Saturday, December 17, 2016

11 Years Resting in Jesus

Today marks 11 years since Micah died and went to be with the Lord. He awoke in the presence of the Lord. Some of the scriptures I prayed for Micah when he was sick were:

Ps 3:5
I lay down and slept;
I awake, for the LORD sustained me.
Ps 4:8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep, For You alone, O LORD,
make me dwell in safety.
Ps. 5:3
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.

Each night when Micah went to sleep he and I were more conscious of the fact that it is the LORD who gives him sleep and peace. It is the LORD who woke him and sustained him. It was only because of Jesus that when Micah was dying of cancer that he could have peace at night knowing that the Lord heard his cry and the LORD was his peace and only in Him alone could Micah dwell in safety. So Micah trusted in the Lord and directed his prayers to the Lord . He looked up to Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith, at night, knowing he might go to dwell in the presence of the Lord and rest in Him. He awoke looking to Jesus and the Lord put gladness in his heart.

Then 11 years ago today Micah awoke in the presence of the LORD, seeing Jesus face to face.
Lord, I pray that you would help me not to forget how You sustained Micah each day and drew him closer to you each day, gave him peace and help in such a glorious way to trust You and find joy in You because You put joy and gladness in his heart. Thank you Lord! Help me not to forget how you helped Micah through each trial and you helped Mark and I and our children. Help us not to forget and to continue to look up to You and direct our prayers to You knowing that You will continue to sustain us as we grieve and continue to miss Micah each and every year. Daily we are fully reliant upon you for everything.

Monday, November 28, 2016

So Much, So Much, So Much, to be Thankful For

So Much, So Much, So Much, to be Thankful For

Even though my dear friend Princess Ruby is with the Lord, singing and rejoicing, I can still hear her singing,"We have so much, so much, so much, to be thankful for!”

Sometimes we forget that. I know I do.
Sometimes, we get our eyes on the problems and circumstances in our life.
Sometimes we get our eyes on the things we want or don't want.
Sometimes we get our eyes on people who seem bigger than they should be and have a control over us, because we have put hope in them.
Sometimes we get our eyes on our hopes and dreams and how life did not turn out the way we had thought it would.
Sometimes we get our eyes on politics and begin to be deceived into thinking it would save us.

There is so much turmoil, fighting, struggle, rebellion, revolting, rejection and hurt in this world.
This is always true. More than ever I see that there are a lot of hurting people with no hope, no direction, no confidence, no Savior. Maybe their hope is in their job, family, vacation time, material things, homes, cars, traveling, finding that perfect person, doing whatever they want to do and not having to work for it, having their political candidate win.

When I look back on my life, I see a lot of disappointments, pain, laughter, joy and special memories of my children when they were young. Our swings in the back yard used to have children swinging on them every day. Now they are empty most of the time. This is kind of sad. I miss those days. There is more behind me than in the future. My life is almost over. I don't know what the future holds. I do know there will by pain and sorrow mixed with joy. But I can't put my hope in these things.

All these hopes, desires, dreams and people will fail us. They will crumble and fall and not lift us up. The bigger they become in our lives, the farther we will fall when they don't measure up!

There is a hope and Salvation that is a sure foundation! That hope is Jesus. He is our Light and our Salvation. He is our hope, peace and joy. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Only He can give me true lasting joy! Jesus is my treasure. He can never be taken away from me. His love is everlasting. Because He loved me, He died for me and because I trust in Jesus for my Salvation I have His peace, assurance of Salvation and a hope for the future.

So I put my hope in Christ. I fix my eyes on Jesus, The Author and Finisher of my faith. I don't focus on those things that don't give hope. I can rest, knowing He has it all in the palm of His hands. My past and future are all part of His Story and He is not finished yet.
The best part is, I know the end. Jesus wins!

So, I can look up and fix my gaze on Jesus and remember, I have so much, so much, so much to be thankful for!

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:11-14).

Saturday, May 28, 2016

True, Lasting, Satisfaction

Now godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
1 Tim 6:6-12

Being content with who we are begins with knowing first how corrupt, totally depraved, guilty and condemned we really are.
This leads us to our one and only Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the only one who can bring us peace with ourselves and with each other.

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,
having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,
and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
Eph 2:14-16

Godliness and contentment begins at the cross.
We are content and can grow in the image of Christ because the penalty for our sins has been satisfied by the finished work of Christ.
We put our faith in the work of Christ.
Holiness is the outworking of that faith.
This is what brings true lasting satisfaction and peace in our lives.

No relationship can work in the long term without first finding our pleasure and satisfaction in Christ. We can’t experience complete emotional satisfaction and happiness in a relationship with a person no matter how amazing that relationship is.
The most loving thing we can do is to point each other to Christ and His word, not to each other, ourselves, or our circumstances.
People disappoint; Christ satisfies.
We are complete in Him. What truly changes our attitude, is a heart of gratitude to Christ Jesus for our salvation.

Our only hope is in Christ.
If our hope is all wrapped up in finding an amazing person who will meet all our needs and make us happy for life, we will be sorely disappointed.
We will be miserable and make the other person miserable as well.

Relationships take a death to self in order to work.
They take a surrendering completely to Christ daily. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, pursuing His glory in all we do, Christ is our goal, our prize, our joy, even in trials.

I love what Beth Moore says in her book, Breaking Free,

I ask Him to satisfy all my longings and fill all my hollow places with His lavish, unfailing love. This frees me from craving the approval of others and requiring others to fill my “cup.” Then, if someone takes the time to demonstrate love to me, that’s the overflow! I am free to appreciate it and enjoy it, but I didn’t emotionally require it! See how the love of God brings freedom? Not only am I freed; I am able to free others from having to boost me up emotionally all the time. Hallelujah! Where the Spirit of the Lord’s lavish love is, there is freedom!! Try it and see! If we’re not experiencing satisfaction in God, a hindrance exists, and we want to identify it and ask God to remove it. Ordinarily, the primary hindrance to satisfaction in our lives is refusing Him access to our empty places.”

Many marriages fail because they have not taken their commitment and covenant to God seriously.
Marriage is not about me or you. It is about Christ and His church and glorifying Him.
When couples become so focused on each other and wanting the other to please them and satisfy their every want and desire instead of focusing on the Lord, they will be disappointed and unhappy.
If your focus is off Jesus and onto yourself, people or circumstances, you will have problems in all your relationships.
How are your relationships at work, at school, with friends, with roommates and at home with your family? If there is not peace then look to your relationship with Christ.

The way we get satisfied in Christ is by feasting on His Word (Acts 20:32), prayer (Heb. 4:16), Biblical Fellowship (1 Peter 5:5,6) Serving Him (Rom 12:6), and Obedience (Phil. 2:12,13)
Are you getting fed daily in the Word?
Are you praying, listening to Him speak through His word, praising, thanking Him and confessing your sin before Him.
Are you in regular fellowship, hearing good biblical teaching and preaching, and serving each other and the community?
Do you submit to authority in your life and see spiritual authority as a blessing, protection and strength to help you, or do you resist authority and reject the authority of God’s Word?
Do you obey God's word and live holy?
We are like a “leaky cup” that will run out if we are not continually filling ourselves with these things. God expects us to daily be filled with his word, prayer and fellowship etc.
They are means of grace in our lives that flow through us and continually change and strengthen us.
Without these spiritual disciplines in our lives, we will drift away from the Lord and begin to see problems in many areas of our life, especially in relationships.

By the grace of God, we can focus on Jesus, glorify Him, find our needs and desires met by Him, and keep on going, pressing toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:14)