’s war plan dropping to the floor.

 

“as far as the east is from the west,

so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”  Ps 103:12

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever crawled through a wilderness, chained by the weight of the past?  Have you ever been thirsty for something more than this menial existence has provided?  Do the wounds from your journey throb with each tedious step that you take? 

 

 

Jeremiah 2:13 says,” My people have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” 

 

There is a spring of living water found in Jesus Christ.  In Him you will find all that you’ve ever longed for.  In Him the aching in your heart will be stilled, and you will know the fulfillment of your dreams.  Yet, how often do we turn to dig our own cisterns with the belief that they will quench our thirst, heal our scars, and fill our emptiness. 

Perhaps it’s the cistern of money, offering security and pleasure.  Or maybe you’ve dug a reservoir within yourself, meant to hold knowledge and independence.  Still, there is the constant lure to hewn for sufficiency in the strength of others.  These are all splintered promises and cracked dreams, holding only a façade of joy. 

Nevertheless, we toil without ceasing, trying to keep the walls from crashing in around us.  We lie awake at night, disappointed and broken; wondering what went wrong.  While we strive and struggle, the spring of hope continues its peaceful surge, waiting for us to come and drink. 

So, here before you stands a choice.  Which will you choose:  life or death, fulfillment or emptiness?  A shattered vessel will never fill the longing of your heart, but the sweet taste of the Savior’s love will quench your thirst forever.

 

Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians records the gospel as it was preached by the early church. Some estimates have placed this creed to 6 A.D., the year that Christ is thought to have been crucified. This is the same gospel that Christians today profess belief in.

 

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

 

You may still have questions. Could all this be true? Does a theistic God exist? What about the Bible, it’s so old how can it be relevant or even true? I encourage you to post your questions here. What do you have to lose? You just might find what you’re looking for—answers to the meaning of life.

 

Continue praying for the salvation of the middle east and all of those suffering in bondage to lies. The dawn is breaking, there is hope.

Isaiah 9:2

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.

Top Hamas Leader’s Son Converts to Christianity
By Ethan Cole

The son of a top Hamas leader has converted to Christianity and prays someday his family will also accept Jesus Christ as their savior, an Israeli newspaper reported.

Masab Yousef, son of West Bank Hamas leader Sheik Hassan Yousef, revealed for the first time in an exclusive interview with Haaretz newspaper that he has left Islam and is now a Christian. Prior to the interview’s publication last Thursday, Yousef’s family did not know of his faith conversion even though he is in regular contact with them.

“[T]his interview will open many people’s eyes, it will shake Islam from the roots, and I’m not exaggerating,” Yousef, who now resides in the United States, said. “What other case do you know where a son of a Hamas leader, who was raised on the tenets of extremist Islam, comes out against it?”

Yousef, who is now 30-years-old, was first exposed to Christianity eight years ago while in Jerusalem where out of curiosity he accepted an invitation to hear about Christianity. Afterwards, he became “enthusiastic” about what he heard and would secretly read the Bible every day. . . .

For his part, Yousef says he hopes to “open the eyes” of Muslims and “reveal the truth” to them about Islam and Christianity with the goal to “take them out of the darkness and the prison of Islam.” . . .

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080804/top-hamas-leader-s-son-converts-to-christianity.htm

 

John 3:16-21

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

Believers who live by the truth of the light draw the lost out of darkness. Loving the unlovable, forgiving the unforgivable and granting mercy to the unmerciful. Grace is not the cost of salvation it is a privilege for those who have received it to share it. Today pray for those who are blinded by the darkness and that our light will shine so brightly and consistently that those in bondage will be drawn to it and find true freedom at the cross. 

 On a personal note, I especially want to lift up my evolutionist friends at Florida Citizens for Science. One need only read the comments made on their blog to recognize the fear and the hate perpetrated by such “citizen” groups existing for the sole purpose of stripping our freedoms and silencing the truth. I posted a dissenting opinion on their blog and it did not take long for them to beautifully illustrate my point. It is good to be a “lunatic” for Christ.

Job 21:14-15

 
14     Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone!
We have no desire to know your ways.
15     Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
What would we gain by praying to him?’

 

  

The focus of planning according to the Lord’s will is not trying to decipher the details of your life such as who you will marry, what job you will get, or where you will live as if consulting a fortune teller. Planning according to the Lord’s will is about ensuring that the plans you make are in align with His precepts. 

 

 

Does your potential mate have a growing faith in Christ and is your relationship pure?  Does the job you are considering still allow you to put God and family first?  Is the home you want to purchase affordable and still allow you to give generously?  We sometimes fret over details trying to figure out what God wants us to do, when if we examine our desires and plans in light of scripture His truth always reigns. 

 

 

God’s word is black and white; the gray only exists in man’s heart.  Are you struggling with a decision right now?  Is it possible that you know the answer, but it is not what you want to hear?  Most of the time our problem lies in a failure to obey not in a failure to know God’s will. 

 

 Deut. 30:19-20  19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

 

 

Today commit to choose life – a life that honors God, so that you will love Him well, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him.