Launch Out

Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.  And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.” Luke 5:4-6

A story is told of a football coach on the sidelines of a very important game screaming to his players, “Give Willie the ball.” After several such calls without their response, he called time out.

As his players gathered around him, he asked, “Didn’t you hear me tell you to give Willie the ball?”

“Yes, coach, but Willie doesn’t want the ball.”

Challenges of the Christian Life
How many of us, when called to accept a challenge in our Christian life, often refuse, and so, never know the blessings of growing spiritually. When things seem too difficult, out of our comfort zone, we miss the opportunity of serving where the Lord wants us, or seeing His glory in uncharted waters and receiving the benefits He has there for us. It may mean that we serve Him where we are, but with a greater diligence and obedience to His Word. Not all are called to serve as missionaries in a foreign country, but to grow in our relationship with Him, to know and love Him more ~ to go deeper in fellowship with Him through His Word and His Spirit. It is in this relationship that we are prepared to serve Him wherever He places us.

When we think we have done all that needs to be done, our Lord promises that where He directs us He will be with us, having already planned the outcome.Launching out into the deep is where we find exceeding abundantly more that we can ask or imagine by His power working in us (Ephesians 3:20).

Gracious Father, forgive us for settling for the minimal Christian life. Work in our hearts, by the power of your Holy Spirit to hear the call of our Lord Jesus to follow Him past the mundane things of this life, to deny self as we take up our own cross to find the deep things that are hidden in Him. Enable us to plunge into the depths of your love and find the blessings you have for us. Let nothing hold us back from full surrender to your call and your holy will. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

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Power and Mercy

Power without mercy is like
a locomotive without brakes.

It destroys everything in its path;

And eventually destroys itself.

Power With Mercy
Power with mercy brings things together, unites, and bears the fruit of its own working. Such was the purpose of the coming of Jesus Christ, to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8); to restore what His Father had created in their image.

All God’s creatures have power ~ power that was given when He created the first man. It is a latent power in each of us. How we use it depends on who harnesses it. Jesus Christ gives the Holy Spirit to those who believe in and follow Him so as to turn the power within us by His grace, to live in Him, and through Him. The fruit of His grace through us is mercy toward others, even those who continue under the power of the enemy.

Paul prayed for the first Christians:
“that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, (are) being rooted and grounded in love.” Ephesians 1:16-17

being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.  He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:11-14

Dear Father in heaven, as you watch your creatures here on earth, please have mercy upon us. Rend the heavens and come down; as the melting fire burneth, make your name known among the adversaries. Fill us with your Spirit of grace; unite us as your children that we may be light in this darkness. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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.

Hidden Treasure

“As a child I had a recurring dream of walking a dirt path, and seeing the reflection of the sun on something in the dirt. Reaching down I discovered a penny. (When I was a child we picked up lost pennies.) As I picked it up, I found other pennies. Picking up the pennies, I found nickels underneath, and then dimes, and quarters and half-dollars in the dirt. The more I picked up the more I found buried in the dirt.

I could not understand this dream until,  as an adult, the Lord brought me into His Word. Then, I began to understand the treasures that are hidden there. The more we take, the more we see and desire and receive. As we continue to look to the path and take what He gives, more of the riches of God’s covenant and kingdom are revealed.

Jesus said, “It is the Father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). It is His pleasure to open these treasures through His Word, that we may know the heritage that is ours.

In 1993 a year after my new birth, I began writing what our heavenly Father was teaching me of our inheritance through Jesus Christ. (1Peter 1: 3-4) I began writing a little book called The Legacy. It speaks of a will written by an ancestor who wanted to bequeath His fortune to future descendants. The Legacy speaks of itself through me of how God was revealing His love and kingdom to His children who would be born of His Spirit.

God’s Word is such as a father would write in His own written will to pass on all the wealth that he has to his children. Those who read and study, meditate, and take to heart in faith what is written, will discover that this wealth is indeed meant for them individually and corporately with other members of the household of faith ~ those whom God births into His own family. He desires us and sires us according to His own will and His timing, in different generations. He brings us through His Word and Spirit to know Him, to be born of Him, to believe and repent, turning in faith to receive all the promises of His inheritance, and to live the abundant life that is ours through His Son, Jesus Christ. There is no life that can compare to this life. It fulfills God’s purpose for our creation and redemption and becomes a delight for us as His children.“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). As we come to this garden that He has prepared for His children we find all our delight in Him. This is His ultimate purpose. God is our goal. His purpose is to satisfy us to the fullest in Himself. His desires become our desires.” The Garden of GOD’S WORD ~ The Purpose and Delight of BIBLE STUDY

Dear Father in heaven, how can we know you, your promises of the life that is ours in Christ, your Son, without your calling, and giving us a new heart and spirit to hear and respond? We praise you for your power to give us physical life and spiritual life through your Holy Word, making us your own children. Thank you for the delight we have in you. Nothing compares to the treasure of your Word and the power of your Holy Spirit to activate your Word in us. In Jesus’ name we thank you and praise you. Amen.

Fran

image: Google

GOD Is Our Goal ~ GOD’S Plan for His People

(Fourth in the series Little Books About the Magnitude of God)
Our new book is available from Amazon.

How do you wrap up fourteen summers of study with your grandchildren? The diagram we used to summarize our years together is still on the blackboards (two stacked on the back of the door leading to our prayer room) from five years ago. This book, with the diagram, is the conclusion we came to ~ GOD at the top, our Purpose at the bottom, and His PLAN through JESUS between Him and us, doing His work to keep us and bring us to Himself.

“How many goals do we set in a lifetime? How many do we actually reach? The Christian worldview is one that sees goals based on what has been accomplished for us by our Creator and Redeemer. God has a purpose for His creation. He has a plan. He has set the goal, and by His plan in Christ, brings us to Himself. As we live in anticipation of reaching this goal, it affects all that we think, say and do, making our pilgrimage here a joy and a glory to Him.”
eBook $1.99  Paperback $5.59.
Profits designated for missions and charity.

Dear Father, I pray for your grace to lead those who will read this book to see, to know, and to live in assurance of reaching the goal that you have set for us as your people. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

“Where the rubber meets the road” was an expression used by a famous tire company in the 1970s. Its purpose was to advertise the endurance and safety of their tires. While tested in the factory, they promised that the true test came when supporting a car and its occupants on the open road.rubber

The analogy of such testing can be applied to the Christian faith. Our faith is tested wherever we are, but the true test comes when are out in the open, living and sharing our faith with others.

As long as Jerry and I lived secluded and sheltered in our little inlet (cul-de-sac) we did not have a lot of contact with the world; just family, church, and shopping local stores.

Now that we are publishing our books, the work by which we are proclaiming the legacy of God’s kingdom, we are on the open road ~ open to encounters that we never expected.

Our faith is being tested to a degree that will show the strength and endurance of what God is doing, or to produce a “blow out.”

In all this, it is His Word and His Spirit that are being tested, proving that the work is His and not ours.

The tires that support and carry the car that each of us drive have within them a tube filled with air. A “blow out” occurs if the tube is punctured.
When we get behind the wheel, we trust that the tires will in their revolutions carry us where we need to go.  We trust God’s Word and the power of His Holy Spirit to carry us through this hard road of life.  He will not fail in His promises and presence with us to bring us to Himself.

Do we drive on tires that we have made? Can we live on a faith that we have produced? The tires of our faith are created for each of us; given with new hearts filled with the power of His Holy Spirit; tested in the factory of the life of Christ. They will be tested to the greatest degree, according to His own Word of truth in each of His children.

We may be slowed a bit, made to rest a while to spend time with Him, for examining, or nurturing of our faith. Then, He sends us on the road again to witness of His grace, with more assurance and endurance. In the times of greater testing our faith is growing, becoming stronger, bringing Him the glory, and us the joy.

Let us encourage and pray for each other as God’s children to know His presence and power as we live openly proclaiming Christ as life and light in the darkness of this world.1-peter-1-6-7

Dear Father, you have blessed each of us with a new heart and a new spirit, a new life supported by the faith you produce in us. Strengthen us and enable us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us in the open road of this life continue our pilgrimage with assurance that you will, in and through us, meet every condition. Prove your presence; glorify yourself and grow us in the process. We praise you for the testing. Enable us to praise you during the testing. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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The CONCLUSION

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-11-20-09-amToday we come to the conclusion of six weeks of prayer for our nation, and the conclusion of an election for a new President of these United States of America.

More importantly we come to the conclusion of the whole matter of all prayer for all things.

We have used the context of the prayer which our Lord Jesus Christ gave us, recorded for all generations and all times in Matthew 6:9-13.

In the Lord’s Prayer, we used the preface and the petitions, and now we come to the conclusion.

Petitions are sandwiched between the preface and the conclusion. Jesus meant for us to see that all is from God, the Father; through Him, and for Him.

All things, all conditions, and all conclusions rest in His hands and His plans.

He is the conclusion of all things, before the beginning and to the end.

The preface is to address the one to whom we pray ~ “Our Father in heaven.”

The conclusion is to establish our purpose for prayer to our Father in heaven ~

“For Thine is the kingdom

“The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.”
Psalm 103:19

and the power

“Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God,
Psalm 62:11

and the glory,
forever.”
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
Romans 11:36

Dear heavenly Father, we have these last six weeks poured out our hearts to you, seeking you, your kingdom, and your will as it concerns us as your children, the nation and the world in which we live.  We have no other means of wisdom, and authority.  You are our Father, the kingdom and power over all things.  You have promised your presence among us at all times, even when we can’t discern your leading and authority.  Make us to know your sovereign rule during times of uncertainty. When men and women are seeking their own glory, draw us to you to know your strength, your kingdom, your power and your glory over all.  By your Holy Spirit bring your truths to our minds and hearts.  Draw us closer to you and each other in prayer as we continue to seek your kingdom in our hearts and lives.  Make us strong in your word and in faith for what you have planned in the days and years ahead.  Let us always be ready to serve you and others in the name of Jesus our Lord ~ in whose name we pray.  Amen.
Music: Jude 24-25