Thursday, March 29, 2012

Our God Wins

I am grateful that God always makes it possible 
for Christ to lead us to victory. 
2Corinthians 2:14

God has been speaking to me about endurance lately,
but He also keeps reminding me of victory.
Our God wins. In us. In me.
He always leads me to victory in Christ.
Fear, anxiety and worry never need to come across my mind
if I truly believe that my life is hidden in Christ 
and that He always wins.
I was thinking about one of those Tebow games 
we had recorded this past season.
At half-time I was on facebook; 
someone had posted the final score.
I went back to the game and, 
not wanting to ruin the game for anyone else, 
kept the final score to myself.
Oh my word. That game was out of control.
If I hadn't known the final score, 
I would have left the room a dozen times.
Those kinds of games are more stressful than I can handle.
I get into them with every molecule of my being.
But that day, I was able to watch every play.
I knew that however bad it looked, Denver won.
Tebow took it down to the wire, and I was curiously ok.
It just helps knowing that your team wins in the end.
So, I have the Word of God telling me 
that my team wins in the end.
A fumble, interception, or penalty doesn't matter
when you know it doesn't cause you to lose the game.
When the team is tired and the defense has to go in again,
and it's first and goal, I just remember that they win.
God, may I really apply this truth to my life.
When things come up during the day, 
and stress and worry want to storm my thoughts,
help me remember that I know the final score.
Through Christ, You lead me to victory.
That is the position I begin with.
I cannot afford to doubt the score.
Thank You for posting the score 
while still in the middle of the fight.
You are so good to me.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

So We May Fully Accomplish

Endurance is for the purpose of developing 
the amount of character necessary to receive His favor.
He alone knows what we are being prepared for.
He knows the tipping point.
If He pours out blessing, and we consume it on ourselves, 
or allow that favor to draw us away from dependence on Him, 
then that favor becomes our loss.
And He loves us too much to lose us.
Diligence and excellence
bring us before kings, not common man.
Prov 22:29
But our character must be in line with our excellence. 
When dining with this king, 
"Carefully consider what is in front of you."
Because the king's delicacies are misleading, 
place a knife at your throat to control your appetite."
Prov 23:1

Oh God, we want Your favor in our lives.
But only to the degree that we can carry 
the weight of Your glory without it destroying us.
May our young people have great revelation
concerning Your ways in this area.
I pray that they become so mature in character
that they never want the king's food 
more than they want to influence the king.
May this be a season where we recognize the 
value of endurance so that when favor comes, 
we are ready to put a knife to our throats
to control our appetites for our own glory.
I pray that all of us,
and especially the next generation, 
would train in both excellence and endurance.
Measure out Your favor by our ability to carry
 the weight of Your glory.
For you have need of endurance, 
so that you may fully accomplish the will of God, 
and thus receive and enjoy to the full what is promised.
Hebrews 10:36
And may our endurance be filled with great joy.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Value of Endurance

The testing of your faith produces endurance. 
Let endurance finish its work 
so that you may be mature and complete, 
not lacking anything. 
James 1:3-4

Taken in the right spirit these very things [trials, testings] 
will give us patient endurance; 
this in turn will develop a mature character... 
Romans 5:3

So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. 
Remember the great reward it brings you! 
Patient endurance is what you need now, 
so that you will continue to do God’s will. 
Then you will receive all that He has promised
Hebrews 10:35-36

God puts a high value on endurance.
Patient, confident, faith-filled endurance.
It produces maturity and character.
God alone knows the amount of character we need
to receive each one of His promises.
I believe that the Lord is wanting to show His favor
in His people like never before.
But it seems He is requiring endurance.
The Latin root of endurance is "dura;" it means hard.
He can entrust the fulfillment of His promises 
to His character formed in us.
There is such value in counter-cultural endurance.
The willingness to do hard things,
and in doing so, 
receive all He has promised.
Lord, help me to pray like You want to answer NOW;
but give me patient faith-filled endurance to keep praying
until my character is ready to receive
the fullness of Your favor.
I must remember:
If You want this from me, 
then You made me for this.
You are so faithful!

Monday, March 26, 2012

To Practice His Presence

That we ought not to be weary 
of doing little things for the love of GOD, 
who regards not the greatness of the work, 
but the love with which it is performed...
"The Practice of the Presence of God"

I am rereading this little book by Brother Lawrence.
I love how he describes his attempts at
practicing the presence of God.
“I possess God as tranquility in the bustle of my kitchen – 
where sometimes several people 
are asking me for different things at one time – 
as if I were on my knees before the Blessed Sacrament."

Oh, how far I am from 

possessing tranquility during those times.
I really want to be motivated by the love of God,
and to know His presence all day long--
whether laundry or cooking or cleaning, 
helping my kids with life or
being before HIm in prayer.
Many many times during the day
several people ask me for different things at one time.
I do not always "possess God as tranquility" during those times.
Yeah, not always.
Not sure I ever picture myself on my knees before Him
during the daily, sometimes trying, moments of the day.
Today, Lord, help me practice that kind of presence.
I know that my wandering mind
will have to be pulled in repeatedly.
I want the words in Psalm 16 to be real in my life.
I always keep the LORD in front of me. 
When He is by my side, I cannot be moved.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

What Do You Want Me To Do?

Two blind men were sitting beside the road. 
When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, 
they began shouting, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
“Be quiet!” the crowd yelled at them.
But they only shouted louder, 
“Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
When Jesus heard them, he stopped and called, 
“What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord,” they said, “we want to see!”
Jesus felt sorry for them and touched their eyes. 
Instantly they could see! 
Matthew 20

This portion of Scripture amazes me.
These blind men knew Jesus as Lord.
They knew their great need for mercy.
They didn't care that the crowd
kept telling them to be quiet;
it only made them shout louder.
Apparently loud is good.
Jesus stopped when He heard them.
That's when they got specific about their need.
Jesus felt sorry for them and healed them.
What a pattern for faith!
Jesus, You are Lord of my life
and I desperately need Your mercy.
My enemy says to be quiet, 
that my asking is too loud.
I will get louder.
As my cries reach You, 
You stop and ask me what I want--
how would Your mercy meet a specific need?
Instantly Your answer comes, 
whether it manifests at this exact moment in time or not.
You are good and are "deeply moved" 
by my need for mercy.
Being one with You, I can cry out for specific needs
knowing You hear me and always answer me.
I restore them because of my compassion. 
I am the LORD their God, who hear their cries.
Zech 10


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ask My Father

I tell you the truth, 
you will ask the Father directly, 
and He will grant your request 
because you use My name. 
You haven’t done this before. 
Ask, using My name, and you will receive, 
and you will have abundant joy.
John 16
I want to walk in greater revelation of this truth
that Jesus shared with His disciples.
This truth centers on the life I have in Christ
through the power of the Holy Spirit.
As I am one with Christ, 
His ascension power brings me into a perfect
relationship with the Father.
And I can decree the will of God into manifestation.
As I trust His resurrected life in me,
I also can trust His ascended life in me.
I am not only praying in Jesus' name, 
I am also praying in Jesus' nature.
In this glorious place, I can ask the Father directly.
The great need is that I know Him.
I really can't live any other way.
Father, today, I ask that You enable me
to live my life through the resurrected 
and ascended power of Christ.
This common, daily life
filled with the abundant joy 
of being one with You
through Your Son.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

No Offense in HIm

Jesus had called John the greatest man who had lived.
He had amazing revelation concerning Jesus.
He knew that this was the Lamb of God.
and that he was unworthy to carry His sandals.
Then life happened.
And John was in prison with a haunting question.
Was Jesus really the One?

This great man, who knew Jesus at first sight, 
who baptized Him and spent time with Him,
had a haunting question about what was true
when the days got dark and he had to rely on faith.
If Jesus came to set the captives free,
why wouldn't Jesus set him free?
Jesus' basically said to the disciples:
"Tell John to stop looking at his circumstances.
Tell him everything I am saying.
Tell him all that I am doing.
Tell him there is good news!
Tell him not to be offended in Me.
It doesn't always look like you think it should.

John died in prison, perhaps with a question.
If it can happen to the voice crying out, 
it is a warning for us all.
Fix your eyes on Me!
Jesus tells us.
If you are set on looking at your circumstances, 
your questions will haunt you.
Fix your ears on My voice, your eyes on My ways, 
and your mind on My good news.
I call you blessed if you are never offended
at what I am doing.
Jesus, help me to fix my eyes on You.
You are the author of my faith.
By grace and mercy, you will be the finisher.
I lift my eyes up.
I fix them on Jesus.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Strength from Grace

"I will never fail you. 
I will never abandon you."
So I can say with confidence,
“The LORD is my helper, 
so I will have no fear. 
What can anyone do to me?”
My strength comes from God’s grace...
Hebrews 13

My strength to do and to be
all He created me to be.
Life's curve balls come to derail us.
They come so that we might think that
we are on our own, 
fearful that we will ultimately fail a test.
But God's word says that He will never fail us;
He will never abandon us.
I stand on His words today.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Like an Anchor

I have set the Lord continually before me; 
because He is at my right hand, 
I shall not be moved.
Psalm 16
Sometimes, that is all I need to know.
There are times I find myself
getting caught up in the swirl of life.
And I make myself stop and remember
that He is at my right hand.
I shall not be moved.
Let all my emotions do what they may.
I have set my will like an anchor in trust.
Emotions can make me feel like I am not in trust.
But my anchor goes beneath those waves.
And though I may be tossed around a bit, 
I shall not be moved from my position of trust.
God, I receive all Your mercy and grace
that I may keep my course.
I trust You.

Monday, March 19, 2012

With All My Strength

Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
soul, mind and strength.
Mark 12:30
In this season of training, 
I have been thinking about loving the Lord
with all of my strength.
I was thinking back to the days 
when I had a personal trainer.
He would always say to me, 
"I am trying to help you see 
that you are stronger than you think."
He would always set the weight higher than I wanted,
 and I would always say, 
 "I think that's too much."
And he would assure me it wasn't. 
And I would lift it.
Our minds limit us so much more than our bodies.
If our spirit is "super" natural, 
what must we be capable of lifting?
As my mind comes into alignment with 
"I can lift this weight"in the natural, 
I want my mind to line up with 
ALL that is possible in the spirit.
Lord, how do I love You with all of my strength?
I know it is not physical strength or soul strength, 
but Your strength that gives power to my inner being (Eph 3:16)
I want to train so that I realize the potential 
of what I was created for.
I want to love You Lord with all of my strength.
I know it requires trust.
She shall not be fearful; her heart is firmly fixed, 
trusting (leaning on and being confident) in the Lord. Ps 112

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Into His Presence

He has reconciled you to Himself 
through the death of Christ. 
As a result, He has brought you into 
His own presence-- 
you are holy and blameless 
as you stand before Him without a single fault.
But you must continue 
to believe this truth and stand firmly in it
This is the secret: Christ lives in you. 
Colossians 1
These truths are unfathomable.
Because of Christ's death, 
Father has ushered us into His presence.
We are holy and blameless in His sight.
Not a fault, in Christ.
Colossians says that we must believe this truth
and stand firmly on it if we are to continue.
Christ in me, the hope of glory.
All day long. Every second of my life.
I am in His presence
and He lives in me.

Father, would this truth go deep into my spirit today.
"Because the sinless Savior died,
my sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
to look at Him and pardon me."
Holy and blameless that I may live
to bring Him glory and honor.
Only through the life that lives in me.
Your presence, Lord, is my greatest gift for this day.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lead Me

The LORD is my shepherd; 
I have all that I need. 
He lets me rest in green meadows; 
He leads me beside still waters. 
He renews my strength. 
He guides me along paths that bring honor to His name.
Psalm 23

I think this is the most beautiful
psalm of them all.
It says to me today,
"I am leading you to be like Me."
He is eternally satisfied.
He is rest; He is stillness.
He is strength.
As we walk as He walks, 
we bring honor and glory to His name.
The Lord is my great Shepherd;
I am eternally satisfied.
I want to better understand His still waters.
The Holy Spirit leads us continually into that place.
It is a place where strivings cease
and we step back in complete trust.
If Christ demonstrated His power
by silent submission to His Father's will, 
then to be like Him is to practice this 
kind of silence.
Not the silence based in fear or apathy.
But the holy kid of silence.
The kind that brings honor to His name.
Lord, lead me beside Your still waters.
Ok, dreaming just a bit:)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Love and Hope

"To love anyone is to hope in him always...
We must dare to love in a world 
that does not know how to love." 
French priest quoted by 
Madeline L'Engle, Walking on Water

Christian hope decrees 
the impossible is always possible.
The story of redemption and restoration
is the story of Father's love for His children
made possible through His Son.
"What is impossible for people is possible with God."
What great love God has for us.
Today I am reminded that: 
"Love never gives up, 
never loses faith, 
and is always hopeful."
We must never lose hope,
for ourselves or for others.
Our love depends on it.
Lord, increase my capacity to love others
by being "always hopeful."
Because all things are possible in Christ.
That truth should slap all our doubt
in the face.