Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How GREAT is His Goodness, and how GREAT is His Beauty...

" That He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life." Luke 1: 74,75

This past week I have been dwelling much on God's goodness. How often I go through the day and not see God's beauty in my life. How easily I focus on the things I need to "attain". How preoccupied I am with things not "going well"...

... that I find myself missing the beauty of God's goodness poured forth(in abundance) on my life.

Murmuring, discontentment seeps in unknowingly.... because I fail to count my blessings.

Do you ever get caught up with negative and critical and judgmental thoughts? Thoughts that take over and cloud our perspective on life? Do you find yourself  "running to and fro" trying to accomplish things that are not lasting?

Motives that are simply empty of  eternal value?

Well, this week I found myself thus... lacking the eternal perspective. Lacking focus on what really matters in life... what really counts for eternity.

The Lord brought some beautiful reminders as I was reading His word. How precious to stop and dwell on the Lord's goodness and beauty.

  • For I am to be a witness UNTO HIM...

But ye shall receive power, 
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: 
and ye shall be witnesses unto me..." 
Acts 1:8

  • I am to serve Him in holiness and righteousness BEFORE HIM...

"... serve Him without fear, 
in holiness and righteousness 
before Him, 
all the days of our life."
 Luke 1:75

  • I am to do service AS TO THE LORD, and not to men...

"...doing service, as to the Lord, 
and not to men." 
Ephesians 6:7

Blessed today with a few verses that encouraged me to bring glory unto the Lord and see His beauty in my life.

 “Honor and majesty are before Him; 
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary,” 
“Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! ”
Psalm 96:6, 9

 “Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; 
Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.”
Psalm 29:2

 “And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, 
and establish the work of our hands for us; 
Yes, establish the work of our hands.” 
Psalm 90:17

I often have to remember that my life here is not to serve man, nor myself... but rather to serve the Lord... all the days of my life.

May you be encouraged to see God's beauty and holiness in your life today...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

... that the man of God be perfect...

" All scripture is given by inspiration of God... that the man of God be perfect, throughly furnished..." 2 Timothy 3:16,17

Do you ever find yourself failing... in your walk with God? In not manifesting the fruit of the Spirit... nor manifesting to others that you are a child of God?

Recently I was convicted of my wickedness through my words and deeds... idle/unkind words said at the expense of others... and even impatience, along with a disdainful look. Sometimes I am aware of my wrongful actions straightaway... other times I let it go for sometime, thinking nothing of it, only to feel the nudging of the Holy Spirit bringing my failings to my attention.

" Be ye therefore perfect, 
even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." 
Matthew 5:48

Striving for perfection. The ups and downs of our spiritual walk. " All things work together for good to them that love God..." Rom 8:28 

As I was acknowledging my sins before my Father, I was thankful for His forgiveness, for His love...

... a love that brought His Spirit in my life to convict me of sin... and guide me in all truth.

" ...because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts 
by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." 
Galatians 5:5

I thought about how the Lord tells us to be perfect, as He is perfect. 

Can we actually be perfect? 

Then the Lord showed me that His Spirit in us ... indeed is perfect. That is why we are to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit... (Romans 8).

So yes, the man of God may be perfect when we walk in the Spirit... For we are furnished unto all good works... made possible through ALL the scripture that is given by the inspiration of God. (2 Tim. 16,17)...

Oh, the magnitude and the power the WORD OF GOD has on our spiritual walk.

How important to know His Word... it does us good!

" ... do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly? " 
Micah 2:7

I was so thankful for God's direction towards a verse that gave me much comfort after acknowledging my failings before Him.  It is the HOLY Spirit dwelling in me that continues to help me in my infirmities... 

"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities..."
Romans 8:26

How precious the WORD... the comfort it gives us! 

Thank you Lord for your continual working in my life. Help me to lay aside that which displeases you. Help me cling to that which is good and perfect in YOUR sight.

May you hide God's word in your heart and walk in the Spirit... that you might not sin against Him.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

...Seek righteousness, Seek meekness...

"Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; 
seek righteousness, seek meekness... " Zephaniah 2:3

Do you ever get annoyed with those around you? Do you ever feel "persecuted "... or maybe just not understood? Do you find it hard to be humble and meek even when someone is against you?  These questions arose one day in my mind when I was reading a very well known verse.

The verse relates the Lord's desire for us to love our enemies. Sure, maybe those who annoy, speak evil against us, or misuse us for their own good aren't necessarily our "enemies"... 

However, we treat them as enemies.

" But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you..." 
Matthew 5:44

As I read the verse over and over again, I was really convicted. Do I really love my enemy? It's easy to answer, "Yes." when not confronted.  But when confronted... well, it's a different matter all together. 

It seems as if that person is out to get me no matter what I do... or so I think.

And the verse doesn't stop with just loving our enemies...

... I am to also bless them,
... and do good to them,
... and pray for them

I confess the last thing I think about when confronted... while someone's hatred is directed towards me ... is to love them. And I'm not even talking about doing good to them or blessing them or... even yet, praying for them as I ought. 

I thought about the verse a long time, and confessed my inadequacies. SO much of our actions are centered on our worth. How we view ourselves... in the light of our own pride. Or in the light of what others may think of us.

So I was reminded yet again... that God seeks those who are of a contrite heart. One who is meek and lowly.

Then why the struggle to love our enemy? Why do we get annoyed with those around us?

It may be that we are after the things of the flesh...because, 

".. they that are after the things of the flesh, mind the things of the flesh. 
But they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit." 
 Romans 8:5

I realize I need to ask  myself constantly, "Is the fruit of the Holy Spirit evident in my life today?" 

If my heavenly Father chose to love send His only Son to die for me... when I was His enemy... 

" For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son..."
 Romans 5:10

... then, I too, am to show mercy and grace to those who cause me harm. 

A child of God  manifests to all that we have been made a new creation. 

Old things are passed away...

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
 old things are passed away..." 
2 Cor. 5:17

May you feel encouraged today to seek righteousness and meekness... 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Let your LIGHT so shine before men...

"And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us..." Psalm 90:17

The other day I was visiting my good friend, who happens to be in her late 80's. We love to get together once a week to catch up on "things".  We set a whole afternoon aside... for building and encouraging one another. And what may be a few hours in actual time, we feel like it's really just minutes... there's so much to share.

During our visits, we often read scripture together and share memory verses.... sometimes, we may even sing a song or two. But we always share what's on our hearts...

On my last visit, I happened to share with her my desire to be a light in the world... to be a light to those around  me.

Immediately after I said, " I want the beauty of the Lord to be seen in me...", she  began singing the first stanza of an unfamiliar hymn.

One that I had never heard before...


Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me,
All His wonderful passion and purity.
May His Spirit divine all my being refine
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.

When your burden is heavy and hard to bear
When your neighbors refuse all your load to share
When you're feeling so blue, don't know just what to do,
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in you.

When somebody has been so unkind to you,
Some word spoken that pierces you through and through.
Think how He was beguiled, spat upon and reviled,
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in you

From the dawn of the morning till close of day,
In example in deeds and in all you say,
Lay your gifts at His feet, ever strive to keep sweet
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in you.
Written by Albert Orsborn

I don't know about you, but I love old hymns. Old hymns are such a treasure... they are often filled with such good and godly encouragement....  written and lived out by people who gave glory to God... in joys or in sorrows.

The hymn my friend shared brought encouragement to me... because it reminded me to take my eyes from self. 

It is indeed, the Lord Jesus Christ, who I need to look upon... who shines in all beauty and glory.

What a wonderful reminder that...

...when we are beguiled,
...when we are persecuted,
...when we feel our burdens are too hard to bear,

--- The Lord Jesus understands.

He loved us enough to take our shame upon Himself... He who was without sin ... was made sin for us.

That in the end,

... we might be able to show His beauty in our lives.

That our lives might be transformed...

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, 
and glorify your Father which is in heaven." 
Matthew 5:16

I hope you will be encouraged through the hymn as well... and allow the beauty of the Lord to be seen in you today.