Breakthrough

In February, Jerry and I were waiting in the podiatrist’s exam room for him to have his foot x-rayed. So as to encourage him, I said, “There is light at the end of the tunnel.”

His response was, “Are you sure it is not a locomotive?”

I said, gently, “Yes, I am sure.”

There was no definite meaning, nor explanation for my words, just sharing the spirit of God’s grace as we have experienced His presence through all our difficulties in the past.

The nurse wheeled him out, leaving me alone with my own thoughts in the cold, tiny room.

The still, small voice to which I have become accustomed in quiet times, asked, “Am I your God?’

Humbly, I answered, “Yes, Lord.”

“Then, trust Me.”

As simple as that, without audible conversation, I knew that however long this new episode would last, the Lord was assuring me of His presence and power with us.

Six Months Later
We have waited, as in times past, for healing, not only for treatment for the diabetic ulcer that podiatrists started in February, but for tests and an eventual stent for an aneurysm in his leg in April, to allow blood flow to the foot. Added to this was another wound from that incision

In July this wound closed after treatment with a wound vac. The same treatment did not work for the foot. This was their last resort after trying provadine, skin grafts, collagen, and foot baths. So, they sent us to the wound healing center thirty minutes away.

In this first visit last week, they took a culture that showed MRSA, a staph infection, for which they prescribed clindamycin. Yesterday, for our second visit, we were encouraged with the wound half the size as last week. The wound specialist believes this to be the reason for lack of healing, assuring us of complete healing soon.

At the outset of this sore, the primary care physician prescribed two rounds of antibiotics, but he, nor the podiatrist did a culture. There were no visible signs of infection while under the care of the podiatrist.

We are not resentful that they did not do a culture, but glad that it was done last week, believing that all things are revealed and healed in God’s timing.

Hidden Infection
This all reminds me of how things can be hidden. Just as we all carry the infection of sin within us, not knowing that we need healing, it manifests itself in different ways. Relationships are broken, families are torn apart, life can be emotionally and physically unhealthy because of hidden sin.

It is when we come to the only one who can do a culture for us that we know our sin, and accept the prescription, believing that He is able to bring total healing.

Jesus Christ came to earth as the Great Physician over 2000 years ago, He was, and still is, our breakthrough.

Gracious Father in heaven, we praise you for all things; for Christ, your Son, whom you sent to reveal our sin and to heal broken lives. We thank you for wisdom given to men to solve physical problems and to provide healing, believing that all healing is from you, for your glory and for the purpose of our serving you, living in praise and thanksgiving for your mercy, your grace, your goodness and power in our hearts and lives. Thank you for the encouragement that Jerry might soon be able to wear his prosthesis, and that we will be able to worship with your people again. We ask for your healing for others who are ill, in need of physical and spiritual healing. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have You Seen Jesus?

“He who has seen me has seen the Father.”
John 14:9

Why is it so important that we see Jesus as God? The Father has made it so. The Book of Hebrews, when studied in depth, opens our eyes to see Jesus as “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature ~ the image of the invisible God, through whom the world was made ~ all things were created through him and for him.” (Hebrews 1:2-3; Colossians 1:15-16)

We are taught in the first chapter of Hebrews that “He upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” How do we see Him there?

“We have such a high priest, holy, innocent,
unstained, separated from sinners,
and exalted above the heavens,

one who is seated at the right hand
of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,
a minister in the holy places,
where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf,
Hebrews 7:26   8:1

He is there, having fulfilled all the law of righteousness on our behalf so that He can “save to the uttermost all who come to God through Him.”

“Where we who have fled for refuge
might have strong encouragement
to hold fast to the hope set before us.
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.
Hebrews 5:18-19; 6:20

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In this hope and assurance, we see Him as our life here and forever.

“And we all, with unveiled face,
beholding the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image
from one degree of glory to another.”
2 Corinthians 3:18

All this is from God, who through Christ
reconciled us to himself
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”
2 Corinthians 5:16-19

What should be our response?

Music:  Come Christians Join to Sing

Come, Christians, join to sing
Alleluia! Amen!
Loud praise to Christ our King;
Alleluia! Amen!
Let all, with heart and voice,
Before His throne rejoice;
Praise is His gracious choice.
Alleluia! Amen!

Come, lift your hearts on high,
Alleluia! Amen!
Let praises fill the sky;
Alleluia! Amen!
He is our Guide and Friend;
To us He’ll condescend;
His love shall never end.
Alleluia! Amen!

Praise yet our Christ again,
Alleluia! Amen!
Life shall not end the strain;
Alleluia! Amen!
On heaven’s blissful shore,
His goodness we’ll adore,
Singing forevermore,
“Alleluia! Amen!”
 Christian H. Bateman (1843)

Locking our Wheels

The fear of falling is only second to the fear of death for the elderly. Many falls result in breaking bones that are weak from the “wasting away” of the body; and some falls end in death. Last night Jerry fell, the third time since his amputation eight years ago.

The first time was after his healing. Standing at the edge of the garage I watched as he confidently wheeled out to check the mail. He did well until he started up the slight incline on the street. He did not have the strength to make it in the turn toward the mailbox. The wheelchair slid backward dumping him. At first I wanted to laugh, but didn’t have time as I ran down the driveway to help. How to help ~ I did not know. With my holding the wheelchair behind he gradually was able to pull himself up backward. By God’s grace we did not require any other help that time. That was the last time he checked the mail in his wheelchair.

A second time he forgot to lock his wheels when he stood up. It took close to an hour for him to get close enough to a chair for me to help him pull up. During these times he has his own idea of how to remedy the situation. There is a trauma when a person falls that we cannot understand. Disoriented in thinking there is also a problem accepting and following instructions.

Last night He had simply reached down to pick up something off the floor. He forgot to lock his wheels and he hit the floor when the wheelchair slid from under him. He is not as strong as he was when he fell the first time; and so after thirty minutes of trying to help him I called our daughter. It doesn’t matter that she is a physical therapist; any two people strong enough could have lifted him back into the wheelchair. She came with our son-in-law and got him situated.

How to Keep From Falling
Wheels are wonderful to get us where we need to go. A wheelchair has four wheels, two large ones and two small, enabling you to go forward, backward, and around as you direct the two large wheels on the side. But, unless you stay in the chair and control the wheels the chair rolls wherever ~ it seems to have a mind of its own.

Upon leaving this contraption you must lock your wheels to help keep you from falling. In the same perspective we see the concept of falling from the security that is ours in Christ. Following are some of the ways to lock our spiritual wheels.

“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12

 “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”   Proverbs 11:14

“Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.” Proverbs 11:28

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12

“Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” 2 Peter 1:10

 “Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.” Proverbs 28:14

“Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” Isaiah 40:30

“The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.” Psalm 145:14

“For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but you shall have your life as a prize of war, because you have put your trust in me, declares the Lord.’” Jeremiah 39:18

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15

“Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.” Psalm 37:24

Jude 24-25
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Filled With Grace, Wrapped in Glory

God’s grace and God’s glory were uppermost in my mind and heart when I started this blog. Yet, the ability to write about this realm was difficult to grasp. Four years later these are still not simple things to write about but they are worthy to be expressed as best as possible, using His words. As, from my experience of the past years, it is good and nourishing to go, filled with grace, into another year, wrapped in His glory. Such of God is unsearchable, and what we find is more than enough for a book. When we look to the source we find this pouring out by His grace and from His glory. Please read and meditate on what God speaks to us as His children. We may take each as a separate part, but to meditate on His words are important to understand the content and the effect of His grace and glory.

We speak of these separately and yet they are both part of the wholeness of God. Both are realized in and through the trinity, especially as they are revealed in Jesus Christ, the Son.

 Filled With Grace
The fullness of grace is to first seen in its source. The apostle Paul to the Colossian church tells us that Christ, being the image of the invisible God, by whom all things were made (to be receptacles of His grace) by whom all things consist; (everything is held together by Him) and it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell ~ all of which we are in need. (Colossians 1:15, 17, 19)

 In John 1:14, and 16 Jesus was the Word made flesh, to dwell among men, full of grace and truth.  And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

“As many as received Him to them gave He the power to become sons of God; born not of the will of man but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

Grace births us into His family and His kingdom (a new realm).   This is to be filled with grace, filled with His fullness (Ephesians 3:19). This is the mystery of which Paul spoke.

Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27

 Our justification, our faith, our joy and hope are through the grace that is given in Christ. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” (Romans 3:24); and by which we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1)

Paul speaks extensively of grace and faith, being of Jesus Christ, and planted in us; “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
2 Corinthians 13:5

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. Galatians 2:20

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,” Ephesians 3:17

“so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” Philippians 1:20

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”  Philippians 2:5

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;” Colossians 3:16

God’s grace and glory are accorded with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

“And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”  1 Timothy 1:14; 2 Timothy 1:13

 

In Christ ~ Wrapped in Glory
Grace is that power that fills us and brings us into God’s glory, which is Christ. He is both the filler of grace and the wrapping of His glory.

 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:”
Colossians 2:6

 Christ is not only the hope of glory, but the manifestation of glory in us and surrounding us. We experience this glory, not only by the power of Christ in us, but bringing us to the reality that we are “IN CHRIST.” The person who is born of the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of God, is brought to dwell in Christ.

 We are “sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints,” 1 Corinthians 1:2  

 The promise of life is in Christ Jesus.  2 Timothy 1:1

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”  2 Timothy 1:9

 “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:”  1 Corinthians 1:30

 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  2 Corinthians 5:17

 Baptism is the sign that Christ is in us and we are in Him.

“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”  Galatians 3:27

Christ in us, and us “in Christ” is the reality that we are filled and wrapped in Him.

 “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.”  Acts 17:28

In His church,  He fills all its members with all the grace that is needed. (Ephesians 1:23) Paul prayed for this as the power (of the Holy Spirit) working in us exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think (Ephesians 3:14, 16, 20).  The fullness of His grace, and the completeness of our being in Christ and His glory are not for our fulness alone. It comes in the unity, as each member comes together as one body of Christ; each one bringing the measure of grace that we receive. (Ephesians 3:18-19) We continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ as we together wait for His coming.

 “For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus:”  1 Thessalonians 2:14

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”  Ephesians 2:6

 “teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:”  Colossians 1:28

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”  Ephesians 4:13

His fullness and His wrapping keep us; yet, in this world, His grace and glory in us will be always susceptible to attack by the enemy.  But His grace is sufficient.

 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
2 Timothy 3:12

“be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”   2 Timothy 2:1

Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,”  2 Corinthians 2:14

There are promises given in Christ for future glory.

“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3

“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.   Colossians 3:4

“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”  Ephesians 1:10

the dead in Christ shall rise first:”  1 Thessalonians 4:16

As we continue in Christ we experience more of His fullness of grace and more of His glory. It is the Spirit’s work of sanctification in and through us.

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

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Dear Father, all grace and peace are from you, in Christ, and by your Holy Spirit.  We thank you and praise you for a blessed year; and pray your blessings on your people and mercy for all in the coming year  ~ for your glory and our joy.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

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