Thursday, July 31, 2014

Come Ye, and let us walk in the LIGHT of the LORD...

" Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; 
Cease to do evil; Learn to do well..." Isaiah 1: 16-17

These past few days I've been meditating on a few verses in the book of Isaiah. Having just started reading through the first chapter, I found God's holiness and just character displayed in such powerful words. And it made me think...

God tells us how tired He is of our vain oblations(or offerings). He's tired of our ritual sacrifices that have no meaning to Him. He's tired of our prayers before Him... our "sacrifices" are iniquity before Him.

" Bring no more vain oblations... the new moons and sabbaths... it is iniquity. Appointed feasts my soul hateth, they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. When you make many prayers I will not hear them. Your hands are full of blood." 
Isaiah 1:13-15

The words sound harsh. God doesn't want to hear us. He doesn't want our sacrifices.

When reading through the chapter, I thought how easily we can go over these words. It doesn't pertain to us. It's the Lord's judgement on Judah.  

But no. It pertains to us as well. To me.

How many times we fall in the trap of doing things... for traditions sake, to appease our conscience, or because certain things are required of us. And our heart is not in it. We go to church, because we "have to". We read our bibles because we "need to".  We offer our services because it is "required" of us.

But God  knows our hearts. 

Do we truly honor God with our sacrifices... or are they merely a cover-up.

And then I read further. God doesn't require too much of us. He just wants us to cease from doing evil.... and learn to do well.

Learn to do well. 

How do we learn? I immediately thought of the verse in Matthew:

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart... "
Matthew 11:29

What a beautiful example to follow. The Lord Jesus Christ. Humble. Lowly. Meek.

Interestingly God doesn't require pompous sacrifices. He desires that we be humble before Him. That we put away evil. 

"... but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my WORD." Isaiah 66:2

Oh, Lord make us humble. Help us to walk in the light of your WORD.

"If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land." 
Isaiah 1:19 

May you be encouraged to learn of Him... to walk in obedience to His word.
~ Ellie

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The voice of my BELOVED!, behold HE cometh...

" I sat down under HIS shadow with great delight, and HIS fruit was sweet to my taste." Song of Solomon 2:3

This past week my husband and I were talking about various passages in the Bible and at one point in our conversation we ended up talking about Zacchaeus. 

I thought about Zacchaeus and of his desire to know more about the man Lord Jesus. To refresh my memory I went to the passage in Luke 19 and reread the account. And what a blessing it was...

Zacchaeus. Chief among the publicans. Rich.

And yet he desired to know who Jesus was. But because of the press, and because of his small stature, he wasn't able to see Jesus. Yet, he didn't give up. 

He ran.. and climbed a sycomore tree.... for he knew the Lord was to pass  that way.

As I was reading the passage, I stopped to think about Zacchaeus and how much he desired to see Jesus. He went out of his way to make time to see the LORD. And he ran to climb the tree, making sure he could get a good view of Jesus.... and not miss His coming. I am sure Zacchaeus was a busy man, being chief of publicans. But he cared not what others thought of him. Seeing the Lord Jesus was more important to him.... even above his riches.

And then I thought of my own life. How do I seek the LORD? Do I run to know more of Him... through His word, through fellowship with Him in prayer? Do I place the things of the world second... and make my time with the LORD a delight... tasting the sweet fruit of HIS word?

My thoughts then stopped a bit as I read further through the passage. Oh, the LORD's beautiful calling to Zacchaeus, 

" Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house." 
Luke 19:5

I thought of the Lord's calling to HIS own... how He calls us too. His desire is to dwell with us, that we might taste the sweet fellowship of His presence in our house.

Zacchaeus' response was so beautiful to see. His obedience to the calling of the LORD: 

He made haste. He came down. He received Him joyfully. His earthly riches were transformed... in knowing the riches of the LORD'S saving grace. 

Oh, what a precious example... that we should hear the BELOVED's voice calling... and heed His beckoning. 

Lord, help me to seek you above all hear your voice. Let nothing hinder your coming in my house. 

" For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." 
Luke 19:10 

May you know the sweet fellowship of the LORD in your own house.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

For by Grace are Ye saved... it is the gift of GOD.

" The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power. " Ephesians 1:18,19

Thankful to the Heavenly Father for His great gift of salvation to me. 

Today, in my time set apart for memorizing verses from Ephesians 1, I found great peace. 

What great assurance to know that God chose me before the foundation of the world to believe on His Son Jesus Christ. Father, I thank you for revealing your Son to me.

A purchased possession, through the blood of His Son. I'm sealed through His Spirit... forever am His. 

Chosen of Thee

Thank you O Father for Thy gift of salvation,
In Christ we are holy and found without blame.
Ours are the spiritual blessings in heavenly places,
And humbly we bow with praise to Thy name.
Our adoption as sons was predestined before,
Thou loved us in Christ, and giveth all things.
Chosen by Thee, made children of God,
Our heart in adoration now joyously sings.
Twas your good pleasure that we would be saved,
The eyes being enlightened, made able to see.
Thou drew us to Thee and called us by name.
Redeemed, forgiven all glory to Thee.
Bought by the blood of Thy Son, Jesus Christ
Our inheritance in heaven shall not fade away.
Sealed with Thy Spirit, your promise to us,
Awaiting redemption for that glorious day.
~Ellie 7/14/14

May you too know the greatness of His power, His love, His saving grace.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

For we are to GOD the fragrance of CHRIST...

" For this cause I bow my knees unto the FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST... that HE would grant you according to the riches of HIS GLORY, to be strengthened with might by HIS SPIRIT in the inner man." Ephesians 3: 14, 16.

As I've started memorizing yet another section of God's Word, I've been dwelling much on how we've been immensely blessed through the LORD JESUS CHRIST. 

Sometimes I don't meditate enough on the great and marvelous work of our LORD Jesus Christ.... and what abundant spiritual blessings we have through HIM! 

I realize no access could be gained to the Father in heaven... had it not been for His Son. And that alone requires our love and praise.

Just overwhelmed with God's love. That's where I've been all week... dwelling and thinking about God's love poured forth to me, a sinner. So unworthy of His love, but ever so thankful for His mercy!

The verses I'm memorizing in Ephesians 1 relate extensively the position we have in Christ. We've been redeemed and reconciled to the Father:

"... who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." 
"... predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ."
"... in whom we have redemption through His blood."
"... that He might gather together in one all things in Christ."

Can you imagine that? God blessed us with ALL spiritual blessings. 

But then I thought about how the blessings were even made possible. It had to be through JESUS alone... " no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6.

And in His coming down on earth from glory... the Lord Jesus Christ took upon Himself the form of man. Interestingly, He didn't choose the nature of angels... but of mere man. (Hebrews 2:16)

He chose to be like us. What meekness. What humbleness.

"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

"... that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man." Hebrews 2:9  

And then, through His death, we could be redeemed... and given the adoption of sonship.

"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:26

Redeemed. Children of God. In Christ Jesus. What marvelous grace... unmerited! 

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." 
1 John 3:1

And so, I thank my Heavenly Father for His love to me... for the access I  have to His throne of mercy offered through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Boldly I approach the heavenly throne to find grace and mercy in time of need. 
May you know the love of the Heavenly Father... who hath blessed us with ALL spiritual blessings IN Christ Jesus.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cause me to hear THY LOVINGKINDNESS in the morning...

" With my soul have I desired THEE in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek THEE early..." Isaiah 26:9

The LORD has been gracious to me over the years. He's always been my strength, my guide, my friend. He continues to be with me through trials, through joys...

How often I have seen HIS lovingkindness poured forth in the early hours when reading HIS word. How often HIS WORD was my comfort. How often HE lifted my spirit and encouraged me through a verse or passage in the Bible.

He is a constant FRIEND that never faileth. He never forsakes. HE never leaves us. HE is faithful.

I've found many a times divinest comfort through the night... by just meditating on HIS promises. And yet, I find myself not praising Him enough.

Do you ever feel the same way and wonder why God has been merciful to you? I know while living on this earth, in this body, we will have tribulations, sufferings, even persecution for His name's sake.

I'm constantly reminded of how some people really suffer. This week especially so. And yet I've also seen how God continues to uplift HIS own... even through suffering.

And so today I was overwhelmed with the LORD's GOODNESS to me... for indeed HE has done wonderful things in my life.

My desire is to come to a point where I give Him thanks and praise for... and in ALL things.

Now, giving thanks in ALL things is hard for me. But I know that is what my LORD desires.

" In everything give thanks: for this is the will of GOD in Christ Jesus concerning you." 
1 Thessalonians 5:18 

I'm encouraged to trust HIM, because HE has NEVER failed me. No never.

LORD, help me not to take your blessings for granted.

" For THOU hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat..." 
Isaiah 25:4

It is good to remember God's goodness to us.... for one day we will be able to say:

" ... This is the LORD, we have waited for HIM, we will be glad and rejoice in HIS salvation" Isaiah 25:9

May you be encouraged today to give HIM thanks for HIS goodness to you. HE merits our praise.