Monday, April 29, 2013

That I Know You

Let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows Me.
Lord, there is no one like You!
For You are great, 
and Your name is full of power.
Jeremiah 9:24, 10:9

When we lay all our so called bits of
wisdom and knowledge on the table,
only one has any shine and sparkle.
Our knowledge of Him is all that matters.
There is so much cultural noise, 
so many ideas, values and opinions
trying to get us to pay attention.
But like Paul, we have to decide.
I resolved to know nothing with certainty 
other than the reality of Jesus Christ
and Him crucified.
1 Cor 2:1
Oh, Lord, that I might know You more fully.
Your name is full of power.
And I am so in need of Your power today.
I have thoughts that need transforming,
mindsets that need healing,
and a heart that needs more love.
I have to shut off the noise and resolve
that nothing gets more attention than You.
I want to blow everything off the table
that has no lasting value.
I count everything as loss 
compared to the priceless privilege,
the overwhelming preciousness, 
and the surpassing worth, 
of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord 
and of progressively becoming more deeply 
and intimately acquainted with Him.
Lord, I need to know You more intimately.
If I am not growing in my knowledge of You,
I am growing in doubt and disillusionment.

You and Your words are precious to me.
Instruction from Your lips is better for me
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Psalm 119:72

Jesus, be my center.
In everything I do and say
--in the core of my very being--
be all that I am.




Image: www.pxleyes.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/solitude/68.jpg


Monday, April 22, 2013

He Knows Me

Now one of the Pharisees asked Jesus 
to come and dine with him, 
so He went to the Pharisee’s house 
and took His place at the table.
Luke 7:36
Jesus responds to invitation,
even from Pharisees.
When we but invite Him to come, 
He takes His place at our table.
This man is just "one of the Pharisees."
That is all we know about him.
Until Jesus comes into his life.
This man has an inner conversation,
and Jesus comes into that as well.
The "Pharisee who had invited Him
said to himself..."
So Jesus answered him, 
“Simon, I have something to say to you.” 
Suddenly this Pharisee is 
a man with a name.
He is Simon.
Jesus wants to talk to him personally.
So many days I am "one of the Pharisees."
And by mercy I ask Jesus to 
come and dine with me.
And He comes and sits down with me.
If I am quiet, I hear the same words
that the Pharisee got to hear.
"Kathy, I have something to say to you."
My sheep listen to My voice, 
and I know them.
John 10:27
Being known is our deepest longing.
That He both knows us and loves us
is a central message of the Gospel.
As I respond to this great love,
I want to be like the woman who knew 
the abundant mercy and love of Jesus.
I want to pour out the costly perfume
and count nothing as waste.
Jesus, thank You for knowing my name. 
I love the sound of Your voice
as You look at me.
It is the piercing sound of love.




Image: lyndeusch.wordpress.com

Friday, April 19, 2013

No Waivering


So the promise is received by faith.
It is given as a free gift.
And we are all certain to receive it,
if we have faith like Abraham’s
Abraham believed in the God
who brings the dead back to life and
who creates new things out of nothing.
Even when there was no reason for hope,
Abraham kept hoping—
For God had said to him,
“That’s how many descendants you will have!”
Abraham never wavered in believing God.
In fact, his faith grew stronger.
He was fully convinced that God
is able to do whatever he promises.
When God counted him as righteous,
it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit.
It was recorded for our benefit, too.
Romans 4

God’s promises are free--with one catch: 
we need faith to receive them.
Abraham’s promise was very personal,
a special promise just for him.
Children. Descendants. As many as the stars.
He had no reason to hope this could happen.
But he believed that God could raise the dead
and could create things out of nothing.
So Abraham kept hoping.
He became fully convinced that God
would do what He promised to do.
I need an infusion of that faith today.
There are promises that God has given me.
Not just the promises that are for all His children,
but some very personal and specific promises
that are just for me.
And just because I don’t see the fulfillment today
doesn’t mean I cannot be fully persuaded
that God will do all that He has promised.
He makes dead things live.
He makes new things out of nothing.
It was recorded in Scripture for my benefit.
God, I am asking for an increase of faith
that You might see all that I am
believing in all that You are.
Fully persuaded.
In Christ, all of Your promises are Yes.
I am certain to receive them if
I have faith like Abraham’s.
I declare today that I will not waiver.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Race is On

We must be determined to run the race 
that God has marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1

The race is not just daily; it is eternal.
Every day we face the course God has marked.
Whether we feel like it or not, the race is on.
You know when people are running a race, 
they all run. But only one man will win. 
The way you should run is to run to win.
1 Corinthians 9:24

Every day I must ask myself if I am running to win.
It is a hard question; it is a heart question.
Because appearance is not everything.
Do I have my eyes set on the goal?
The goal is not my five year plan.
It is not my hopes and dreams.
The only goal is Him.
Looking away from every distraction
 to Jesus, the Source and Finisher of our faith. 
For the joy of obtaining the prize, 
He endured the cross...
Hebrews 12:2
We don’t just win because we run.  
We win because we train.  
We win because we see the cost,
and we have already decided that 
it is worth everything.
The way we should run is to run to win.
With our gaze fixed upon Jesus, 
grace draws us through our daily crosses.
And at the end of the day we can say ,
"Jesus, it's all for You."
Life is a long run over a long distance.
We must win.  People are watching our race. 
It is about living for Him, demonstrating Him, 
allowing others to see Him in our lives. 
This race is not too hard.
Today is a good day to train.
Every day is training day
because every day is a day for me
to demonstrate that I am His.




Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pressure

When I call, answer me, 
O God of my righteousness: 
in pressure You have enlarged me; 
be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.
Psalm 4:1

For the most part, spiritual growth and maturity 
occur in the middle of pressure.
I am recognizing the need once again 
to submit to the pressure in my life 
and allow God to enlarge me in the midst of it.
There are two kinds of pressures working together:
the pressure being directly applied to me
and pressure involving those that I love.
I have to understand that God has allowed both. 
I am good at crying out for Him to release the pressure;
I am not as good at asking Him to use it to change me.
It really is about being conformed into His image.
God knows what it takes to work
maturity and Christ-likeness into me.

Pressure is a gift. It helps me grow up. 

It causes me to be enlarged, transformed. 

I can talk negatively about it, 
run away from it or embrace it. 
Don’t run from tests and hardships. 
Consider it a sheer gift when they come friends. 
Your faith will blossom under pressure 
and teach you true patience as you endure. 
True patience equips you to complete the journey
and cross the finish line—
mature, complete, and wanting nothing.
James 1:2-4

In pressure You have enlarged me; 
be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.
Lord, have mercy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

His Voice

My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
Proverbs 4:20-21
I have to keep His words in the midst of my heart.
Right smack dab in the middle, 
the centering line of all that I am.
My ears and my eyes are the speakers,
broadcasting messages to my heart.
I have to turn my ear to hear His words.
I have to devote my eyes to see them.
Both senses feed my heart,
the wellspring of all life.
There are so many competing voices.
The enemy plays soundtracks 
disparagingly different from the Voice of love--
sounds of doubt, insecurity, fear, lethargy.
They can get so entwined in our thoughts 
that we mistake them for our own.
Today I fight for my heart.
Keep My words in the center of your heart.
Lord, I want to be so immersed in Your Voice
that everything else sounds off.
I cannot afford a thought today that 
does not originate from Your Spirit.
My heart is Yours and I want
every part of it devoted to You.
That is why we ought to pay close attention 
to the Voice that has been speaking 
so that we will never drift away from it.
Hebrews 2
I hear His voice! The voice of my love! 
Here he comes, leaping over the mountains...
Song of Solomon 2:8

He feels the same way about our voice to Him.
Let me hear your beautiful voice,
For it sounds so sweet,
and your face is so lovely.
So arise my dearest, my beauty,
and come away with me.
Song of Solomon 2:14

I choose to come away with You today, Lord.
All day long, in the midst of busy and demanding,
would Your mercy keep me close enough
to hear Your voice and see Your words.
That my heart would be a wellspring of life
with all of its springs originating in You.



Monday, April 8, 2013

Be Careful Not to Carry

The panoramic view of spring displays both
the new growth and the bare branch.
It represents the promise and the challenge.
The promise that all things are made new.
And the challenge of not yet.
The "not yet" are those daily burdens
that can get heavy and rob us of joy.
The Lord led me to this verse in Jeremiah, 
about being careful to carry no load
through the gates of the city.

"But if you are careful to carry 
no load through the gates of the city...
then the city will be blessed forever."
Jeremiah 17:24

The loads are the big and small burdens, 
the worries and stresses of daily life 
that we find ourselves carrying 
when we are not careful.
His city runs through my heart;
I can't carry them through there.
He speaks to me tenderly:
My child, I delight in you.
I long to free you from yourself--
from the things you carry and 
weigh you down when you are not careful.
I care about all that you care about,
and I am abundantly able to carry 
and work out all you give me.
All you do on your own
is pour your worry over them.
I am strong and will bring rest to your land.
Put aside every load and allow Me to carry it.
I will strengthen you with joy and
I will be your portion always.
You're my sun and my shield
You're my Lover from the start
And the highway to Your city
Runs through my heart.




Image: pinterest.com/pin/51228514483654856/


Friday, April 5, 2013

Be a Branch

I am the true vine, and My Father 
is the keeper of the vineyard... 
Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. 
A branch cannot bear fruit 
if it is disconnected from the vine.
I am the vine, and you are the branches. 
If you abide in Me and I in you, 
you will bear great fruit. 
Without Me, you will accomplish nothing...
Your abundant growth and your faithfulness 
as My followers will bring glory to the Father.
John 15
The Lord has been speaking to me again
about my identity as a branch.
He always reminds me of this 
when I manifest any signs of confusion
about doing and being.
As a daughter, I can try to please.
And that is not wrong.
But when I begin to think about my value
and about earning His love,
He sits me down and points at a tree.
See that branch? 
It is successful because it abides.
As it simply abides, growing stronger each day,
it produces green leaves and fruit.
Could a branch jump off and try to do 
something other than produce the tree's fruit?
Nature lives in complete harmony with God's laws.
Learn to live today in the fullness of blessing
which comes from abiding in Me.
Anything you do apart from Me is chaff.
It will not count; there is no reward for your work.
Get all of your strength from Me.
I have everything you need for life and
I give freely as the vine gives to the branch.
It is your abundant growth and
 faithfulness as My follower 
that will bring glory to the Father.
Everything I did while on earth
was about Him.
Be like Me.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Rock that is Higher


I call to You from the ends of the earth
when my heart is without strength.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I...
Psalm 61:2

God is our strength and our stronghold,
our fortress and our deliverer.
He is the solid Rock upon which we can stand.
Today I want my feet to feel the security
of the promised Rock underneath.
In the every day shuffling along of life, 
I often see the surface as totality.
But, beneath all the reality of life is the Rock,
which paradoxically is "higher than I."
Beneath the joys, the sorrows, and the confusion
lies the steadfast, unmovable assurance
that there is something solid upon which to stand.
How often is my heart without strength?
Every time it is off on its own.
I just don't always recognize that as true.
I get caught up in life, distracted by the swirl,
and can become fearful, anxious or weary.
I don't always recognize that 
my heart is overwhelmed.
Oh, when my heart gets overwhelmed, God,
would I call to You that You might lead me higher!
Not days later or hours later or even minutes later.
But as soon as I recognize the shifting of my feet.
I love the third verse of the great hymn:
His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
Today, Lord, may no earthly prop
be able to keep me steady.
Lead me to the Rock
that is higher than I.
All of my hope is already there.




Image: http://pinterest.com/pin/487585097127255268/