Friday, February 10, 2017

Death and life are in the power of the tongue...

"Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles." Proverbs 21:23

This morning while having breakfast, I heard a verse being read on the radio that made me stop. Even though the verse was known to me, I had forgotten it...

It was such a welcome reminder... one that I needed to hear. 

" Death and life 
are 
in the power of the tongue..." 
Proverbs 18:21

I realize how I need to feed on His WORD daily... because only then can I grow up in Him in all things.

The Word of God is quick and powerful... and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.(Hebrews 4:12)

How often we let our mouths speak... without stopping and contemplating the result it may bring to the hearers.  We dismiss the fact that our words ought to be few... 

Words can either destroy or uplift... we can live in the flesh... or walk by the Spirit.

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, 
but that which is good to the use of edifying, 
that it may minister grace unto the hearers." 
Ephesians 4:29

Yes, to be carnally minded is death... and to be spiritually minded is life. (Romans 8:6)

Do we speak out of pride and selfishness... or do we speak in humbleness and lowliness of mind?
Do we walk in the flesh(and are carnally minded) or do we walk in the Spirit(and display the fruits of the Spirit)? 

And so this morning I was encouraged yet again to take heed of my words... and seek the Lord's strength to overcome the fleshly tendencies... and speak words that build up and edify.


O Jesus, I have promised
  To serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me,
  My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle
  If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
  If Thou wilt be my Guide.

Oh, let me feel Thee near me;
  The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle,
  The tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me,
  Around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw Thou nearer,
  And shield my soul from sin.

Oh, let me hear Thee speaking,
  In accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion,
  The murmurs of self-will;
Oh, speak to reassure me,
  To hasten, or control;
Oh, speak, and make me listen,
  Thou Guardian of my soul.

O Jesus, Thou hast promised
  To all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory
  There shall Thy servant be;
And Jesus, I have promised
  To serve Thee to the end;
Oh, give me grace to follow,
  My Master and my Friend.

Oh, let me see Thy footmarks,
  And in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly
  Is in Thy strength alone.
Oh, guide me, call me, draw me,
  Uphold me to the end;
And then to rest receive me,
  My Savior and my Friend.

John Ernest Bode (1816-1874)

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Holy Spirit which brings to remembrance the preciousness of your Word. May you gird us with strength and help us to heed the words that come out of our mouths. Lord, may we be conscious of our role as followers of  Jesus Christ and exemplify meekness and lowliness even in our words.

May you be encouraged today to edify and build up those around you.
~Ellie

Friday, January 27, 2017

We have such a HIGH PRIEST...

" Wherefore in ALL things it behoved HIM to be made like unto His brethren, that HE might be a MERCIFUL and FAITHFUL High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. " Hebrews 2:17

This morning I am ever so grateful for the work of the LORD JESUS on my behalf. The thought that I can go to Him for all things... gives me such peace and rest in my soul. 

" Having therefore brethren, 
boldness to enter into the holiest 
by the blood of Jesus..." 
Hebrews 10:19

How thankful I am for the mercy and faithfulness of the LORD JESUS as He intercedes to the FATHER for me... and for you.

" And HE that searcheth the hearts 
knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit 
because He maketh intercession for the saints 
according to the will of GOD." 
Romans 8:27

And  while I may not know what to pray for oftentimes, I do know the Spirit groans on my behalf... that in the end the Father's will be done and not my own. 

" Let us draw near with a true heart 
in full assurance of faith, 
having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, 
and our bodies washed with pure water..." 
Hebrews 10:22

This morning my heart rejoices in the truth of HIS WORD... and the promises written for us as a reminder of His continual  intercession and faithfulness...  knowing He sympathizes with us.

May we be comforted to know that our Lord Jesus understands the trials, afflictions  and difficulties each of us are undergoing today.

" For we have not an high priest 
which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; 
but was in all points tempted like as we are, 
yet without sin." 
Hebrews 4:15

It makes the cares and worries of this world fade away... when we have our eyes fixed on things above. His mercy on our behalf... undeserved... for which I praise Him today!  

Arise, My Soul, Arise

Arise, my soul, arise!
  Shake off thy guilty fears;
  The bleeding Sacrifice
  In my behalf appears.
Before the throne my Surety stands;
My name is written on His hands.

He ever lives above
  For me to intercede,
  His all-redeeming love,
  His precious blood to plead.
His blood was shed for all our race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

Five bleeding wounds He bears,
  Received on Calvary;
  They pour effectual prayers;
  They strongly speak for me.
Forgive him, O forgive, they cry,
Nor let that ransomed sinner die!

The Father hears Him pray,
  His dear anointed One;
  He cannot turn away
  The presence of His Son.
His Spirit answers to the blood,
And tells me I am born of God.

To God I’m reconciled,
  His pardoning voice I hear;
  He owns me for His child,
  I can no longer fear.
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And Father, Abba, Father, cry.
Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

Our gracious and loving Father, how thankful we are for the Lord Jesus who is the faithful High Priest that intercedes on our behalf. We rejoice today in the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ has broken down the middle wall of partition, giving us access to your throne of grace and mercy. 

May you know the peace of God today and rejoice in the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ that has reconciled us to the Father.
~Ellie

Friday, January 13, 2017

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus...

"Behold, Let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord... " 2 Samuel 25:41

Oh, to be a servant! It doesn't come natural to serve.... we can all attest to that.  

While reading last night chapter 25 of 2 Samuel, I found the words of Abigail as a response to David's marriage proposal simply thought provoking! 

 Let thine handmaid be a servant... to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. 

How many times have I struggled to be a servant... and yet Abigail's response made me think how much deeper it entails to be a servant.

What does it mean to display a spirit of servanthood? The character of a servant  in the eyes of Abigail wasn't merely just serving her master (David)... it meant to also serve and wash the feet of the other servants. She didn't take on the entitlement of being David's wife and using it for her own glory. Rather, she sought to give herself sacrificially for the well-being of her family. That was the truest form of humility. 

Before honor is humility...

"Before destruction the heart of man is haughty,
 and 
before honour is humility." 
Proverbs 18:12

How often we desire honor... and yet we are not willing to be humble. We are not willing to serve others. We are not willing to wash each other's feet. 

It defies all human comprehension when we look upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Because the Lord Jesus humbled Himself and took on the form of a servant. 

Not I, But Christ 

Not I, but Christ be honored, loved, exalted,
Not I, but Christ be seen, be known and heard;
Not I, but Christ in every look and action,
Not I, but Christ in every thought and word.
 
Oh, to be saved from myself, dear Lord,
  Oh, to be lost in Thee,
Oh, that it may be no more I,
    But Christ that lives in me.

Not I, but Christ to gently soothe in sorrow,
Not I, but Christ to wipe the falling tear;
Not I, but Christ to lift the weary burden,
Not I, but Christ to hush away all fear.

Christ, only Christ, no idle word e’er falling,
Christ, only Christ, no needless bustling sound;
Christ, only Christ, no self-important bearing,
Christ, only Christ, no trace of I be found.

Not I, but Christ my every need supplying,
Not I, but Christ my strength and health to be;
Christ, only Christ, for spirit, soul, and body,
Christ, only Christ, live then Thy life in me.

Christ, only Christ, ere long will fill my vision,
Glory excelling soon, full soon I’ll see;
Christ, only Christ, my every wish fulfilling,
Christ, only Christ, my all in all to be.
Mrs. Ada A. Whiddington (1891)

Holy Father, Thank you for offering up the Lord Jesus to be the sacrifice for our redemption. We are grateful for the beautiful example the Lord Jesus displayed in taking upon Himself the form of a servant and washing our feet. Help us to walk in His ways and clothe ourselves with humility as we seek to wash each other's feet.

May you be lifted up today to see the need that is around you and be used as a servant for the glory of God.
~Ellie

Thursday, December 29, 2016

HE goeth before them, and the sheep follow HIM; for they know HIS VOICE...

"And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers." John 10:5


Reading through the gospel of John, I was reminded yet again of the the Lord Jesus Christ as the Shepherd. 

A Shepherd who watches over His sheep. 

It is of such comfort to  know that  I have a Shepherd who watches over me.... who goes before me and protects me from what may lie ahead... who always has a watch over my life, and makes sure that I am protected from all alarms. He feeds me, He guides me. He provides for my every need. His presence is with me wherever I go! Oh the  peace in knowing that I am His...

And while I know that I have a Shepherd who watches over me, I realize that as a sheep I am to follow Him and stay clear of all that has the appearance of evil. 

"Abstain from all appearance of evil." 
1 Thessalonians 5:22

The world is full of attractions, temptations, pleasures... all of which can distract and draw us away from following the Shepherd.  We are to abstain from sin... and whatsoever looks like sin.

Lately, I've thought upon the need to "test all things"... because it is quite easy to listen to  "teachings" that may sound good and pleasing... but  is contrary to the  Word of God. 

"Cease, my son, 
to hear the instruction 
that causeth to err 
from the words of knowledge." 
Proverbs 19:27

The Sheep know the voice of the true Shepeherd... and they know not that of a stranger! 

How vital it is that we feed on the WORD OF GOD... to know the voice of truth and discern good from evil. 

" But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, 
even those who by reason of use 
have their senses exercised 
to 
discern both good and evil."  
Hebrews 5:14

Oh, the importance of following the Shepherd... 

" And turn ye not aside: 
for then should ye go after vain things, 
which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain." 
1 Samuel 12:21

It's good to be occupied with... that which is good, pure, lovely... and do away with evil from our lives. 

 "...yet I would have you wise
 unto that which is good, 
and simple 
concerning evil."
 Romans 16:9

How marvelous and worthy to be praised... is the Lord Almighty...the King... the Shepherd of our souls! 

Heavenly Father, What joy to know that your hand is over us, leading and guiding us unto truth. Thank you for your faithfulness and care of our souls. May we be ever mindful of following your commands and fleeing from all that causeth us to err. 

May you be encouraged to offer sacrifices of praise to our Heavenly Father who watches over His own. " Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things He hath done for you." 1 Samuel 12:24

~Ellie

Saturday, December 17, 2016

But HE held His peace...

"And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said,  Why was this waste of the ointment made? 
For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. 
And they murmured against her." Mark 14:4,5

While reading through the book of Mark, I came across moments in the life of the Lord Jesus where He displays His character in a most meaningful way.... righteously...  looking at the heart and motive of every individual.

Do you ever find yourself  acting just like the Pharisees, or the scribes for that matter...  or even the publicans. 

I think how often I read of the Lord's admonitions to those who thought themselves "righteous" ... and yet, find my life an exact replica. I'm full of indignation, judgement, and often lack compassion. 

Do we hold our peace and not quickly judge someone's actions because, well,  " they shouldn't have done it that way " or " they could have done something better with ___" . 

I thought how often we jump to conclusions and have no idea behind the motive of a person's actions. We too, can be blind... as were the people who were full of indignation towards Mary's "waste" of such precious ointment.

You know,  the Lord always shows us how we ought to live... we need only to learn His ways and follow in His footsteps. 

"He that saith he abideth in Him
 ought himself also so to walk, 
even as He walked." 
1 John 2:6

May the Lord help us to hold our peace.

"For even hereunto were ye called: 
because Christ also suffered for us, 
leaving us an example, 
that ye should follow His steps." 
1 Peter 2:21

Precious Father, how often we fail to walk as Jesus walked. Forgive us our  iniquities that we commit against you and man. Keep us lowly and meek so that we may not be wise in our own eyes. May the working of our Lord Jesus Christ and His presence  in our lives be evident in the way we speak and act today.

May you be filled with compassion and walk in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ.

~Ellie

Monday, November 14, 2016

Blessed be GOD... who comforteth us in all our tribulation.

" I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD..." Psalm 71:16

This morning I was so encouraged and thanked the Lord for His presence in my life. What a wonderful thought and comfort it is to have a Friend in the Lord Jesus... a Friend  like no other.

Do you find yourself bearing the load of your burden alone... and forgetting that Christ is our only comfort?

As we all face the trials and temptations of this world, I thought of the comfort found in the Lord Jesus and the peace He gives.  

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: 
not as the world giveth, give I unto you. 
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:27

Sometimes we may find a quick "fix"  and our problems bandaged for the time being through various means... and it can be a simple pouring of our hearts to someone other than the Lord Jesus.  But I find myself  never in complete rest or peace until I bring my burdens and cares to the Lord. He alone gives me the "peace that passeth all understanding" ... and what my heart needs. 

Unlike earthly friends, the Lord Jesus

... never disappoints, 
....never judges,
... never looks down upon me.

He understands, He cares, He comforts and covers me with His protective arms. He helps me up when I fall. He is ever present with me... 

"The LORD upholdeth all that fall, 
and raiseth up all those that be bowed down." 
Psalm 145:14

Indeed, there is no other Friend like the LORD JESUS. 

I heard the following Hymn not too long ago and found it a wonderful reminder and encouragement for the burdened soul. May it uplift you as it did me...

ALL YOUR ANXIETY ALL YOUR CARE
Edward H. Joy, 1920

Is there a heart o’erbound by sorrow?
Is there a life weighed down by care?
Come to the cross, each burden bearing;
All your anxiety leave it there.

Refrain:
All your anxiety, all your care,
Bring to the mercy seat, leave it there,
Never a burden He cannot bear,
Never a friend like Jesus!

No other friend so swift to help you,
No other friend so quick to hear,
No other place to leave your burden,
No other one to hear your prayer.

Come then at once; delay no longer!
Heed His entreaty kind and sweet,
You need not fear a disappointment;
You shall find peace at the mercy seat.

Heavenly Father, Thank you for being the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our tribulation. Thank you for giving us a Friend in the Lord Jesus Christ who understands all our cares and infirmities and is a faithful and merciful High priest. We thank you that we can find complete rest and peace in your presence.

May you find rest and peace in the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Go ye and LEARN what that meaneth, " I will have MERCY and NOT SACRIFICE..."

" For I desired MERCY and NOT sacrifice; and the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD more than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

What is mercy? As I read and meditate on the WORD I marvel at my weakness... and stand in awe at the Lord's goodness!

I marveled this morning while reading through the account of the Lord Jesus sitting down and eating with the publicans and sinners...
Yes, publicans and sinners.

Matthew 9:10-13

"  And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.

And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. "

How in need I am of the LORD GOD. 
How easily I find myself just like the Pharisees... judging, finding fault, and lacking compassion. 
Do you ever find yourself "whole"... and not in need of a Physician? 
Do you ever find yourself thinking that you are " sacrificing unto the Lord"... but lack mercy toward another?  

The Lord's admonition to the Pharisees, is also good for me. I  must learn and know what it means to show mercy.

I thought about how quickly I judge another person and find so many faults... because, well, they "aren't as they should be". Sometimes I look too long(way too long) at the speck in the eye of another person.  Do you do the same?  

In the light of God's Word,  I'm ashamed at how shallow my "goodness and faithfulness" to the Lord can be. 
I can be very faithful in my morning devotion, but does it go away throughout the day when I'm faced with showing kindness to a "publican" or "sinner"?

" O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? 
for your goodness is as a morning cloud, 
and as the early dew it goeth away." 
Hosea 6:4

Mercy... showing kindness and compassion... pardoning iniquity. 
Mercy... learned only through the knowledge of God.

" Who is a God like unto Thee, 
that pardoneth iniquity, 
and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? 
He retaineth not His anger for ever, 
because He delighteth in mercy. 
He will turn again, 
He will have compassion upon us; 
He will subdue our iniquities; 
and Thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths of the sea."  
Micah 7:18,19

God's mercy on us(when we didn't deserve it)...ought to be the same mercy we show toward one another.

Faithful and loving Father, we humbly acknowledge our sins before you. How often we too, like the Pharisees, judge and find fault in others. Teach us and guide us to walk in humbleness of mind, laying aside all forms of selfish pride and self-works. Help us to learn what it means to have compassion, mercy and love  through the help of your Holy Spirit. 

May you look unto the Lord Jesus Christ and learn of His ways... His gentleness, compassion and faithfulness that always brought glory to the Father.
~Ellie