Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Teach me to do THY will, for Thou art my God: Thy Spirit is GOOD...

" And He that is MIGHTY has done to me GREAT things, and HOLY is His name." Luke 1:49

While December is quickly flying by, I've wanted to stop a bit from the busyness of life and reflect on God's ongoing goodness towards me.

This past year has been full of learning. Learning to be dependent on the Lord's working in my life. To see His hand in each and every detail of my life...

“And we know that all things work together for good 
to them that love God, 
to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28

Learning....

To be still 
To KNOW that He is God. 
To trust Him as He works 

That in the end, I would praise Him for His mighty acts.

Yes, there have been moments of heaviness, moments of discouragements, moments of fear and anxiety...

Yet, throughout all my trials the Lord has sustained me!

And while the trials in my life haven't been easy, I've learned to thank the Lord for them. Each and every trial has worked in me a far more better outcome than I have ever imagined.

You know, we tend to run away from trials... but trials are needful in our lives. And as I am writing this, I know in my heart the tendency to run away from them... I want to be free of trials. I'll be honest, I don't look forward to them.

However, I know that God has a perfect purpose for the afflictions and trials we are to undergo here on this earth...

Trials test our faith. They have a purpose.

"But we glory in tribulations also: 
knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
And hope maketh not ashamed;  
Romans 5:3,4,5

And so, I thank the Lord for His love poured forth in my life... through trials.

Yes, through trials...because His trials are never without GRACE and MERCY !
The Lord's grace and mercy are always poured forth in ABUNDANCE and His PEACE is always with us. The peace that passeth all understanding.

I know that trials are for my own good. They are there to perfect that which concerns me.... so that one day it would bring praise and honor and glory to the ONE who is worthy of ALL our adoration.

" That the trial of your faith, 
being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, 
though it be tried with fire, 
might be found
 unto praise and honour and glory 
at the appearing of Jesus Christ." 
1 Peter 1:7

So today, as I am reflecting on this past year, I have much to thank the Lord. His goodness towards me continues to build and strengthen me to look upwards in full dependence on a God that changest not!

Father, how thankful I am for your provisions in building me up in faith so that I might be more like the Lord Jesus Christ. Teach me to do Thy will that I may walk in humbleness of mind with reverence and godly fear.

May you be blessed and encouraged to thank the Lord for His abundant mercies and His lovingkindness to you throughout this past year.

~Ellie

Thursday, December 17, 2015

I will bless the LORD at ALL times: HIS praise shall continually be in my mouth.

"What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? " Psalm 34:12

This morning while I was reading through Psalm 34, I found real peace and joy in knowing that the Lord God delivers the righteous out of many afflictions (verse 19).

I stopped and meditated on the goodness of the Lord towards his people. How often we forget His goodness and his protection over us. 

And as I was reading, I felt such peace and calm flow over me... what joy to be in the presence of my God... knowing that He alone hears me and delivers me from all my fears.

Psalm 34 is loaded with the God's promises and goodness to us...  

I sought the Lord 
... He heard me
... He delivered me.

They looked unto Him
... and were lightened
... and their faces were not ashamed.

This poor man cried
... and the Lord heard him
... and saved him out of ALL his troubles.

The angel of the Lord 
... encampeth round about them that fear Him
... and delivereth them.

O taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.
There is NO want to them that fear Him. (v.8)

The eyes of the LORD
... are upon the righteous; 
His ears 
...are open unto their cry.

The righteous cry
... and the Lord heareth
... and delivereth them out of ALL their troubles.

The Lord is near
... unto them that are of a broken heart.
and saveth such
... as be of a contrite spirit.

MANY are the afflictions of the righteous:
... but the LORD delivereth him out of them ALL.

"The LORD redeemeth the soul of His servants, and NONE of them that trust in Him shall be desolate." Psalm 34:22

Aren't God's promises full of peace and comfort? Oh, the importance to place our trust and faith in Him! He alone deserves all the glory and honor.

Father, how we thank you for  your never-ending love towards us your people... even when we are weak. We thank you for your protection, and for reminding us that we shall lack no good thing. You alone deliver us from all our afflictions. Help us to magnify your Holy name today in thought and deed and keep us dependent on you.

May the Lord be magnified in your life today, knowing He watches over you... O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34:3

Ellie

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christ Has Redeemed Us From The Curse... being made a curse for us.

" I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I , but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

Have you ever known the love of God? Have you known the forgiveness of sins? Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior?

... if yes, then you and I have reason to rejoice today. 

We have hope for the future.... and a reason to praise the God of Heaven for giving us His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

You know, with all the hustle and bustle of the season I was reminded yet again of the importance to have thankful hearts for the Child that was born and Son that was given unto us... for without the Lord Jesus Christ we could never have access to the Father or have eternal life in His Holy presence.

Ought we not to praise Him... and rejoice evermore?

" For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: 
and the government shall be upon His shoulder: 
and His name shall be called 
Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, 
The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." 
Isaiah 9:6

And you know, the love of the Father... which was poured forth in His Son... is the same love with which He loved us! 

"...that the world may know 
that thou hast sent me, 
and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." 
John 17:23

Hearing this wonderful hymn on the radio today, I was blessed to thank the Lord for His sacrificial love on my behalf.

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul?

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down;
When I was sinking down beneath God's righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.
~Anonymous

O Father, How we thank you for giving us reason to rejoice! Thank you for the privilege to come before you in your presence... with praise and honor and glory that is due unto your Holy name.

May you know the love of God that is found only through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
~Ellie

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The LORD shall open unto thee His GOOD TREASURE....

" This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein..." Joshua 1:8

This morning while reading through Ephesians chapter 5, and while undergoing a trial that brought about unrest, I found joy and kindness from a loving Savior who desires to pour out His good treasure upon His children that hearken and obey His voice...

Such peace we gain from God's HOLY WORD... that I felt the need to write down a few points that encouraged my husband and I this morning....

Because it's not always easy to accept a trial in our lives with joyfulness... nor is it easy to give thanks for a hurt you are experiencing... I found God's gentle encouragement in His Word to be the nourishment we needed  this morning... to lift our eyes above the clouds and give thanks in ALL things.

Yes, God is faithful!

And so, chapter 5 of Ephesians was loaded with a list of reminders for us to follow...

...for just as in Joshua 1, if we observe to do according to God's Holy Word, ..." thy way shall be prosperous and thou shalt have good success." Joshua 1:8b

Encouragement that gave us rest from the unrest:

EPHESIANS 5

  • Be ye therefore followers of God (v.1)
  • Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us (v.2)
  • Ye are LIGHT in the Lord, walk as children of light (v.8)
  • See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise (v.15)
  • Redeem the time, because the days are evil (v.16)
  • Be filled with the SPIRIT (v.18)
  • Sing and make melody in your heart to the LORD (v.19)
  • Give thanks ALWAYS for ALL things (v.20)
  • Submit yourselves to one another (v.21)
If we think on the things above... the things below will slowly fade away.

Father, How gracious you are towards your people. You rejoice over us to do good to us when we obey you. Help us to serve you with joyfulness and gladness of heart for indeed you've poured your abundance upon us in all things.

May you be encouraged today to put your faith and hope in a God that changest not... a God that is mighty to save.
~Ellie

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Therefore I will look unto the Lord...

" He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap." Ecclesiastes 11:4

This morning was a dreary day. Clouds abounded in the sky. Looking outside, I noticed the darkness of the early hours lift up a bit. But there was no sun peeking out, just dark grey clouds. I went for a walk and felt the gloominess of the day take its toll on me. So focused was I on the clouds, that my disposition became gloomy within...

Do you ever change with the "weather" ?  Do you ever find yourself in a dark and gloomy place? Do you focus on the "clouds"  and fail to see the blessings they bring in the form of rain?

Sometimes, our surroundings... the trials and testings of the day....  keep us so focused on the "clouds"... that we begin to succumb to a state of hopelessness. A state where we are of no use... a state where there's no sowing of seeds, nor reaping of fruit.

As I kept walking, and felt myself downcast,  I heard an old familar hymn playing on a favorite online station... I caught just a single phrase:

" I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face..."

Oh, how that phrase brought me back to a state of thankfulness. It was, as in an instant, that I was able to lift my head "above the clouds" and see my Lord and Saviour as the only sunshine that I'd ever need!

And so, the morning, while dreary and gloomy...  all of a sudden began to look bright and full of hope. How thankful I was for the reminder that when I sit in darkness, He is my constant LIGHT that never ceases to shine in my life.

" ... when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me." 
Micah 7:8

" ... He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold His righteousness."  
Micah 7:9 

Yes, the clouds have a place in our lives... but how important to look beyond... and see the blessings they most surely bring. These couple of verses from the hymn I heard this morning was such a blessing to me, that I pray you too will be blessed to dwell upon the completed work of the cross...

Beneath The Cross of Jesus
Upon that cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One Who suffered there for me;
And from my stricken heart with tears two wonders I confess;
The wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness.

I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face;
Content to let the world go by to know no gain or loss,
My sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.
       Eliz­a­beth C. Cle­phane, 1868

Precious Father, how thankful we are for the Light that has shone in our hearts in the face of Jesus Christ.

May you delight in light of His presence today... 
~Ellie

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?

" Take heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye LOVE the Lord your God." Joshua 23:11

This past week I have been dwelling much on the importance of being right before God... of giving my best to a righteous and holy God.

The passage of Cain and Abel  was brought up in a recent Bible study and I went home thinking about it. I thought about Cain's offering, an offering that we know was displeasing to the Lord... 

.... and then I thought about Abel's offering... an offering consisting of his best, his firstlings and the fat thereof.

Seeing God's approval of Abel's offering, Cain became very angry. Why would God be displeased with his grain offering and not accept it? We would look at it and say, " Well, Cain did bring an offering, did he not?" 

Yes, Cain did bring an offering... but God was displeased with his offering. Why? Because God knew Cain's motives and heart. It wasn't his best... 

And yet we see God answering Cain with kindness,

"If thou doest well, shalt thou  not be accepted?
 and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." 
Genesis 4:7

How often I see myself trying to place the SELF above what is required of God. 
How often I see myself trying to "maneuver" my actions to be "pleasing" before God... and still come out looking like I'm obeying God. 
  • The flesh is always concerned with "coming out on top and winning"... but God is concerned with a pure heart, a heart that is fully devoted to Him. 
  • The flesh deceives us in thinking we "can get away with it"... but God knows and searches the motives of our hearts.
God surely tests us... and reminds us that we are to take heed-- that we love the Lord our God out of a pure heart.

Oh, how necessary it is for us to examine ourselves... that we be in the Spirit and not in the flesh. For if we do well, we shall be accepted of the Lord... and we will have nothing to fear.

" Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith, prove your own selves..." 
2 Corinthians 13:5 

Lord God... you are righteous and holy, create in us a clean heart and help us to seek after righteousness. May we be a pleasing aroma before you in Jesus Christ.

May you the love the Lord God out of a pure heart and offer your best to Him.
~Ellie

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Therefore, we were comforted in your comfort...

" ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." 2 Corinthians 7:1

Have you ever been comforted... because of someone else's comfort? I thought about this as I was reading this morning a chapter in 2 Corinthians. 

How many of us can truly, and in all honesty, say that we are most comforted, or happy for those around us who are doing well. Do we care enough? Do we want the lives of those around us to be enriched by God's blessings? Do we want to see growth and be blessed as a result of seeing the work of God being made manifest in their lives?

Well, such was the case for Apostle Paul and the Corinthians...  his desire for them to be cleansed "from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit"(v.1). How comforted he was to hear of their godly sorrow ... and as a result, see the fruits of their repentance.  How he cared for them!

Do we care for those around us... without condemning? That's always hard to do... this caring without condemning. 

His power alone can give us victory over the flesh. How encouraging!

" Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." 
Galatians 5:16

For the fruit of the Spirit is:

LOVE
Joy
Peace
LONGSUFFERING
Gentleness
Goodness
Faith
MEEKNESS
Temperance(Self Control)

Oh, that our care for one another would be evident in the sight of God and man. That we would indeed be of comfort to one another... and refresh those around us.

Father, may your Spirit cleanse us from all the workings of the flesh and strengthen us to attain unto holiness.

May you manifest God's grace in abundance to those in need... that your soul may be comforted and refreshed in the presence of a Holy God. 
~Ellie

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

But thanks be unto GOD, which gives us the victory...

" Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye STEADFAST, UNMOVEABLE, always ABOUNDING in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labour is NOT IN VAIN in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58

Some months ago I read a verse that has stayed with me for a great while. And this morning I was thinking about it... and thought how needful it is for us, that we be not weary in well doing. 

I thought about the military men and women, the firefighters, the policemen and all those who have given their lives for us,... so  that we might have freedom here on earth. Those that have put their lives in harm's way. Yes, we should be most thankful for the people that gave their lives for us...  

And yet, I thought of the verse that spoke to me months ago:

" Men that have hazarded their lives 
for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
 Acts 15:26

Yes, to risk our lives,

... for the furtherance of the gospel, 
... for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
... that others might have eternal freedom.

How important it is that we would be devoted to serving our LORD GOD... in good times and in bad... for HE has indeed given us reason to rejoice. The LORD JESUS CHRIST, the ONE who offered/gave His life willingly for us... that we might know the only TRUE GOD and have eternal life. 

Oh, that our desire would be for those around us to know the LORD JESUS CHRIST.... that we would be steadfast, unmoveable... always abounding in the work of the Lord.

For indeed He gives us the victory to overcome whatever comes our way, so that His glory might be seen in us and through us.

And so this morning I was encouraged to sing a hymn as a reminder to serve Him in all I do or say.

May The Mind Of Christ My Savior Live In Me From Day To Day

1
May the mind of Christ my Savior
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and pow’r controlling
  All I do and say.
2
May the Word of Christ dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
  Only through His pow’r.
3
May the peace of Christ my Savior
Rule my life in every thing,
That I may be calm to comfort
  Sick and sorrowing.
4
May the love of Jesus fill me,
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
  This is victory.
5
May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
  As I onward go.
6
May His beauty rest upon me
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
  Seeing only Him.

Lord, help us to be devoted to you... that the gospel may not be maligned, but rather be seen in us.

May you be encouraged to stand strong amidst the trials... knowing victory is in the Lord's hands.
~Ellie 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

That NO flesh should glory in HIS PRESENCE...

" That in EVERY THING ye are enriched by HIM, in ALL utterance, and in ALL knowledge." 1 Corinthians 1:5

Lately, I've been thinking about my need to have the LORD JESUS CHRIST dwell richly in me. I find myself lacking often to " put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh." How easily I fall prey to the flesh.

-Pride creeps in,
-Selfishness abounds,
-and Christ is minimized in my life.

And then I think how perfectly the LORD GOD orchestrated our lives... He perfectly knows us and our tendencies. And how easily we want self glory.

Indeed God knows our tendencies,

"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, 
and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart 
was only evil continually."
 Genesis 6:5

And so I think upon my need to glory in the Lord... to glorify the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD, worthy of ALL praise.

Touching the Almighty, we cannot find Him out: 
He is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice:
 He will not afflict. 
Men do therefore fear Him: 
He respecteth not any that are wise of heart.
Job 37, 23, 24
Dominion and fear are with Him...
Job 25:2

How good to remember my  place before a Holy and Righteous God... and to remember that He alone enriches us with the the right words to speak and fills us with the knowledge of His will when we are humble before Him. For I am reminded that I can do nothing apart from Him.

"... for without me ye can do nothing." 
John 15:5

AND in all things, I am to glorify my Father in heaven,

" Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." 
John 15:8

O Righteous Father, help me to fear your name, and flee from self-exaltation. Enlighten my eyes to behold your glory with adoration as you continue your mighty work in me.

May you be encouraged to exalt the Lord on High today.... for in everything we are enriched by Him.
~Ellie

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Giving NO offence in ANY THING...

" But in ALL things approving ourselves as the ministers of God..." 2 Corinthians 6:4

This morning I happened to catch a devotional being read while preparing breakfast. Normally my thoughts "run to and fro" while getting things ready for the table... but the radio is still in the background  with music or scripture being read. Sometimes I don't always hear everything amidst the noise of preparing breakfast. However, there's always a "nugget "of treasure that keeps me encouraged...

A verse was shared this morning ... and with the verse, the thought that we possess ALL things. How wonderful the thought! I quickly made a mental jot to look up the verse after breakfast and meditate on the treasure given me. 

" ... as having nothing, yet possessing All things." 
2 Corinthians 6:10

I started reading at the beginning of the chapter to understand the verse a bit  better... and how blessed and encouraged I was! 

Too often I forget... how RICH I am... and that I posses ALL things... IN Christ! 

"... and you are complete in Him." 
Colossians 2:10 

Have you ever felt yourself lacking? I know most of us often associate richness with material things, but being rich isn't about the things of this world... 

Have you ever felt yourself.... 
  • without the "means" to get through the day?
  • at "loss" when it comes to... going the extra mile, showing kindness, applying grace to someone who's wronged you?
  • "poor" and "hopeless" and "without knowledge" when it comes to applying Christ-like attributes ... be it to others, or in situations where surroundings test our "worth"?  
I was overwhelmed with the encouragement I received from the verses I read. Oh, what wealth of knowledge has been given to us... indeed we posses ALL things and we lack NO good thing!

I thought to write down the key points from 2 Corinthinas 6:1-10... as a reminder of what God's power and His Holy Spirit can do in our lives... when we are faced with various trials.

As workers together with the LORD... we are not to receive the grace of God in vain: 
  • Giving NO offence in ANY THING... that the ministry be not blamed.
 As ministers of God...  approving ourselves in ALL things:
  • in much patience
  • in afflictions
  • in necessities
  • in distresses
  • in stripes
  • in imprisonments
  • in tumults
  • in labours
  • in watchings
  • in fastings
Working and ministering... 
  • by pureness
  • by knowledge
  • by long-suffering
  • by kindness
  • by the HOLY GHOST
  • by love unfeigned (genuine, without hypocrisy)
  • by the WORD OF TRUTH
  • by the POWER OF GOD
  • by the armour of righteousness, on the right hand and on the left 
In  ALL situations...
  • by honour and dishonour
  • by evil report, and bad report
  • as deceivers, and yet true
  • as unknown, and yet well known
  • as dying, and behold we live
  • as chastened, and not killed
  • as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing
  • as poor, yet making many rich
AS HAVING NOTHING, YET POSSESSING ALL THINGS.

Lord, may your power and Holy Spirit work in us to be strengthened with all might... working in us all... a patience and long-suffering... that is accomplished with joyfulness.

May you be encouraged today to give no offence in any thing... and be reminded that in Christ we possess ALL things.  We are more than conquerors through Him... who loved us to the the end.

~Ellie

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear...

" Wherefore gird up the loins OF YOUR MIND, be sober, and HOPE TO THE END for the GRACE that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:13

How often I forget the reason for my existence and the purpose for my life on this earth. More often than not, I tend to lose sight of God's reason for placing me on this earth. It's not that I'm not aware of His purpose in my life, but I find my mind  preoccupied too much with the "cares of the world" ... and too little glorifying God. Way too little...

How thankful I am for God's Word that brings me back to the light. Reading through 1 Peter, I was once again encouraged to fix my eyes on the things above.

I am reminded that,

... my existence isn't to fulfill my own pleasures.
... my existence isn't that I run around seeking to fulfill "my life's ambitions".
... my existence isn't for worldly gain.
... my existence isn't that I "be the best that I can be" in the eyes of the world. 

No, my existence is purely to GLORIFY GOD and give HIM PRAISE in all that I do. 
I am to remember that HE brought salvation to my soul and turned me from the pit of darkness to His glorious light.

" But you are a CHOSEN people, a ROYAL priesthood, and HOLY nation, 
His OWN SPECIAL people; 
that ye should shew forth the praises of Him 
who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." 
1 Peter 2:9

And so I was thankful this morning for the reminder to:

1) Gird up the loins of my mind,
     ... and be prepared for action. 
                 ( 1 Pet.1:13)
2) Pass the time of my sojourning here on earth... in fear,
    ... laying aside all forms of malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies, and all evil speakings. 
                         (1 Pet.1:17/ 2 Pet.2:1)
3) Believe in God.
     ... that my HOPE and FAITH might be in God. 
                        (1 Pet.1:21)

The Word of God says it best in Ecclesiastes,

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; 
Fear God, and keep His commandments, 
for this is the whole duty of man.
For God shall bring every work into judgement, 
with every secret thing
whether, it be good, or whether it be evil. " 
Ecclesiastes 12:13,14

Lord how we need you! Remind us of your purpose for our lives... and remove from us any selfish ambitions that lead to death. Help us to walk by your Spirit... in the light of your Word. 

May you be encouraged today to "desire the sincere(pure) milk of the word, that you may grow thereby."... honoring and glorifying God.

~Ellie

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

And be found in HIM , NOT having mine own Righteousness...

" That I may know HIM, and the power of HIS resurrection, and the fellowship of HIS sufferings, being made conformable unto HIS death." Phillipians 3:10

You know, sometimes it's not the easiest to apply the WORD in our lives. Phillipians 3:10 is a perfect example of a verse that requires us to be conformed to the LORD's death. Have you ever thought about it... to be conformed to HIS DEATH? 

CONFORM (def): be similar in form or type.
synonym: abide by, obey, observe, follow, keep to, stick to, adhere to, uphold, heed, accept,..

To be conformed to His death... would require that we be like the Lord Jesus, and follow in His steps.

I don't know about you... but I often fail to be conformed to His death or to know the fellowship of His sufferings.
  • I fail to be a servant... and find myself desiring to place my needs above others. 
  • I fail to be made of no reputation... and care too much of what man thinks of me.
  • I fail to be humble... and find myself proud, even in the smallest of things. 
  • I fail to suffer loss... and  find myself trying to keep worthless things as gain.
  • I fail to revile not when reviled against... and can find myself holding a record of wrong, even in silence.

No... to be conformed, ..." unto HIS death." means to die to self... that Christ may live in my stead!

For sure we can never be conformed to Christ's image on our own. I am to have NO confidence in my OWN FLESH, but rather I'm to, 

"....be found in Him, 
not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, 
BUT that which is through the faith of Christ, 
the righteousness which is of God by faith."
Phillipians 3:9

The Righteousness ... which is of God... alone works in us... a walk that is worthy of HIS HOLY NAME.

What blessed thought... to be cleansed from all our unrighteousness and be clothed in HIS righteousness.

"For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; 
that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 
1 Corinthians 5:21

Indeed we can have VICTORY over our own flesh, our own desires, our own self-workings... because Christ is RISEN...  the power of His resurrection has brought us justification.

"Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. "
Romans 4:25

And while I may fail from time to time, I am encouraged that HIS strength is made PERFECT in my weakness.... 

...reminding me that it is best to be occupied in,

 " .... forgetting those things which are behind, 
and reaching forth 
unto those things which are BEFORE, 
I press toward the mark 
for the prize 
of the HIGH CALLING OF GOD 
in 
Christ Jesus."
Phillipians 3: 13,14

How wonderful to know that in the Lord Jesus Christ we have complete victory!

" But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 
1 Corinthians 15:57
*
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: 
and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 
1 John 5:4

Oh, that I would be occupied with knowing more and more of my Saviour... that I would be able to count all things as loss... that I may indeed be conformed unto His death.

Holy Father, help me to walk worthy of your calling... and do nothing through strife or vainglory.

May you be encouraged today to KNOW the Lord Jesus... and " press toward the mark for the prize of the HIGH CALLING OF GOD  in Christ Jesus."

~Ellie  

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Will you not TREMBLE at MY PRESENCE?

" ... but yet I would have you WISE unto that which is GOOD, and simple concerning evil. " Romans 16:19
"... neither be partaker's of other men's sins; Keep thyself  PURE." 1 Timothy 5:22

Recently I came upon this verse in Romans, where we are instructed to be simple in the things that are evil. I thought upon this quite a bit, because oftentimes we can find ourselves dabbling in things that are not pure and righteous... and overlooking sin.

Evil surrounds us in all forms... we can easily be drawn to evil... and even place ourselves in the pathway of temptations unknowingly.

I find it comes easy for our minds to "soak up" things that our flesh desires... it can come through media, news, movies, books and all forms of evil practices. And sometimes we can find ourselves in the presence of evil company. But... 

Do we separate ourselves from these worldly passions? 
Are we aware of God's HOLINESS... and desire that we be simple concerning things that are evil? 
Do we fear GOD? 
Do we tremble at His presence? 
Do we run from evil... and seek that which is good?

We can easily clutter our minds with things that harm...
However, we are to  be wise unto that which is GOOD. We are to know God's Word..., for it has power to heal and cleanse... and teaches us the way we ought to walk.

"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, 
and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." 
2 Corinthians 6:17

"I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand...." Jeremiah 15:17

" Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." 
2 Timothy 2:19

Yes, we are to live in this world...but we are not of the world. The Lord Jesus sent us out into the world... and His prayer was that we would be kept from evil (John 17). 

Oh, to be innocent concerning all that is evil,

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless(innocent) as doves.
 Matthew 10:16

So in my thoughts, I went to Psalm 101... a perfect guide... for the application of God's precepts.... to help us in our walk:

PSALM 101:

IN REGARDS TO OUR OBEDIENCE
  • I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. 
  • I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
  • I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.
  • I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
  • A froward heart shall depart from me: 
  • I will not know a wicked person.

IN REGARDS TO GOD'S JUDGEMENT ON DISOBEDIENCE
  • Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off:
  • Him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
  • He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house
  • He that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.

AND GOD'S PROMISES TO THOSE WHO WALK UPRIGHTLY
  • Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: 
  • He that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.

Lord, I pray that  I would be wise in the things that are GOOD, RIGHTEOUS and HOLY... 

...  to be aware of Your presence in my life, to acknowledge Your holiness and purity, to flee from unrighteousness...

... and be FAITHFUL to You.

May you be encouraged today to hide God's Word in your heart... to be wise in that which is GOOD... and innocent concerning evil.

~Ellie

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

He sent His WORD, and HEALED them...

" For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." Psalm 107:9

This morning after reading the Word, I picked up my hymn book and started to sing softly... a hymn that I've known for quite some time. Such comforting words...

... the LORD JESUS, the only ONE who offers rest that can satisfy a weary and worn soul. 

Do you ever find yourself  weary and worn and sad? Who can truly understand your needs? Can you ever bring your struggles to man... and find complete rest in man? 

No... no one cares for you like the Lord Jesus. He alone satisfieth the longing soul... He sends His WORD... then heals... and delivers. 

" He sent His WORD, and healed them,
 and delivered them from their destructions." 
Psalm 107:20 

O Lord, How grateful I am for your goodness to me... indeed I find fullness of joy... in YOUR presence.

 "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say"
by Horatius Bonar, 1808-1899

 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down,
Thy head upon My breast."
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting-place,
And He has made me glad.

 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one,
Stoop down and drink and live."
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream.
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"I am this dark world's Light.
Look unto Me; thy morn shall rise
And all thy day be bright."
I looked to Jesus, and I found
In Him my Star, my Sun;
And in that Light of Life I'll walk
Till traveling days are done.

What joy to have the Lord Jesus as our haven of rest...

" He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they are quiet; so He bringeth them unto their desired haven." Psalm 107: 29,30

May you seek to find rest in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ... who gives the LIVING water... and revives the weary soul.

~Ellie

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

For the wisdom of this world is FOOLISHNESS with GOD

"... Knowledge puffeth up, but CHARITY edifieth (builds up)." 1 Corinthians 8: 1b

Do you "suffer" from pride? Because I sure do! This pride... well, it creeps in from all directions. I'm always amazed to see how often I fail to see my own pride. How often I tend to judge, or how often I tend to think well of myself (even when I don't want to).

Have you ever read through the first few chapters of 1 Corinthians... and come out with the understanding that you are nothing? 

Nothing. 

I know it may sound demeaning when you look at it from man's point of view. We tend to want to be "somebody"... and for sure, don't consider ourselves as the "filth of the world", or worse yet, "the offscouring of ALL things". 1 Corinthians 4:13

But you know, God doesn't look at us as does man... man loves to come out looking as knowledgeable and smart as possible. If you think about it, we tend to put people on pedestals... social rank is quite important, as well as achievements that impress.  But what may look all sparkly and glowing to man... well, God considers it all... all of it... as foolishness and vanity.

" For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
 For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness
And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. " 
1 Corinthians 3:19, 20

And if a man thinks... in any way that he knows anything... well, God clearly lets us know in 1 Corinthians 8:2 that man knows nothing,

" And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, 
he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know." 
1 Cor 8:2
And yet again, another reminder...

"For if a man think himself to be something, 
when he is nothing, 
he deceiveth himself." 
Galatians 6:3

And as I'm growing older, I realize how important it is that my 'knowledge of this world' would diminish... and that I would grow in the true knowledge of the LORD.  

Interestingly, even the things I have gained in the "wisdom of this world" ... has been given to me by God Himself. Everything I have...comes from Him.

"... what hast thou that thou didst not receive? 
Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it?" 
1 Corinthians 4:7

I don't know about you, but I desire that I would put away the striving of this world and apply true knowledge... and increase in charity, or godly love.

Because while knowledge simply puffs up the self... love has a different application. 

Love builds up.

Oh, that I would be nothing... and Christ everything. 

May you desire  to grow in the knowledge of the Lord God.
~Ellie

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Incline my HEART unto THY testimonies, and not to covetousness.

" Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be CONTENT with such things as you have." Hebrews 13:5a

Have you ever thought what it means for the heart to be content? Or maybe I should phrase it a bit different. Have you ever known overwhelming grace... resulting in a most thankful heart? Receiving something you didn't deserve?...

This past week I thought upon such questions as I was reading through Hebrews chapter 13. When I read verse 5, I thought upon the importance of  living my life in a manner that is well pleasing to the LORD.

I am to conduct myself... in speech and action... with a thankful heart. Covetousness ought not to be evident.

You know, when I think about coveting... I'll admit that I can easily brush it off and excuse it from my life. I can easily find myself saying, "Oh, I don't have a problem with coveting. I'm thankful with the Lord's provisions. I'm "ok" with what I have materially." It's easy to say all that when things go well...

So then I thought a bit more on what it means to covet.... because God surely commands us not to covet, for it is of great sin before Him. 

Covetousness refers to the heart being  in a state of discontentment... a heart that is unhappy or unthankful... 

... and it is evident in thought, words and actions.

Can I truly say that I have a content heart? Do my deeds or conversations truly reflect a calm and gracious spirit? Do I have a thankful heart...one that's without fear or anxiety of what today/tomorrow may bring? Do I depend totally upon my Father's perfect plan/will for me... even when I lack? 

Because with the exhortation... to be content with such things as we have... also comes a promise,

" I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." 
Hebrews 13:5b

It was only when I read further in Hebrews, that I came to understand a bit more of what makes a heart content.

" For it is a good thing that the heart be established with GRACE..." 
Hebrews 13:9

It is knowing that grace has been poured forth on us... for we've been given the forgiveness of sins...when we deserved nothing but wrath.

Therefore, a content heart is based on grace... it covets not..., knowing that God gave, out of His  fullness... grace upon grace, 

... filling us with all that we may ever need.... His Son, Jesus Christ... and life eternal.

" And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." 
John 1:16

AND... it is not about wordly things, or things that are not lasting... but heavenly! Our hearts should be focused on the things above and not on the things here below (or earthly).

A heart that is content... is also thankful heart... resulting in a conduct that is well pleasing to the LORD. The heart rejoices when it is established with grace...

... continually offering the sacrifice of praise to God and giving thanks to His name. (Hebrews 13:15)

Lord, help me to put aside all manner of covetousness from my life, running after vain things and displeasing you... but rather, help me to be content with such things as you've given me... for indeed, I lack no good thing.

" Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. " 
Psalm 119:36

May your heart be established with the Father's grace... seeking to be content with such things as you have, boldly declaring; " The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear..."

~Ellie 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

...He hath clothed me with the garments of SALVATION..

" For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21

This week my thoughts were much on the precious death of the Lord Jesus... coming down from glory on high to take take upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh... and be made sin for us!

The Lord Jesus Christ took my place on the cross... that I might be made the rightousness of God ... in Him. 

Oh, worthy is the Lamb.... of ALL praise and honor!

I came upon a beautiful hymn that encouraged me to give glory to His name.  I hope it encourages you too.

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. " Acts 4:12

HIS ROBES FOR MINE

His robes for mine: O wonderful exchange!
Clothed in my sin, Christ suffered ‘neath God’s rage.
Draped in His righteousness, I’m justified.
In Christ I live, for in my place He died.

Chorus:
I cling to Christ, and marvel at the cost:
Jesus forsaken, God estranged from God.
Bought by such love, my life is not my own.
My praise-my all-shall be for Christ alone.

His robes for mine: what cause have I for dread?
God’s daunting Law Christ mastered in my stead.
Faultless I stand with righteous works not mine,
Saved by my Lord’s vicarious death and life.

His robes for mine: God’s justice is appeased.
Jesus is crushed, and thus the Father’s pleased.
Christ drank God’s wrath on sin, then cried “‘Tis done!”
Sin’s wage is paid; propitiation won.

His robes for mine: such anguish none can know.
Christ, God’s beloved, condemned as though His foe.
He, as though I, accursed and left alone;
I, as though He, embraced and welcomed home!
author Chris Anderson

" I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness..." Isaiah 61:10

May you know the Saviour's sacrificial love for you today... and give Him praise.

~Ellie