No Place I'd rather be

No Place I'd rather be
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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Poured Out


I woke up to this song this morning: "Great are You Lord!" :)


I have struggled to SOAK with Deuteronomy chapter twelve. One thing that stands out is verse twenty-three: "The blood is the life...you shall pour it on the earth like water."

"It reminds me of Jesus in Luke 22:19-20 and Matthew 26:27-28 at the last supper with his disciples.

"This is My body which is given for you…."This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”
and

“And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

 

Jesus came to tell us about the Kingdom of God and to die for my (our) sins. So, how can I deny Him my life when He paid such a high price for me?  "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.…”( Mark 9:34)

 

By choosing to accept His forgiveness, we must come to a point where we realize it is not “all about me and what I want”. To deny myself is to basically say,  “Goodbye, self, you are not god of my life anymore, I serve the one true God.” We must get to the place where we are willing to always say, “Yes, LORD! I will walk by faith, not doubting; I will do, go, and say whatever and whenever You want. You are the Potter and I am the clay."





"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said,
'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'"
John 7:38

Father in Heaven, You are worthy of all praise, You are holy and mighty in power! Give us this day our daily bread. Lord, search my heart: is there any part of “me” left or is there any pride that is hiding in me and keeping me from doing your will? Forgive me of being selfish and stiff-necked. I want to do whatever it is You desire today, I trust as I am walking through this day that You will nudge me and guide me where I should go.  Lord, lead me not into temptation and deliver me from the evil on. Prepare me and help me to go and make disciples, as you have instructed me. Lord, do whatever Your hand and purpose determined before to be done. Look at the threats on all your servants and grant them all boldness to speak Your Word, stretching out Your hand to heal, that signs and wonders may be done through the name of your Holy Servant, Jesus, so that many may hear and believe. I know it is not about me, and if they reject the gospel, they aren’t rejecting me but Christ. Lord, I lift up the lost souls to You. I ask that you would unblind their eyes and their minds, also soften their hearts. Let their hearts be broken and fertile ground for Your Word that they may see the truth and be set free. So, that they would turn to You and they would be healed; confess You as their LORD and Savior; and follow hard after you all of their days. Place a desire in them for Your Truth. Thank you, Lord, that you would use me. Be glorified in and through me, Father.  I pray that I would not be weighed down with the cares of this life so that I am not ready for that Day when Jesus will return unexpectedly. I also ask that I be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass in the end of the age and that I will stand before Jesus. I ask all of this in the precious name of Jesus. Amen  *

 
 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Ask of Me...

Before reading this, please pray for our LORD to allow you to see what He has shared with me. I am hoping this makes sense. It is exciting to me. :)


This morning I started in Proverbs 3.

25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;


I asked, "How are we to treat those who are living in sin (like in the days of Sodom & Gomorrah where the men desired men etc.)?" Basically, I was asking about those who are pushing "their agenda" and "rights" and knowing the times are only going to get worst; especially with all that is going on today.

And I knew the answer -with love like Jesus did when He walked among us sinners. He did not accept the sin, did not cast stones at the sinner, but He told the truth. He loved them and brought them to a place where they would have to choose to either continue in their sin or sin no more and follow Me, become My disciple. Ultimately, the choice was theirs, but more on this later.

I am reading through Deuteronomy. Today, I am on chapter eleven and  I noticed once again Moses commanded, "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul," (v. 13b) That is the sixth time that this was commanded, since the beginning of Deuteronomy - Six times! But it reminds me of the previous discussions -teach your children and grandchildren (4:9), diligently teach your children (6:4-9),  fear the LORD your God and walk in all His ways and love and serve Him (10:12-13), and today in 11:1-9, 13, 22.

While looking back to find these verses, another passage stood out: "But...if you seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all the these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the LORD your God and obey His voice (for the LORD your God is a merciful God,) He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant..." (Deut. 4:29-31)


Then I came to S.O.A.K. in my journal.

The other verses that stood out in this chapter is twenty-two - twenty-four:

" For if you carefully keep all these commandments which I command you to do
 --- to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him ---
then the LORD your God will drive out all the nations from before you,
and you will dispossess greater and mightier nations than yourselves.
--Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours...."
 
I see this applying to us today as a spiritual battle.
  While pondering this the song, "Ask of me and I will give the nations as an inheritance to you..." came to mind. Psalm 2:8. I pasted the whole Psalm for you to read:


Psalm 2
1Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?

 The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
 
“Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”
 
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The LORD shall hold them in derision.
 
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
 
“Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”
 
“I will declare the decree:
The Lord has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
 
Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
 
You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”
 
10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
 
11 Serve the Lord with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
 
12  Kiss the Son, lest  He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
 
This in turn lead me to Acts 4. Basically Peter and John were to be imprisoned for preaching Christ crucified and raised back to life, and there isn't Salvation in any other name.  (Sounds a bit familiar only there isn't a lot of preaching going on from those who are being persecuted in the US).
 
The elders saw their boldness and perceived that they were UNEDUCATED and UNTRAINED. So, how did they become so bold and knowledgeable? They had been with Jesus. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7)
 
What were the elders to do? "So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”  --We too  should be sharing the things that we have seen God doing in our lives and have heard through the Bible.  That can be scary for some of us....
 
But if we keep reading we see that it only gets better:

Prayer for Boldness

23 And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the mouth of Your servant David have said:
 
‘Why did the nations rage,
And the people plot vain things?
26 The kings of the earth took their stand,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the Lord and against His Christ.’[sound familiar? Psalm 2]
 
27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. 
 
 29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.
 
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
 
 
Did you catch that?  They prayed the scripture and asked for boldness and for God to answer their prayers in healing the sick and signs and wonders may be done through the name of Jesus!!!! 

They are living out John 15!!!  We are told to abide, love, abide, without Jesus you can do nothing, and ....
 
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,
you will ask what you desire, and
it shall be done for you. [!!!]
 By this My Father is glorified,
that you bear much fruit;
so you will be My disciples.
 
 Did you see that? If we abide (dwell, live, move, grow, listen) in Christ, His love, His Word, we can pray according to His will and it will be done so that Father God is glorified !! This is not for our selfish gain but to further the Kingdom of God. His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven...(Mat. 6) 
 
In Matthew 28, Christ commanded Disciple, Go make disciples: 
 
"19GO therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
 
We must link arms with the babes in Christ and go reach the lost -teach them to observe all things that God has taught us through the scriptures.  As we make disciples they will in turn go and make more and the Kingdom of God is multiplied. 

 The Power of Multiplication
(adapted from Keith Philips, The Making of a Disciple, p. 23)
 
     Year                Evangelist                 Discipler
1                      365                              2
2                      730                              4
3                      1095                            8
 4                      1460                            16
5                      1825                            32
6                      2190                            64
 7                      2555                            128
 8                      2920                            256
 9                      3285                            512
 10                      3650                            1,024
 11                     4015                            2,048
 12                     4380                            4,096
 13                     4745                            8,192
   14                     5110                            16,384
   15                     5475                            32,768
   16                     5840                            65,536
 
*Keith’s chart compares the numeric difference between one person coming to Christ a day and one person a year being discipled to maturity. Catch the vision and start making disciples now!
 
Recently I started a discipleship partnership. I am using Greg Ogden's book Discipleship Essentials.

If you haven't been disciple, you can either find someone older than you in Christ (spiritually mature -not physically) or grab this book and pray about whom you should study it with.  

I am so excited with all that God has been showing me.

We need to pray more. Pray for boldness, all boldness we may speak His Word,  by stretching out His hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of His holy Servant Jesus.   We must be diligent and listen for His instructions, always have an ear open and ready to ask, "What is next, LORD?"

What is God been sharing with you?
 

Friday, April 22, 2016

What is Required of You?

 
"What does the LORD your God require of you,
but to fear the  LORD your God,
to walk in all His ways,
and to love Him,
to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
and keep the commandments of the  LORD ..... 
for your own good?"  (Deuteronomy10:12b-13)
 
 
 
The fear of the  LORD  is the beginning of wisdom and
the knowledge of the Holy one is understanding.
(Proverbs 9:10)
 
 
 
 

When we remain and abide in Christ,
we will produce fruit.
 
 
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; ...
 
so you will be my disciples.
 
 
 
However, if we do not remain and abide in Christ,
 
 
"If anyone does not abide in Me,
 
he is cast out as a branch and is withered;
 
and they gather them and throw them into the fire,
 
and they are burned.
 
 


IF you abide in Me and My words abide in you,
 
you will ask what you desire,
 
and it shall be done for you.
 
 
By this My Father is glorified,
 
that you bear much fruit;
 
so you will be my disciples."
 John 15-7-8



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Myrtle, Fir, Thorns and Briers Oh, My!

I was feeling down and overwhelmed by all that is on my plate today. Ok, everyday. Sometimes I just want to drop everything and simply walk with Jesus -  what is for dinner, when I will make it, not to mention lunch, cleaning a cluttered,messy home, school and trying to be a good mom to those sweet children whom the Lord has blessed us with and who often forget how good they have it. I feel like I am floundering and failing everywhere -even at being a good wife.

I felt nudged by God to read Isaiah 55 - I memorized it, but still enjoy reading it. It starts with, "Come everyone who thirsts..."

I so needed to read this! God knew and brought me to it. :)

But, I have been confused some about the last verse in Isaiah 55, verse 13. There had to be some symbolism in the trees. I kind of figured about the weeds and briers. I looked to find the answer a few times before. Today, I asked God for help and landed here in my search. I color coded the thorn/brier and the trees to make more sense for me.


Instead of the thorn - (Compare the notes at Isaiah 11:6-8; Isaiah 35:1-2; Isaiah 41:19; Isaiah 42:20). The word rendered 'thorn' (נעצוּץ na‛ătsûts) occurs only here and in Isaiah 7:19. It evidently means a thorn, hedge, or thorny-bush.

Shall come up the fir tree - (ברושׁ berôsh; see the notes at Isaiah 14:8; Isaiah 37:24; Isaiah 60:13; Zechariah 11:2). A change would be produced in the moral condition of man as great as if in the natural world the rough and useless thorn should be succeeded by the beautiful and useful cypress (compare Isaiah 60:13).  And instead of

and instead of the brier shall come up the- The brier is everywhere an emblem of desolation, and of an uncultivated country (see Isaiah 5:6; Isaiah 7:23-24).  The

myrtle-tree - (see the notes at Isaiah 41:19). The idea here is, that under the gospel the change would be as great in the moral world as if a field all overrun with briers should at once become thick set with myrtles. 

And it shall be to the Lord - The reference here is to all that had been said in the chapter. The gift of the Messiah; the universal offer of the gospel; the bestowing of pardon; the turning of the wicked unto God; and the great and salutary changes produced by the gospel, would all be a memorial of the benevolence and glory of Yahweh.

For a name - It should tend to diffuse his name; to spread abroad a knowledge of himself. 

An everlasting sign - On the meaning of the word rendered 'sign,' see the notes at Isaiah 7:14, Here it means that it would be an eternal memorial of the mercy and goodness of Yahweh.

That shall not be cut off - The gospel with its rich and varied blessings shall erect enduring monuments in the earth, to the praise and honor of God. It will be more enduring as a memorial of him than all altars and statues, and temples erected to celebrate and perpetuate idolatry; as wide-diffused as are his works of creation, and more fruitful of blessings than anything elsewhere conferred on man.


Don't cypress, like their feet (roots) wet and thrive in water? Not sure about the Myrtle Tree. It is not the myrtle that we see her in the USA.



I'll be like a tree, planted by the water...
"He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”Jeremiah 17:8  (ESV)

A cypress is an evergreen (always green all year round). As I see it, no matter what comes my way, as long as I am rooted in God, soaking in the water of Life, and reaching towards the SON, I will be fine. I will continue to lift my limbs to glorify and praise God, as well as point others who look at my life to God. I know God will continue to pour Life into me through the Son. Which in turn will be producing Seed (the Word of God) that the WIND (Holy Spirit) will blow and hopefully (prayerfully) it will be accepted into fertile ground (those who need to hear it).

Hope that makes sense to you. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

be love(d)

There is no greater blessing than
to belong to God and be called His.
 
 
1 Peter 2:9-10
But you are God’s chosen and special people.
You are a group of royal priests and a holy nation.
God has brought you out of darkness
into his marvelous light.
Now you must tell all the wonderful things
that he has done.
The Scriptures say,
“Once you were nobody.
    Now you are God’s people.
At one time no one
    had pity on you.
Now God has treated you
    with kindness." (CEV)
 
So in other words.... I am His Beloved!


This is a necklace that a sister in the Lord got for her birthday present.
It is a reminder that: I am to be love, let myself be loved,
 and to fully understand what it means to live as His Beloved 


 
Beloved....“You shall NOT to be afraid of them, BUT you shall remember well what the LORD your God did…..you shall NOT be terrified of them; for the L
ORD your God, the great and awesome God, is among you.” (vs. 18-21) 

Once again I am reminded that He is mighty to save us. I am so thankful for the great sacrifice Jesus made for all who believe and call upon Him as their Lord and Savior. As long as we abide in Him, remember all that he has done for us, and not let the worries or cares of this life choke out our faith, we will be victorious at the end of time.
 
Recently, I was sharing with some friends that God allows us to go through seasons in ourlives. Have you learned this in your life as well? 

There are times when we are growing and flourishing in Him, it is like spring and we must be diligent in keeping the weeds out of the garden of our life. Then the heat gets turned up, it reminds us of summer and we get refined in the fire. It is a time to see what is in our heart -the stuff we are made of. Are we going to depend on God when the trials and or testing comes?  Next, we have a time of cooling off and beauty, fall. We get a reprieve from the heat and if we are yielded to Him, we enjoy the beauty of seeing what God is doing in us. At last there is a time of rest, also known as winter. It is a time to reflect on and remember where we have been -- I love journaling, to remind me of what God has been doing in my life. Winter is also a time to look forward with hope and to anticipate what is to come. Oh, and somewhere in all of this there is a time of pruning, whenever God thinks it seems best.
 
How have you seen the mightiness of God at work in your life?
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Beware, Lest You Forget...

Today while reading Deuteronomy six I noticed several things. We are not only to teach God's word, but to teach it diligently and to beware lest we forget the Lord .

Below is a copy of parts that stuck out. I added bold, italics and parenthesis:
Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, ..... (why?) that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments... all the days of your life, ...

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.....

12 take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of .... slavery (to sin). 13 It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. 14 You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you— 15 for the Lord your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.

20 “When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’

While rereading the first two verses, I was reminded of Matthew 28:20 and John 15:10.
  • In Mathew, Jesus just finished telling them to go and make disciples of all nations and baptizing them .... and "teaching them to observe all I have commanded you..." How will they know, unless we tell them?

  • In John, " If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love"

So, how do we teach them? Diligently. Not casually or in passing, if we look at the root word diligent it means: intensively, to pierce, figuratively; to prick, whet. 
  • First who is to do this?
  • Next, when are we  to do this?    Anytime - in the house, on our way somewhere, when we lie down, when we rise up.

~ We should talk about God as freely as the air we breathe. ~


We are told not to go after other gods - the gods of the people around you.
  • What is a gods? Is this scripture referring only to an idol?
  •  "gods" in this verse means 'Elohiym or Elohim is the Hebrew word for God the one mentioned in Genesis, our Creator God.
  • Anything we revere, have faith in, that takes the place of 'Elohiym or Elohim; whether it be a person, place, or thing; alive or dead; crafted and created by hands; anything can be made into a god or gods.
 I am reminded of Peter walking on water. He was fine as long as He looked to Christ. But as soon as he revered the storm, he started doubting, and he started sinking. When Christ helped him up He said that he had little faith (lacking confidence).


Verse twenty made me smile. Children are naturally curious, aren't they?! Especially if you can whet their appetite with stories or testimonies of God. He knows this as well and God wants us to share our faith with them. Tell them what God is showing you or sharing with you in your own Bible time. 

Lately, I've been reading a Psalm or two a day with my six year old son as we work in his journal together. He has seen places in my Bible that I've highlighted and wanted to highlight his Bible too. However, the things he wants to highlight sometimes puzzled me. So, I started sharing what I would highlight and why. When I pulled my colored pencils out Friday to work on a verse we had just read, he wanted to copy me in his Bible. It was sweet. As you can see, 14:1 was important to him too.  I think I will go back and highlight that as well. :)


I bought us matching Bibles. :)
 



More than anything, I want all of our children to love God and follow Him all of their days.
 
What steps are you taking to ensure that God remains the focus of your life during the good and bad times?