Archive for April, 2009

Tornado of Love

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd. Matthew 9: 35, 36 King James Version

We have had a lot of tornado watches and warnings where I live lately. One of the definitions for tornado in Webster’s Dictionary is “a violent destructive whirling wind accompanied by a funnel-shaped cloud that progresses in a narrow path over the land”. A tornado kills and injures people and it is very destructive. It also destroys property and sometimes causes the electricity to go out. If you have ever been in a tornado, then you know that a tornado is very frightening.

We have another tornado which brings calm, happiness and peace to our hearts, and it is our precious Saviour. He is our tornado of love. Jesus does just the opposite of the dictionary definition for the word tornado. Our tornado of love brings healing, compassion and unconditional love. Jesus gives us hope, comfort, encouragement and reassurance. He doesn’t limit His love to just a few people; He includes every person in the world.

Jesus is a loving Saviour and He desires for all of us to be saved and happy. We read in the Bible “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10: 9 – 11).

Have you opened the door of your heart to the good Shepherd and invited Him into your heart to be your personal Saviour? If not, please don’t put it off. He is waiting for you to come to Him with outstretched arms and a heart full of unconditional love and compassion for you. Say “yes” to Jesus today before it is too late. One day it will be too late for you to invite Him into your heart. Please don’t miss out on spending eternity with the One who loves you so much that He died for you on a cruel cross of horror and agony. Will you invite the Christ of Calvary into your heart right now?

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. www.hesetmefreeforever.blogspot.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

Cleansing: Again and Again

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Jeremiah 17:9-10 King James Version

I have always loved to read. One day when I was about twelve years old, I was reading a book that was so exciting that I could hardly put it down. My Mother told me to put the book down and wash the dishes. I asked her “Why do I have to wash the dishes? They will just get dirty again.” Mom replied “Why do you have to eat? You will just get hungry again.” As I was thinking about my Mom last night and what she said to me, I thought about how our hearts get dirty.

When Jesus applies His redeeming atoning blood to our hearts, He washes our sins away. However because of the vicious poisonous barbs of satan, our hearts get dirty again. Our hearts become filled once again with resentment, unforgiveness, jealousy, anger, hatred, criticism and bitterness. Just as we have to do the dishes when they get dirty, so we must allow Jesus to wash our hearts from all of these things which hurt Him and break His heart. Is your heart dirty or clean?

When Jesus looks into your heart, does He see things that make Him happy or does He see things that make Him sad? If He sees things that make Him sad, ask Him to forgive you and to fill your heart once again with the things that bring joy to His heart. Yes, our hearts will get dirty again but our compassionate and loving Saviour will remove the dirt and make them clean if we will only ask Him to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Thank You, Jesus, for being our compassionate and loving Saviour.

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. www.hesetmefreeforever.blogspot.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

Do not forsake me, O Lord!

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Do not forsake me, O Lord! Do not be far from me, O my God! (Psalm 38:21)

Frequently we pray that God would not forsake us in the hour of trial and temptation; but we too much forget that we have need to use this prayer at all times. There is no moment of our life, however holy–in which we can do without His constant upholding. Whether in light or in darkness, in communion or in temptation–we alike need the prayer, “Do not forsake me, O Lord!”

A little child, while learning to walk–always needs the parent’s aid. The ship left by the pilot–drifts at once from her course. Just so–we cannot survive without continuous aid from God.

Let it be your prayer today, “Do not forsake me, O Lord! Father, do not forsake Your child–lest he fall by the hand of the enemy. Shepherd, do not forsake Your lamb–lest he wander from the safety of the fold. Great Gardener, do not forsake Your plant–lest it wither and die! Do not forsake me now, O Lord! And do not forsake me at any moment of my life. Do not forsake me in my joys–lest they absorb my heart. Do not forsake me not in my sorrows–lest I murmur against You. Do not forsake me–for my path is dangerous, and full of snares–and I cannot travel without Your guidance. Do not forsake me–for without You I am weak–but with You I am strong. Do not be far from me, O Lord, for trouble is near–and there is none to help. Leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation!”

“Hold me up–and I shall be safe!” Psalm 119:115

Charles Spurgeon

Whatever You Need

Monday, April 13th, 2009

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”
Matthew 6:25-26 King James Version

There are many people who have serious financial problems due to the economic conditions we are experiencing. People are losing their jobs and their homes. Parents are heartbroken because they don’t have enough money to feed their children and clothe them like they used to do. O people don’t become discouraged because our Heavenly Father will make sure that we don’t go hungry. He will also make sure that we have clothes to wear.

We may not have steaks to eat and the latest fashions in clothes to wear but we will have food to eat and clothes to wear. Not only does God feed us and clothe us physically, He also feeds us and clothes us spiritually. Our Heavenly Father clothes us through the precious blood of Jesus which covers all of our sins. He also feeds our hearts with His unconditional love, grace, mercy, forgiveness and compassion. No matter what your need is today you can trust Him to take care of you.

Heavenly Father, thank You for all that You do for us. What a comfort it is to know that we can trust You to take care of us. Thank You for loving us so much that You do make sure that we don’t go hungry and that You also make sure that we have clothes to wear. You are a loving Heavenly Father and we love You and appreciate You. Amen.

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. www.hesetmefreeforever.blogspot.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

Loving the Unlovable

Friday, April 10th, 2009

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die;
yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us (Romans 5:7-8).

Several years ago I found myself in the midst of a situation that required loving someone who, for the most part, wasn’t exactly lovely or lovable. Despite the fact that this person was a family member and I had that natural connection and affection toward him, I was having a difficult time not wanting to run in the opposite direction each time I saw him coming. But as a Christian, I knew I was commanded to love even my enemies, and so I made a conscious effort to behave in a loving way toward this person, who of course wasn’t my enemy but at times certainly seemed so. Believing I was acting in a godly manner, I even went so far as to “visualize” this person saved and redeemed, with an entirely new demeanor and temperament after receiving Christ as Savior. And, of course, I prayed daily toward that end.

But one day, as I prayed for this one who at times seemed to test and try me beyond endurance, I sensed God correcting me in my attitude. I was trying to love this unlovely person “in spite of himself,” when in reality God wanted me to love him exactly as he was!

How can I possibly do that? I prayed. It’s one thing to try to overlook those irritating traits and to move beyond those frustrating shortcomings, but to love him BECAUSE of them? Impossible, Lord!

And then God reminded me that was exactly how He had always loved me—by showing (or “demonstrating”) His love for me by sending His Son to earth to die an excruciating death BECAUSE of those very traits and shortcomings (read: SINS!) that were so deeply ingrained in my being. The impact of that statement nearly rocked me off my feet! God didn’t just love me because of who I would one day become as He completes His good work in me; He loved me “just as I am,” failings, foibles, sins, shortcomings, irritating personality traits—all of it. And that, my friends, is a very good thing, isn’t it? Because if He didn’t love me just that way, there would never have been a sacrificial Good Friday or a victorious Easter Sunday, and you and I would still be lost—with no hope of ever being found.

Do you want to grasp just how much God loves you? During the remainder of this Passion week, reflect and meditate on the great fact that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He didn’t wait until we came to our senses or cleaned up our act or pulled ourselves up by the bootstraps before He extended His love to us. He humbled Himself and came as a Servant to rescue us from ourselves—while we were still obnoxious and rude and self-serving and hopeless. That’s how much He loves us—and that’s how much He wants us to love others.

Let that great truth do a work of grace and mercy in your hearts during this Easter/Passover season, dear ones—and rejoice, for the stone has been rolled away and He is risen indeed!!!

Macias
Copyright 2008 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 26 books. Her newest book “Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World” (New Hope Publishers) The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com

Running the Good Race

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash.

At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry.

The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back.

Every one of them.

One girl with Down’s Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said: “This will make it better.” Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line.

Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes.

People who were there are still telling the story. Why? Because deep down we know this one thing: What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.

Whose Fault is It?

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” Romans 2:1 King James Version

Have you ever heard someone say “It was his fault?” Have you ever said it? Before I gave my heart and life to Jesus, I said it several times. Many years ago when I lived in Oklahoma my pastor preached a sermon on this Scripture verse. My pastor said that none of us are perfect and instead of judging others we need to judge ourselves. The Holy Spirit convicted me of saying it was someone else’s fault.

The next time you feel like saying to someone “it’s your fault” ask Jesus to put a lock on your mouth. Instead of condemning and judging others, let’s pray for them. Have you ever thought about how many times people might have said to someone while talking about you “It was his fault or it was her fault?” Again, none of us are perfect. All of us are guilty of sinning and hurting others. When we hurt one another, we also hurt Jesus.

Heavenly Father, please help us to be quiet when we want to say something that is criticizing and judgmental to someone. Fill our hearts with compassion and unconditional love for each other. May we love others unconditionally as You love us. Help us to remember that we don’t have any right to judge someone. Please put the desire in our hearts to become more like Jesus so that we may make You happy. Amen.

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. www.hesetmefreeforever.blogspot.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

Are You Experiencing Fulfillment and Joy?

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

“Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?
. . . ‘Do business till I come'” (Luke 2:49; 19:13).

Jesus was always in the right place at the right time. Why? Because conducting His Father’s business was His priority. As a result, He fulfilled His earthly mission. He has instructed us to do the same.

How often have we lamented wrong turns and poor choices in our lives? I, for one, have long since run out of fingers and toes to count them on, and I imagine you have too. I also imagine Jesus didn’t have any of those regrets. Why? Because everything He said or did was at the direction of His Father.

As those who call ourselves disciples of Jesus Christ, we need to be modeling ourselves after the manner of life He lived when He was here on earth. If that life was based upon obedience to the Father’s commands—and we know it was—then shouldn’t ours be the same? When our lives lack purpose and direction, it isn’t because God didn’t create us with a purpose or give us directions to fulfill that purpose; it’s because we have chosen to go our own way, to live our lives for ourselves. As a result, we end up frustrated, empty, and unfulfilled—no matter how many “toys” or accolades we may gain along the way.

Jesus’ “business” during His thirty-three years of life on earth was to call people out of darkness and into God’s Kingdom, and He did it step-by-step, in response to the Father’s direction. Our day-to-day business should be conducted in the same way. There is no other purpose or achievement or pursuit that will give us the sense of fulfillment or joy we will attain by carrying out the Father’s business. And we can never do it without God’s Spirit dwelling within us and giving us the direction we need to successfully conduct that Kingdom business.

I am committing myself to be a successful “Kingdom business” woman today, whatever that entails. Will you join me in that commitment so that we might see “God’s Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven”?

Macias
Copyright 2008 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 26 books. Her newest book “Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World” (New Hope Publishers) The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com

The Desires of Our Hearts

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4 King James Version

God loves us so much that He not only gives us what we need; He also gives us the desires of our hearts if we delight ourselves in Him. Thank God that He loves us that much but what about the desires of His heart? He has told us over and over in the Bible that He wants us to love one another unconditionally. However, there are times when we fail to love as He has commanded us to love others.

God also wants us to spend time with Him and talk to Him daily. There are times when we put Him on the shelf and only take Him down when we need something. May God forgive us for treating Him this way. Are you giving Him the desires of His heart? Do you spend time with Him every day? Are you telling others of the unconditional love of His Son? It is time that we stop being so selfish and start giving Him the desires of His heart.

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so much that you give us the desires of our hearts. Help us to forget about what we want and think more about what You want. May we be children who bring joy and happiness to You rather than children who hurt You and make You sad. Thank You for sending Your beloved Son into the word to die for our sins so that we may have the privilege of being saved and spend eternity with You. Fill our hearts with compassion and unconditional love for others so that we may love like You want us to love. Amen.

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. www.hesetmefreeforever.blogspot.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

Can You Find the Time?

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.

So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease…..

All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They’d laugh at me I’d fear.

No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die

I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God! held a book;
It was the book of life.

God looked into his book and said
‘Your name I cannot find
I once was going! to write it down…
But never found the time’