Saturday, June 30, 2012

He is Our Life

Jesus replied, 
“I am the bread of life. 
Whoever comes to me 
will never be hungry again. 
Whoever believes in me 
will never be thirsty. 
For I have come down from heaven 
to do the will of God who sent me, 
not to do my own will. 
And this is the will of God, 
that I should not lose even one 
of all those he has given me.
For it is my Father’s will 
that all who see his Son 
and believe in him 
should have eternal life. 
John 6:35, 38-39
Jesus says that He is the bread of life.
All of our needs are fulfilled in Him.
We will not be hungry,
nor will we thirst,
if we "come to Him."
I love the reason He gives for this:
I came to do My Father's will.
Jesus knew that His Father wanted
everyone who saw and believed in His Son 
to be with Him for eternity.
So Father gave Jesus all the power needed
to "not lose even one."
People wander when they
are not satisfied where they are.
Jesus promised us complete satisfaction
because He wanted to make sure His Father
was completely satisfied.
Father is in love with His children
and gave His Son everything they would need.
Jesus, You know my day and exactly what I need.
I come to You today and rest.
You fill me with my manna
and refresh me in Your waters of life.
I have all that I need.
I receive You this morning
as my sole source of life.
May I pour out the life You give
that others may also receive.
You deeply satisfy my soul.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Throne of Grace

So let us come boldly 
to the throne of our gracious God. 
There we will receive His mercy, 
and we will find grace to help us 
when we need it most. 
Hebrews 4:16
It seems like everyday
is a day that I "need it the most."
Because everyday is a day I get tempted 
to be led by my soul, to live in the flesh, 
rather than let the life of Christ
dwell richly in me.
And that is never a good idea.
I can see everything clearly
when I am sitting in His presence
and He is speaking to me.
But then the day begins
and life can get chaortic.
I want to remember that
the throne of His grace is there
every moment of the day--
that I may enjoy Him and 
His glorious grace all day long.
If it is not the swirl of life flying past me,
it is the swirl of thoughts racing through me.
Lord, I need Your mercy all day long.
I want to be wrapped in Your grace
even during those times when I am
not consciously aware of Your presence.
You are always doing more than I 
could ask or imagine.
When I can't see You in the busyness,
or the trials, or the unchecked thoughts,
may I remember faith is my gift.
The sun is not gone just because
there are clouds in the sky.
We just sometimes can't see.
I want my faith to be bigger than my sight.
You are always with me.
Your grace and mercy are ever present helps
in my times of need.
I am so grateful that You saved me, 
adopted me and called me Your child.
I go in the peace of knowing
I can always come 
before Your throne of grace.
And You give me all I need.
Always.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Staid in His Rest


Don't fret or worry. 
Instead of worrying, pray. 
Let petitions and praises 
shape your worries into prayers, 
letting God know your concerns. 
Before you know it, 
a sense of God's wholeness, 
everything coming together for good, 
will come and settle you down. 
It's wonderful what happens 
when Christ displaces worry 
at the center of your life.
Philippians 4:6-7
No matter what's going on in our lives,
this Scripture is truth--
and it's challenging.
In this fallen world, there is always something
that can cause us to fret or worry.
It may be one of life's big deals:
life-threatening illness, 
financial challenge,
broken relationship.
Or it may be the smaller, 
more everyday things:
jobs, kids, schedules, chores.
And the million things in between.
Don't fret or worry.
Easier said than done.
That's why Christ has to be
at the very center of our lives.
He comes and speaks to us, 
calms our fears and stills our souls.
"I've got this one," He says.
"You seek Me and I'll take care of 
all those things that concern you."
We have to live in a Matthew 6:33 mindset.
"Seek first Him and His Kingdom
and ALL THE REST will be added to you."
That doesn't mean I can't ponder.
It doesn't mean I can't ask.
But it does mean I make everything else
secondary to my pursuit of Him.
Especially those things that concern me.
When those things come up, 
and I don't get it
or I just don't like it,
trust has to be my default.
The sense of God's wholeness
will come and settle on me.
Wrapped in the arms of His goodness,
I remain staid in His rest.
I really want to get this one.




Monday, June 25, 2012

My Helper and Strengthener

Because if I do not go away, 
the Helper and Strengthener will not come 
into close fellowship with you; 
but if I go away, I will send Him to be 
in close fellowship with you.
I have still many things to say to you, 
but you are not able to grasp them now.
But when the Truth-giving Spirit comes, 
He will guide you into the full Truth. 
The Spirit will take the things that are Mine 
and will transmit it to you.
John 16
I have been meditating on these lines 
for a while this morning.
The Bible uses many words 
to describe the Holy Spirit, 
but the Lord has highlighted two
--Helper and Strengthener--
as now words for me to understand.
I am presently in a season of transition 
and it has caused me to feel very vulnerable.
Jesus explained many things to His disciples--
things they couldn't really understand.
I have told you these things, so that in Me
 you may have perfect peace and confidence.
John 16:33
He wants the same for me, 
that in Him I might have peace and confidence.
I am not able to understand all He is doing right now,
but the Helper and Strengthener is in close fellowship.
And He is guiding me into all truth.
He is taking things that Jesus gives Him
and transmitting them to me.

Holy Spirit, I draw near to You today.
I exchange my weakness for strength,
my vulnerability for peace
and my insecurity for confidence.
In this transition season, 
I lean into You, my Helper and Strengthener.
My confession is that I am constantly
receiving all that I need.
You lead me beside still waters.
You restore my soul.
You guide me into the fullness of Truth.
I face this day with that in mind
and decree that I am moving forward
under the shadow of Your wing.
In perfect peace.



Sunday, June 24, 2012

Asking

Ask and it will be given to you. 
The one who asks will always receive. 
If you give good things to your children, 
how much more likely is it 
that your Heavenly Father will give 
good things to those who ask him?
Matthew 7
God, Your Word so completely covers us.
You considered all our times of need.
Thank You for giving us permission to ask.
There are times I just want to be with You--
to see Your face and hear Your voice.
But Your face and Your hand are connected.
I don't ever want to think of You only as Giver,
but there are times that I have to ask.
For there is no one else that can give me
the things I need from You.
I am asking today for a greater ability
to abide in You that I may see like You see.
I want to be ever aware of Your presence
that I may trust You in ever increasing ways.
You want me to ask with the assurance
that You will give.
And not only will You give, 
but the things You will give me are good.
So, I ask for wisdom to discern
these times that I might know what to do.
I ask for a greater level of 
intimacy with You.
I ask for a greater ability to 
be led by Your spirit.
And I ask for a joy that can only come
by being the branch connected to the Vine.
This morning, I don't know what else to do
except ask for those things I need.
You are a good Father and 
You have good gifts for me today.
I rest in Your great goodness.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Trust in the Lord

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do,
and He will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3
When in a pondering season, 
trust is key.
This is one of those seasons for me.
The Lord is up to something,
and I need to trust Him with all my heart.
It feels a little uncomfortable,
and I could get insecure in this 
not knowing stage of life.
But that is when I have to go into trust mode.
I have received many words about keys recently,
and I know one of my keys is trust.
In that day He will be your sure foundation, 
providing a rich store of salvation, 
wisdom, and knowledge. 
Isaiah 33
There is such hope in the Word.
I am needing to trust Him
as my sure foundation.
I am needing to trust HIm
as my rich provision of wisdom 
when I can't figure things out.
There is zero need 
to tap into my own understanding.

So, I go back to what I know:
You are good, God.
My heart is full because it is pondering
Your faithfulness in my life.
My hope is in You.
I will trust You with all my heart.
Help my life and my heart 
be in complete harmony
as You lead me along these paths--
and may You get glory from my life
on this part of the journey.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Time to Ponder

Don’t you understand even yet? 
Don’t you remember the 5,000 
I fed with five loaves, 
and the baskets of leftovers you picked up?
Matthew 16:9
If we are watching and listening, 
every day comes with messages from God.
Some messages are for our understanding.
After Jesus fed the four thousand, 
He was trying to teach them something
about the yeast of the Pharisees.
They thought He was rebuking them
for not bringing bread.

He was hoping that they held on to
the things He had been trying to show them.
We lose out on understanding
when we do not carefully steward
the truths we have been taught.
But, other times He comes and 
speaks something that has no context.
We look for a connection between that word
and a word previously spoken.
Sometimes we find none.
Those are the times we ponder.
Mary had asked the angel how it could be,
but there was no way she understood 
the answer to that question.
"You will be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit.
The One born will be called the Son of God."
Mary answered, "I am the Lord's servant.
May it be to me as You said."
After she had given birth to Jesus,
"Mary kept all these things in her heart 
and thought about them often."
There are times to understand and times to ponder.
If we steward the revelations,
we will not miss the understanding times.
If we remember the Lord's faithfulness,
we will not miss the pondering times.
The understanding times can just be a bit easier.
Oh, now I see. This is just like that.
But the things that have 
no apparent context can be trickier.
That's when I have to rely on 
the context of faithfulness.
I am in a pondering season right now.
He is asking me to trust in His Name.
That doesn't mean there aren't new things
He wants me to understand.
But He wants me to walk securely
when all I can ask Him is, 
How can this be since...?
May it be said of me,
as it was said of Mary, 
Blessed is she who has believed 
that what the Lord has said to her
will be accomplished.
Luke 1:45




Image: pinterest.com/pin/200691727114177957

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Perhaps Today

The Pharisees came out and 
started an argument with Jesus. 
They wanted to prove His authority
by asking for a miraculous sign from heaven. 
Jesus groaned and said, 
“Why are you always looking for a sign? 
I can promise you that 
you will not be given one!” 
Mark 8

Jesus had just cast out a demon, healed a deaf man,
and fed 4000 with a couple of fishes and loaves.
But when the Pharisees asked for a sign, 
Jesus told them they would not be given one.
Obviously He was performing miracles.
But the Pharisees were looking for a miracle
so that they could prove Jesus' authority.
Jesus said that "they wouldn't be given one."
He then quoted Isaiah:
"These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from Me.
Their worship is a farce." 

The disciples, on the other hand, didn't understand 
much of what Jesus was doing.
He rebuked them in the boat for not getting 
the whole fishes and loaves thing.
But He kept the miracles coming for them.
When He asked them who they thought He was, 
Peter replied that He was the Messiah.
They weren't testing Him;
they were just trying to understand.
And because their hearts were with Him,
Jesus kept trying to help them.
And it is still true today.
If our hearts are far from Him
we will never see the miracles all around.
But if our hearts are right, 
He is always trying to help us see.
I am certain that Jesus has asked me many times over:
Don’t you understand yet? (Mark 8:21)
But He never leaves me or gives up on me.
I want to never doubt when He asks me,
Who do you say I am?
You are Christ, the Messiah, my Savior, 
and daily I am in need of You.
Perhaps today, by grace, You won't have to ask me
why I don't understand yet.
Perhaps today, by grace, I will have revelation 
of what You are showing me.
Perhaps today, by grace, my heart will be
drawn closer to You.
And perhaps today, by grace, You will say,
I think she understood just a little 
the wondrous things I had for her to see.
I so desire to see You more clearly.
Perhaps today...


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

His Steadfast Love

I call on You, my God, for You will answer me; 
turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer. 
Show me the wonders of Your great love, 
Keep me as the apple of Your eye; 
hide me in the shadow of Your wings.
When I awake, I will be satisfied 
with seeing Your likeness. 
Psalm 17
I love this psalm because it shows
the boldness and crazy trust
that David has in his God.
He calls on God because he knows
that He will answer him.
He asks God to show him 
the wonders of His great love.
He asks to be kept as 
the apple of God's eye.
Sometimes it feels too much
to speak to God like this.
Surely humility would keep me
from assuming I am all that special.
But the opposite to be true.
False humility keeps our notions of God
truer than what God says about Himself.
We are told in Hebrews to 
boldly approach the throne of grace.
He is crazy in love with us.
For the mountains may move 
and the hills disappear, 
but my steadfast love for you 
will remain forever. 
Isaiah 54:10
So this morning, I pray Psalm 17 over myself.
I call to You, Lord, because I know You will answer.
Show me the wonders of Your great love, God.
Your wonders are tucked away everywhere.
I want to see like You see.
Keep me as the apple of Your eye
and hide me in the shadow of Your wings.
I will be satisfied with seeing Your face.
You are incredibly good to me.
Your steadfast love is my greatest hope.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Showers of Blessing

And I will cause showers 
to come down in their season; 
they will be showers of blessing. 
Ezekiel 34:26
On this rainy first morning of summer break,
I came across this Scripture;
it jumped off the page as I read it.
Rainy days can have a number of moods.
It was as if I was subconsciously deciding
how I would interpret this day,
and the Lord said to me:
Before you even think about it,
I want you to know that I am causing
these showers to come down on you today.
They are to be called showers of blessing.

It is all about posturing my heart to see right.
I have just finished an incredibly busy season.
I truly felt like I crossed a finish line and 
the Lord was cheering as I crossed.
He wrapped me in His arms 
and walked me over to this break.
Now He sits with me and helps me think right.
He announces a season of blessing--
and although I have to receive it personally,
it is a corporate season of seeing 
the showers of blessing fall on His people.

Can you look at those showers and see Me?
That is how I am coming--
covering you with gentle waters of refreshment 
and the restoring of your soul.
Oh Lord, You are so good to me.
You are so good to Your people.
When we see through the grid of goodness,
we can understand how David was anointed
to write the 23rd Psalm.
It has to be one of 
the most important verses ever written:

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
He leads me beside peaceful streams. 
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk  through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
forever.

I will set my face to see Your blessing Lord.
You'll come like the rain...