Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Meditation~Are You Ready?

Jesus is coming back.

 Are you ready?

 Are those you love ready? Are your friends, your co-workers, your neighbors?

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him." Matthew 24:36-44 (NIV)

People, get ready.  Jesus is coming.

Lord, make us ready for Your return. Help us to be alert, watchful, and prepared. Help us to share with others the power of Your great love and the good news of redemption. Thank You for loving us and calling us Your own. We long for You, Jesus!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday Worship~We Will Dance

"The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass." Revelation 21:21b (NIV)
Oh what a day of rejoicing that will be!

Are you ready for His return?

Friday, April 20, 2012

How's Your House?

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?" 
1 Corinthians 3:16 (NIV)

My house is on the market.

Enough said?

If you've ever sold a house, you know it's not really fun...keeping it ready for strangers to appear at any time with moments notice.

Each time I go out it has to be ready.

When I'm at home...wanting to just chill...or take a nap...or sort my laundry. It's got to be ready to be ready!

As I write, there are stacks of folded laundry on the chairs in my den. There are dirty dishes in the sink awaiting the emptying of the dishwasher. My beds are not just unmade, but nakedly anticipating the buzzer to sound on the dryer so that fresh linens can cover them. The surfaces cry out for the Swiffer duster...again. And where do those dust bunnies in the corners come from?? I'm assuming they follow in the rabbit reproduction mode...hence the name dust bunnies? My floor needs to be vacuumed. Did I recently buy new socks for my hubby? Or does sock lint reproduce as well?

And let's don't even talk about baseboards. Sigh.

Now, my closets are all in nice order, looking all spacious and well...orderly. My pantry has never looked so good since clearing out the clutter that made its home there.

So you might ask, "Why are you sitting at your computer writing about what's yet to be done instead of getting up and doing it?"


Each morning this week as I've made my house ready before I headed out the door, God has whispered in my ear. He said, "Okay, your house is ready, but is your house ready?" Is my heart, the place where He dwells, ready for the day? Ready for strangers...and friends, family, and neighbors to see?

Has the gunk of sin been cleaned from my heart and mind? Is there a sparkle in my eyes that shines from time spent in His Word? Is His reflection clear or obscured from the surface of my countenance? Am I relying on Him to direct my day and hence bring order to the stacks of responsibilities there? Does the presence of His peace dwell richly in me? Is the aroma of Christ being diffused to those around me? Does my mouth speak of His overflow in my heart?

How about you? How's your house today?

Lord, help me not to lose sight of what's important and get caught up in earthly things and forget that what matters most is You. Cleanse my heart, O God. Fill me up with Your presence. Cover me in Your peace. Order my steps today, Lord. Live in me...richly, so that Your aroma is pleasant to everyone I meet.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Worship~He Is With You

"The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Meditation~Set Apart

The word of the LORD came to me, saying,

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

"Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child."

But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 1:4-8 (NIV)

Those are powerful words to Jeremiah.

And they pack the same punch for us.

Yes, us! Before we were born He knew us and set us apart. He has a distinct plan for each of us. He created us, fashioned us with specific gifts and talents, with that purpose in mind.

Jeremiah was set apart as a prophet to the nations. What are YOU set apart to do?

Do not be afraid, for He is with you!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Worship~Beautiful

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail." Lamentations 3:22 (NIV)

His great so deep that He would give His life for us.

We are Beautiful to Him. YOU are beautiful to Him. Live in His lavish love today!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Meditation~Walking With Jesus

"And that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing Him." Luke 24:13-16 (NIV)

That same day. 

Resurrection Day.

Jesus walked along the road to Emmaus with two of His followers. He asked them what they were talking about. They shared their heartache. They spoke of how their hope had been destroyed. That the redeemer they longed for was gone.

"He said to them, 'How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His glory? And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if He were going farther. But they urged Him strongly, 'Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.' So He went in to stay with them.
When He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, 'Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?'" Luke 24:25-32

Are we, ourselves, foolish and slow of heart to believe His Word and His promises to us? Do we fail to recognize Him as He walks along the road of life with us? Do we forget that He knows everything about us...our thoughts, our concerns, our struggles, our fears?

Oh, may our eyes be opened. And may we realize that because of the Holy Spirit's presence with us now that He will never "disappear" from us. He will never leave us or forsake us. That's His promise. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, "The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Jesus is walking with us today. The only thing that can hinder us from recognizing His presence is our failure to seek Him and rely on His Word.

Oh, may we open our Scriptures and may our hearts burn with realization of His great love for us. "God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

And He rose. He lives in our hearts today!

He is risen! What a Saviour!

Sweet Jesus, thank You for loving matter the cost. Thank You for sacrificing Your life for my sin. Thank You for proving Your power through Your resurrection! Thank You for filling us with that same power by Your Holy Spirit living in us. Rescue us from our foolishness and cause the realization of Your presence to burn in our hearts. Help us to exhibit our love for You by living according to Your example and Your Word. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thankful Thursday~New Life!

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands....He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb...." Deuteronomy 7:9, 13a (NIV)

Today I am beyond thankful as I see the realization of God's faithfulness, covenant, love and blessing as a new generation has begun in our family. What a joy to know that our daughter, Rachel, and her husband, Brandon, are deeply committed to our Lord and walking in His way. Our numbers have increased and the fruit of Rachel's womb is the recipient of God's blessing. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!!

Thank you, Lord, for your love, your grace, your blessing, and your faithfulness to a thousand generations of those who love You and keep your commands. Oh, yes, we love You!!! As we approach the celebration of new life through Your resurrection, may our praise be a pleasing offering to You!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Meditation~Prophesy Fulfilled

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
"Say to the Daughter of Zion,'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'" Matthew 21:1-5 (NIV)

On Sunday I heard a wonderful Palm Sunday message by Pastor Chris Justice at Lee Park Baptist Church. His words were insightful, thought-provoking, and heartfelt. He read from Matthew 21. He said words that will remain etched on my mind whenever I read this passage or think of Palm Sunday from this day forward. As Pastor Justice reminded us that Jesus knew what was coming as He entered Jerusalem that day...that He knew the words of the prophets more clearly than the prophets themselves. Jesus understood the persecution, the humiliation, and the agony that lay before Him. He knew that not only was His body going to be tortured even to the point of death, but that He would also take the weight of all sin upon Himself...all sin...sins of omission, sins of commission, from those things that we really didn't mean to do to heinous acts of crime...sins of the past, sins of the future...your sin and mine. He knew what lay ahead...

And He got on the donkey anyway.

For you and for me.

Love beyond fathoming.

"Oh, to grace, how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be."

Lord, forgive us when we take the depth of Your love so lightly. Forgive us when we disregard the price that You paid so that we may live. Forgive us for our half-heartedness in loving You back, in worshipping You, in serving You. Help us to spend time in Your presence and ponder Your passion for us, Your sacrifice that covered our sin. Spur us to spend ourselves in worship, to lavish our praise upon You. Never let us allow a rock to cry out in our place. We love You, Jesus!