Why I Need the Church

Praying this morning on the eve of another Lord’s Day, praising God, my Father, desiring His name to be hallowed, seeking His kingdom and His righteousness, and His will to be done here on earth, it was with worship in mind.

Tomorrow He will meet with us who are gathered in the name of our Lord on the day of our Lord, January 10, 2021. This Eve has become a day of preparation for me, remembering that every day is the day of our Lord for over two thousand years. But, specifically, the first day of the week belongs to Him. According to His atoning work, we, who are His by grace, plan for this day to honor Him. He is the beginning of eternal life for us through His death and resurrection.

So, what difference does it make if I honor Him on His day? And what happens in this celebration of His atoning work of grace? New thoughts came to mind as I prayed for Chris, our pastor. He has specifically asked for prayer that He may preach more faithfully, more pointedly, and more Christ-centeredly. Daily praying for the Holy Spirit to work in Him in His preparation to preach the word in power, we pray more fervently the day before for the sword of God’s Word that will pierce our hearts. We pray for the Holy Spirit to prepare our hearts to receive the truth of His Word and that it will find its resting place to root and grow and produce its fruit in and through us as His children.

 This means more than just saying “Amen” to what we hear. A prepared heart comes to listen to what our Father has given His servant for us. If we “have an ear to hear,” we will take in what He intends to reveal of Himself. The truth in the power of His Word will change our minds and hearts and conform them to His.

So, why do I need to be in church? The church is the place for gathering God’s people to honor His Son and receive the eternal life He came to give. It is the place of His worship and His Word. I need to know and hear from heaven the Father/Creator and Redeemer of my soul. The church was His plan, not man’s. We need under-shepherds who know Christ and the life He came to give His people, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, and who feed His sheep with the manna from heaven.

I need the cutting edge of the sword of His Word, not to desire what makes me feel good about myself, nor to be entertained, but to have all sense of pride and deception stripped from my being. I need to be cleansed of thoughts of, and plans for, myself.

Individual reading and study are good, but these are not all we need. We need the “body of Christ” listening collectively to how He plans to shape us into His image.

Christ died and rose again to give us His life, that we may live through Him (1 Jn. 4:9). The more we know of Him as revealed through the preaching of His Word, the more we become like Him, understanding the reality of His dwelling in us and our dwelling in Him (1 Jn. 4:13; Jn. 14:17, 23), Filled with Grace ~ Wrapped in Glory.)

The supernatural, spiritual work in His incarnation, His resurrection, and His ascension is the same divine power working in us through the sword of His Spirit ~ the Holy Spirit working His Word in our hearts and lives.

His sanctifies us individually and collectively.

We must submit ourselves to the weekly preaching of God’s Word to know His transforming power in the days ahead, lest we lose ourselves in the overwhelming chaos and uncertainty of the world. His Word defines who we are in Christ. We must plan, prepare, and anticipate a newness of life in Christ we have hardly known.

Dear Father, we ask for the unction of your Holy Spirit for the preaching of your Word tomorrow. Prepare our hearts to receive what you have given your ministers. Enable us to receive the truth of your Word for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. Let us willingly accept what your Word reveals of the intentions of our hearts, deliver us from our sins, and conform us to the image of Christ. In His name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Images: Google

Clear the Clutter for a New Year

What is your vision for 2021?

Will the next year be any different than this year of chaos and upheaval?

Can you see clearly what lies ahead?

We must look more than ever with eyes of faith toward the unknown.

We must prepare to face a new year with a renewed and a clearly defined purpose.

We must remove the clutter of our being, clear our vision of the waste we have around us, leaving room for the newness God has prepared for us as His people.

Our rooms are cluttered with things we don’t need; our minds are filled with thoughts that drag us down or keep us in a tailspin; our lives are wasting away with the sights and sounds of the world.

2020 has either opened our eyes to see the condition of our world and our part in it, or it has served to bury us in its avalanche of fear and degradation. We must each survey our own personal environment, pray for wisdom to know where we are in the scheme of things, and respond obediently and passionately to God’s leading.

In response to my own needs,  I have begun~~~~~

I have cleared my desktop, physically and digitally, filing so that if what I am saving is significant, I can come back to it ~ if not, it is out of sight and mind until the time I can go through all my files.

Paper to be recycled is deposited in a bin in the garage ready for weekly pick-up.

Paying bills online has become the norm.

Removing clothes I don’t wear frees space in the closet, plus someone at Goodwill is blessed by my discards.

There are many other ways and areas to de-clutter physically ~ these our hands have to deal with ~ but the most important is to declutter the mind and heart. Our eyes and ears are manipulated by what we see and hear. With the continual onslaught of the world’s condition in our face, we cannot see clearly with the eyes of faith.

We clear our thinking by daily closing our eyes and ears to man’s words and our own thoughts, taking hold of God’s Word, and praying fervently for a steadfast faith in Christ. We must pray for others and ourselves to know our heavenly Father and from Him, the eternal life Jesus came to give. Then we can see clearly the kingdom that rules over all creation and mankind, and live in the hope that is in Him.

And even as the majority of the world lives in oblivion, we have the promise, the presence, and the power of almighty God, our Father, opening heaven so that our focus is on Him and His plans for us as part of His kingdom rule on earth.

This is not a new year’s resolution but the Way of eternal life our heavenly Father has prepared for His children. Are you God’s child? How do you know and what difference does this make? Is your life any different than the life of an unbeliever? What do you want in this new year?

We are not left to ourselves but have the words and power of eternal life through the Word of God, and by His Spirit, we can live victoriously through whatever a new year brings.

Father, we praise you that your grace is sufficient for us to face an uncertain year. We thank you that your kingdom and your Word endures forever through every obstacle and every trial, as light in the darkness of this world. You never leave us or forsake us but supply every need ~ to your glory, and for our joy, In Jesus’ name, I thank you and praise you. Amen.

 

 

 

Something Greater than Christmas is Here

“Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.” Gen. 1:16

From the beginning of creation, God has proven some things to be greater than others. Without considering a lot of other comparisons, such as wealth, health, talents, etc., let us look at this time of year known as Christmas.

Many who live for the holidays end the year hopeless and depressed. For many, a warm fuzzy feeling turns into a prickly spur. When Christmas is over, most return to their abnormal lives.

Whether we observe this holiday as with the Roman Catholic Church and Christ in its Mass ~ or in gift-giving within family traditions, we are missing something greater. Far beyond the thought of the birth of Christ two thousand years ago, there is a reality that escapes us.

As hard as we try to ‘keep Christ in Christmas,” we miss Him because He is hidden in the lights, the glitter, the shopping, and the entertainment. Aside from what has become known as Christmas, there are blessings made null and void by man’s traditions.

What man has set up for a celebration is not enough to satisfy the hearts and needs of men. Only our creator knows and has planned a greater life than we can ask or imagine.

Many will not be gathering this season with family. Many have lost loved ones this year, but even for those who will celebrate with their families, let’s consider what is greater ~ what God our Father has prepared for us as heirs of His kingdom.

What can be greater than Christmas? What if it is observed by the traditions of the church and all is joyful and in unity with our fellowmen?

Once-a-year joy is nothing compared to the year-round joy in Christ.

Union in Christ between His people is not relegated to one season a year.

Greater than Christmas is our relationship with our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ by His Holy Spirit. 

We do not have to wait for gifts once a year. His gifts are given every day ~ love, joy, peace, comfort, hope. and more.

He is no longer a baby we can put back in a smelly stable.

He is no longer a man hanging on a bloody cross.

Christ cannot be brought down by hocus pocus in the Roman Mass to be crucified over and over. (transubstantiation)

Christ is King of kings, and Lord of lords, ruling in heaven and earth, blessing His people ~ dwelling in the hearts of men who worship and obey Him.

Greater than the Temple and Soloman ~ In Christ’s Own Words

  “But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.” Matthew 12:6.

“The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.” Matthew 12:42

There is none greater than the Father and the Son who created and upholds all things by the “word of His power ~ sitting at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Heb. 1:3

He is still fulfilling His purpose for being here ~ to save His people from their sins, This is the “good news” every day.

Oh, how much we forfeit by settling for what seems good. The best and greatest of life is hidden in Christ for those who daily seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

The life of God, which in the incarnation entered human nature is the root in which we are to stand and grow. It is by the same almighty power that worked there and from then on to the resurrection which works daily in us. Our one need (now) is to study, to know, and to trust the life revealed in Christ as the life that is now ours. Humility ~ Andrew Murray

Gracious Father in heaven, send your Holy Spirit to reveal your Son as the eternal gift for man every day, now, and forever. For your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Related Articles: Before there was Christmas, cultures celebrated this time of year in other ways. See here and here)

Image by congerdesign.

The Muddy, Murky Waters and the Monstrous Mushroom of the Multitudes

 “And we know that we are of God,
and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
1 John 5:19 KJV

We know that we are from God,
and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
1 John 5:19 ESV

How can we, as God’s people, endure this world’s evil environment?
We are inundated on all sides, surrounded by the pollution of wickedness and oppression that pervades this earth. More and more, we are becoming persecuted; many are dying because they follow Christ. These are the muddy, murky waters in which we live.

If this was not enough, the news of this world’s wickedness covers the airwaves. Any hope that should be ours in our Lord Jesus Christ is smothered by the cloud of despair that, if possible, would make our faith useless.

Such conditions of this world perpetuated by the masses whose only God is self has to be addressed and overcome by those whose hope is in Jesus Christ ~ the only power to live in this present world without being drowned with the multitudes or caught up and carried away in the monstrosity of repetition.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Illustration:
From a body of water looking inland, the Bible is the dock. “The muddy, murky waters” are strewn with fetuses, guns, syringes, devices, etc.
Above is a dark, “monstrous mushroom” ~ an overarching cloud reflecting the elements in the water.
Slicing through the middle of the mushroom is light from above shining on the path extending inland from the dock.
The light and brightness in the background add color in the middle of the darkness. (Kourtney, our granddaughter, is working on this.)

 It is only through God’s Word that we learn the truth about life, and by which we know our only hope of salvation in this world. Christ in us and us in Christ is the power to live through the degradation of this world victoriously and to rescue others.

 

 

Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
That ye may be blameless and harmless,
the sons of God, without rebuke,
in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation,
among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Holding forth the word of life.”
Philippians 2:14-16

Such is the need for the truths of God’s Word in our newest book in progress. Filled with Grace ~ Wrapped in Glory is the presentation of the spiritual truths for which Jesus came to earth, died, arose, and ascended to heaven, sitting now at the Father’s right hand as our High Priest interceding for us.

By the power of His Holy Spirit, He is living in His followers. Not only is He living is us, but we are living in Him ~ raised with Him and made to sit together with Him in heavenly places.

Truths from God’s Word
The Holy Bible ~ God’s Holy Word ~ is filled to overflowing with the revelation of His Holy power working in and around us ~ the same power that raised Him from the dead. Although threatened at every turn by the enemy, the Holy Spirit is finishing His work on earth to bring us safely to Him.

We must understand the power that is ours in Christ if we are to overcome the conditions in which we live and endure to the end.

 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us,
because he hath given us of his Spirit.”
“Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God,
God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love;
and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
1 John 4:13,15,16

Two Books at the Same Time
A few weeks ago, I mentioned working on Focus, Balance, and Order, a book started a few years agoAs I began to see where this was going and was focusing on our heavenly Father, I was led further back to eight years ago when I started this blog.

The name God’s Grace ~ God’s Glory was not an immediate choice.  It was given after considering many others ~ an answer to my desire for this to be God-centered and only for His glory. Soon after, this title Filled with Grace ~ Wrapped in Glory came to mind without any understanding of what it meant.

It wasn’t until a few years later, through His Word, the Lord began to show me the riches of His promises to live among His people. The kingdom is within you made more sense than ever before. 1 John 5:4:13-15, together with all the references of Christ living in us and us in Christ began to germinate from the seed planted in 2011.

In the last week, His Word has been profound as these truths continue to be a reality. The more I focus on God, our heavenly Father, His Son, and His Word the easier to see His balance and order in the world for His people.

As I study and search His Word, I am in awe and know that I am not worthy to handle such precious gems of truth. I sense a deep need to experience these truths before I can write them for others to understand. I pray and trust that He will fill me with His Spirit and grace to progress in this work ~ by His grace and for His glory.

My hope along the way is to share how our Lord is completing this work in and through me. Your prayers and comments would be greatly appreciated.

Dear Father, oh, how we need you to reveal your presence among us, Christ living in us by the power of your Holy Spirit, filling us with your grace, covering us and surrounding us with your glory. Show us these truths through your Word. In Jesus’ name, I pray and praise you. Amen.
Fran

A Prescription for Praise

As a young mother of a four and a one-year-old, my life was ruled by migraine headaches. Nothing killed the pain, and after an x-ray showed a shadow on my brain, my doctor sent me from our small town in Georgia to Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta. More x-rays (no CT scan or MRI in those days) and tests proved there was nothing physically wrong.

The doctor sent me home after a week, with a prescription for Triavil, an anti-depressant used also for headaches. He said that the medication would enable me to see through rose-colored glasses. When I look back, I realize that the time I spent in his counseling must have been a week of complaining about my life. Though I did not understand then what he meant by rose-colored glasses, I took the medication. In time, my headaches subsided. Triavil became my god because it got me through those days when I did not know who I was or my purpose in life.

During the ten years I took this medication, the Lord began to draw me to His Word. We attended church but there had been no connection for me with God. Reading the Bible became a new experience, one in which the Lord was speaking to my heart. In His timing, He brought a conviction that the medication was no longer needed; that He would be my God and do more for me than this medication had ever done. He was true to His Word and weaned me from the medication, continuing to teach me and lead me.

In 1992, years after He brought me to His Word, His Spirit did a marvelous work, giving me a new heart and a new life. A new life in the Spirit of Christ was His gift of grace that has worked until today for me to live in dependence upon Him. There is no place for me to complain about anything in my life; no reason to spend my time complaining about the world, the chaos, the evil, and the trials Jerry and I continue to experience.

The Lord, through His Word, has prescribed something more powerful than any medication can provide. His Word prescribes all that His children need in this world of degradation. We cannot change the world or our circumstances; only He can; and will, in His time.

His Spirit provides His grace within us to respond to all things according to His will; responses that prove who we are as His children – those that glorify Him.

His grace brings us to trust in Him for all things. Living in trust enables us to praise Him no matter the circumstances.

Consulting a physician usually results in some kind of treatment, a prescription that has proven in certain cases to solve the physical problem. God’s Word has been proven to solve spiritual, emotional, and sometimes physical cases. His commands are not to be taken lightly. We should, as willingly as we accept a prescription from a physical doctor, accept what God prescribes for us as His people. We not only trust the doctor but also the pharmacist who fills the written prescription.

We accept God’s Word as His plan for our well-being and take His prescriptions to the throne of grace where His Son sits at His right hand to fill all that we bring to Him through His Holy Spirit. In His timing, He fulfills every promise He makes to us through His Word.

In Psalm 107, the same verse is quoted in verses 8, 15, 21, 31.

Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

.The Practice of Praise
From Psalm 113, we find reasons to praise and in these verses the command (prescription).

Praise ye the Lord. Praise, O ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord.
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.

Rarely do we miss a dose of medication because we want to be well. We want to get over whatever ails us and so we take all medication that is prescribed every day. In the same way, we must begin and practice daily the habit of praise. We don’t just praise the Lord when all things are well. Especially when the difficult days come, we need this prescription more than at other times.

The beauty of praise is that it does not cost us anything. Our prescription plan was paid for on Calvary by the blood of Christ. He is the reason for the Spirit of praise that lives within us, working every day through the good days and the bad. Our circumstances change but God does not. Saying, “I praise you Lord” privately, or “Praise the Lord” where others hear, is one of the most blessed expressions the Holy Spirit works in us showing our trust in Him and to others.

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Psalm 22:3

Why Should We Praise Him?
He is our God; Deuteronomy 10:21
Because of His righteousness:.Psalm 7:17
The Lord is worthy to be praised: Psalm 18:3
For God is the King of all the earth; Psalm 47:7
For the help of His countenance; Psalm 42:5
Praise glorifies God; Psalm 50:23
To honor His name; Psalm 66:2
Because of His word; Psalm 56:10
For His strength, and his wonderful works; Psalm 78:4
Praise is comely; Psalm 147:1
We are accepted in the beloved; Ephesians 1:6
We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;  called out of darkness into his marvellous light; 1 Peter 2:9
His truth endures for ever; Psalm 117:2
For His power; Psalm 21:13
The Lord is my strength and my shield; Psalm 28:7.
For His mighty acts and excellent greatness; Psalm 150:2

Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Psalm 63:3

Where Should We Praise Him?
We should praise Him among the heathen Psalm 18:49 that others may see, fear and trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:3; to the ends of the earth; Psalm 48:10; among the people and nations; Psalm 57:9; in His sanctuary: Psalm 150:1

Who Can Praise Him?
The upright; Psalm 33:1 the poor and needy; Psalm 74:21; His people and sheep of His pasture; Psalm 79:13; the people He formed for Himself; Isaiah 43:21; the meek; Psalm 22:26; those who fear the Lord; Psalm 22:23

I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. Psalm 86:12

When Should We Praise Him?
We should praise at all times; Psalm 34:1; all the day long; Psalm 35:28; Psalm 44:8continually; Psalm 71:6; Hebrews 13:15; every day; Psalm 145:2; when we have learned His righteous judgments ; Psalm 119:7

 Let us study what our Lord has written for us; the prescription for praise will change our hearts and minds during the times of trial. We can know His grace and peace when we learn to praise Him every day even in times of despair.

Dear heavenly Father, you have given us every reason to praise you. You have given us a proven prescription for all the earthly ills that plague us. By your Holy Spirit, work in us the power of your Word to thank you and to offer the sacrifice of praise to you; the fruit of our lips as we continue to trust you at all times. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Fran
Related Article: The Glad Rule

Followers of Christ Have CGCD

We live in an abbreviated society with many associations. We are described and labeled by our distinctions and dialect, our degrees, doctrines, diseases and disorders.

The description of the life of a follower of Christ is a wonderful thing, definitely not a disease or disorder, but a distinction. Let me explain according to the initials CGCD, the abbreviation for Conviction, Guidance, Commitment and Discipline.

Conviction
One becomes a follower of Christ by the Holy Spirit’s conviction. Jesus taught His disciples that when He left them to return to His Father He would send the Holy Spirit ~ the Spirit of truth. He would supernaturally birth them into His kingdom (John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:3-4).

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 
And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:  concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” John 16:7-11

A follower of Christ is convicted. As the Spirit woos and wins us, we receive the guidance of the Spirit of Christ for new and eternal life.

Guidance
Jesus, who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (john 14:6), promised that the Spirit of truth would guide them into all the truth. This is how He becomes our Shepherd.

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” John 16:12-13

Commitment
The Spirit of truth is the “Spirit of the Lord”
(2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
He leads us by His hand of mercy to follow Christ, to offer ourselves as “living sacrifices” to serve Him (Romans 12:1-2).
He leads us to full commitment and obedience to Him, to the truth, and to actively seek His kingdom and righteousness.

“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,” Romans 6:17

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” Psalm 37:5

“Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” Proverbs 16:3

Discipline
With commitment comes discipline as He establishes us as His own. We learn to discipline ourselves as we live under the discipline of the Holy Spirit and His Word.

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”
Proverbs 12:1

“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” Revelation 3:19

“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.”
Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.” Hebrews 12:6-9
“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11The apostle Paul in his letter to Titus encourages him to be “hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined (Titus 1:8).

He says of his own life, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:27

“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3

As followers of Christ we are His special people who gladly accept the description and label as He, by His Grace and His Word, makes us peculiar to the world. No others but those of His family have the life of Christ in them. What a joy it is for people to ask what makes us different, so that we can share Christ with them.

Gracious Father, you have made us precious in your sight. Let us wear the label for your glory. Make your Spirit within us contagious with joy and an excitement that overflows, to your glory and praise. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran, DDC (Devoted Disciple of Christ)

images: Google

The Power of One Man

There are some mornings I cannot get out of bed. My first prayers have been offered up, meditations to begin the day have strengthened my heart, and yet God, our Father holds me and will not let me go.

Monday was such a morning.

Jerry is usually up first, checking the news and weather. He came to tell me of the one-man massacre the night before. (I only know what he tells me. I do not go to the media for more details. I learned years ago that I cannot immerse myself in the news of this world). With such news, my heart melts and I draw close to the throne of grace to know what my Father and my Lord want to say.

He is the God of all comfort and He knows how much we need Him. In times like these, He knows I need this extra time with Him before we begin our day together and to know how to answer others.

Many things, thoughts of this man and all the people he destroyed and injured, news and details of the event, rummaged through my mind. My heart cried out to the living God, who created life in His image, breathed into us His breath of life with the plan through His Spirit to sustain that life in His creatures.

At other times when the world has been in chaos He has drawn me close and given me the hope that He desires to share with His people.

Is Anyone Safe
People wonder if there is safety anywhere. The imaginations run to and fro as we continue to experience the evil heart of man.

We wonder how one man has the power over so many others. Our Lord reminds us that the enemy, the god of this world, is able to deceive, capable of giving his power to man.

He is the same enemy that deceived the one man God created for His own. By one man (Adam) sin came into the world and death by sin (Romans 5:12, 15).

In Watchman Nee’s book The Latent Power of the Soul, he speaks of the power God gave Adam when He put him in charge of His creation. He reminds us that God did not take away these powers, but we see how Satan continues to harness this power through man for His evil deeds.

Safety in the Power of One Man

For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:19

We are amazed when one man has the power of death over others. Let us be in awe of the power of the one man Jesus Christ, who has the power to give life for eternity to those who come to God through Him.

Our only safety in this world and the next is in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who was sent from the Father to save His people. Our only hope for now and the future is the steadfast hope that He alone gives.

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

He came to destroy the one who had the power of death (Hebrews 2:14) and the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

Where will all this end? ~ at Armageddon (Revelation 16:16).
Then we shall see the power of the resurrected Christ, the Son of God, the one man with power to rule over all things and all people and put away evil forever.

In the meantime let us all draw near to the throne of grace, keep our lights burning bright with the oil of hope and gladness, continually praising our Lord for His power to save His people from the evil one, bringing hope to others who do not yet know Him. It is during these times that people may be open to the truth of the gospel of grace and hope.Gracious Father, our hearts cry out to you for mercy for this nation and the world. We need to see the power of our Lord Jesus Christ in the lives of your people who as your children without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation hold fast to the word of Life. Shine the light of Christ through us that draws others to Him. Fill us with the power of your Spirit of grace, love, joy and peace. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Image: Google

“What Do You Want Me To Do For You?”

Mark 20:46-52 is the record of a blind man who called, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”
Having Bartimaeus brought to Him, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

“Lord, that I might receive my sight.”

This question has been resurfacing in my heart for a while. If Jesus were here today, and I could be blessed for Him to physically pass my way, what would I want from Him?

Considering that, of all who approached Him, Jesus asked this question only to a blind man, my answer would apply to my sight.

“jesus, have mercy on me. Open my eyes to see you as you truly are.”

“Show me the beauty of your holiness and the work that you have done for us, so that we may love you more and diligently follow you as did Bartimaeus.”

‘”I ask this not just for me but for your people everywhere. Let us see you as our refuge at all times.”

“Open the eyes and hearts of men and women who have been in the destruction of this recent storm to look to you for all they need.

“Open our eyes to see their need. Unite our hearts in this time of disaster.
Give us hearts of compassion, that we trust in you for our own needs and that we would even sacrifice for food and shelter for others in need.”

“Shine your light into our hearts for new life and joy, even in the middle of adversity. I ask to see your work in hearts and hands, for your glory and for the sake of others. Turn hearts to you during this time.”

“Dear Father, send your Holy Spirit, open our eyes to see Jesus, to know Him, to love Him and obey Him. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.”Jesus may pass our way only one time in our lives. Cry out to Him. He will hear and answer. He promised to show Jeremiah great and might things not known. Jesus still hears and answers. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Image: Google

Which is the True Image?

When I saw the picture on the right posted as “The Best Image of Eclipse 2017” on Facebook Wednesday, I was impressed. When I went back to share it on Thursday, it was no longer there. When I searched Google, I understood why.

Neither of these are a true image of the 2017 eclipse. Brandon, the designer created his own image in 2011 and posted on Devianart. Someone copied the image and turned it so that the light appeared as a cross and posted it on Facebook.

True Image of Christ
This reminded me of all the images of Christ that have appeared throughout many generations. Yet, none of them are the same. Some are embarrassing and blasphemous. There are none that I care to look at. He remains but a silhouette until I see Him face to face.There were no paintings of Him by anyone who saw Him in the flesh. There were no cameras.

Who has a true image of Jesus Christ?

There are as many images conjured up in our own minds as there are painted.

How do we know a true Christian when we see one?

Paul speaks to the church in Corinth of false apostles.

And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”  2 Corinthians 11:12-15

There are those who have claimed to be Christ. Jesus warned His disciples that there would be false prophets.

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look,
here is the Christ!’or
‘There he is!’ do not believe it.
Matthew 24:23

Dear Father in heaven, give us wisdom to know you and your Son as our Lord and Savior. Keep us from those who are impostors. So fill us with your Spirit and your Word that we can recognize the false images of Christ. Make us true image bearers. Enable us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ so as to share His true image with others ~ for your glory. In His 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.