Saturday, August 30

Heart's Need

On day in my quiet time, I read the following in my favorite devotional, God Calling…

“Never a heart’s need that I could not comfort and soothe.”

I said, “Lord, if this is true, then why do I sometimes feel as though You are not there?”

He answered, “My dear one, I have been here all along, through it all. I’ve been here by your side, though unnoticed. I've been here, holding your hand, though not felt.

I’ve been here, hovering over you like a mama bird over her chicks, even though the rush of My wings went undetected. I’ve been here in the blackest hours, shining My light, though its radiance went unseen because hurt and pain had shut your eyes.

I’ve been here, through the floods of adversity, rowing your boat for you through all those uncharted waters.

I am the Navigator. I know where we are going. It is your job to sit still before Me and trust that I know best. Don’t rock the boat by telling Me where you want to go. Just let Me take you to the place best suited for you.

Ride quietly and trust Me and we will reach our destination much more quickly. Don’t be a hindrance to the One who knows the way. I will not steer you wrong nor will I allow the waves to overtake you. Just trust Me, because I love you.”

“Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He hushes the storm to a calm and to a gentle whisper, so that the waves of the sea are still. Then the men are glad because of the calm, and He brings them to their desired haven.” (Psalm 107:28-30 AMP)

Tuesday, August 26

Are You a Ready Bride?

He shuffled his feet and wiped his sweaty palms on his jacket. His face twitched, producing a peculiar, cockeyed smile.

Then, the bride began her promenade down the aisle, and the groom’s whole body radiated with delight. They were so anxious and concerned to look their best for each other. All decked out in their wedding finery, he, fit to meet the bride; she, fit to meet the bridegroom.

As I sat in the chapel praying for them, the thought occurred to me: Jesus is fit and ready to meet me, His Bride, but am I fit and ready to meet Him, my Bridegroom? Am I anxious and concerned about the way I am dressed for my divine wedding day? Will He recognize me?

Would you recognize the bride if she came down the aisle dressed as a rabbit, or in a diving suit, or perhaps in a nun’s habit? No, of course not. She would be totally out of place. A bride is dressed in the proper wedding attire and you recognize her the minute you see her, because she has donned her bridal finery.

If Jesus died that the church, His bride, might be without spot or wrinkle or any other defect, then, as part of the Bride, how am I dressed? When the heavenly Bridegroom arrives, will I be dressed in an old rag, spotted with worldly residue? Or will I be a bride beautifully dressed for her Husband in a spotless gown of holiness?

What am I doing to keep myself pure and holy, ready to have my Bridegroom carry me across that heavenly threshold? Will He radiate with delight in me, as His bride? If you have ever been to a wedding, you know all eyes are watching the bride, but I always love to watch the groom.

Just to see the expression on his face, changing from one of nervous disaster to one of pure delight. Love beams from his face, as his precious bride gracefully heads in his direction. The glint in his eye.

And, if you were to look very closely into his eyes, you would see that the glint is her reflection. I ask you…Do you wish be dressed in that pure gown of holiness when you Bridegroom comes calling for you? Will He recognize you? Will you be the reflection in His eyes? Will you be a ready bride?

Lord, Your love spanned the ages, knowing one day I would say “yes” to Your proposal and receive my pure wedding garment of holiness. May I love You enough in return to keep that gown unsullied from the world and meet You in holiness on the day of Your return. May I be that precious reflection in Your eyes and may I be continually dressed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Amen!

Thursday, August 21

The Charlie Brown Tree

“Cut that thing down, p-l-e-a-s-e!” I begged. “It’s ugly. It needs to go.”

But my husband never did cut it down. And so it remained.

Out of the ground sprouted this scraggly, scrawny, little pine twig that must have dropped as a seed from its forefather. It looked just like the Christmas tree in the Charlie Brown cartoon classic and so it got its name, the Charlie Brown tree.

Instead of destroying this diminutive sapling in its infancy, we left it alone to do what it was created to do…be a testament to its Creator.

Year after year, it stood in our backyard beside its progenitor, a towering evergreen that dwarfed its Lilliputian descendant. And year after year, that puny thing struggled to grow. Standing staunch to face the sun, rain, wind, heat, snow, and storms, it faced all the elements, yet protected in the shadow of its forefather. It eventually matured into a beautiful, sprawling pine of 35 feet.

Occasionally, aren’t we this way with baby Christians? So ready to chop down God’s little seedlings of faith, so ready to give up on them as they struggle to grow, mature, and learn. Just because they don’t have all the branches of knowledge, the beautiful foliage of experience we do, or the seeds of future Christian descendants growing in their shadows, we are ready to dismiss them.

However, if we become the staunch support of strength, protecting them in our shadow and nourishing them with our love, they can grow to be a true testament to their Creator, living the life God intended for them.

Lord, may I never dismiss one of children in his or her infancy of faith. May I be a true example of Your love, care, and strength to the one who needs it. Amen!

Sunday, August 17

Gossip...Who Me?

“You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son,” so says Psalm 50:20 (NKJV). The Message Remix version states it this way, “You stab your own brother in the back.”

If you and I were created in God’s image and likeness, and our families, friends, and neighbors were all created in God’s image and likeness, then how do we justify speaking against God’s creations?

Do we not see the face of Christ in others? How can we love God and hate Him in others at the same time? Would you like it if someone said something against your child? Our heavenly Father doesn’t like it either.

Malachi asked, “Don’t we all come from one Father? Aren’t we all created by the same God?” (Malachi 2:10a The Message Remix) Unfortunately, we use our tongue “to give thanks to our Lord and Father and also to curse our fellow-man, who is created in the likeness of God,” (James 3:9 GNB).

If we say God reigns supreme in our lives and we are part of His body, why are we so unloving to His other body parts? Do our eyes hate our polished fingernails for being prettier? Do our teeth covet the gold in our ears? Are our hands jealous because our feet sport new shoes?

You may say that sounds silly, but if we are all parts of Christ’s Body, why does one part behave so unbecomingly, so unlovingly, towards another part? I just don’t get it!

The Lord once said to me, “Do not wound My Heart by saying unkind things about those I love, things you could not say to their faces.” Our love for Christ must prevent us from grieving Him with our criticism and judgment of those He loves.

Let’s bring this closer to home. Let’s say you are in a restaurant and see someone you know, perhaps, your preacher or someone well known eating with his or her spouse. They are having a lively conversation, waving their hands in the air, with determined looks on their faces.

The next day you tell a friend what you saw, but what do you say? “Oh, I saw so-and-so last night, fighting with her (his) spouse in a restaurant. They were waving their hands all around, arguing. It looked terrible. I’ll bet they’re on the verge of breaking up.”

Now, what have you done? You have gossiped and spread rumors of that which you had no knowledge. Matthew Henry said, “Men are most apt to speak evil of those persons and things that they know least of.” They were probably not arguing at all, just having an impassioned conversation on a subject close to their hearts, such as, how do you suppose rumors get started?!

Jesus warned, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults - unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging,” (Matthew 7:1-2 The Message Remix).

We are neither to listen to gossip nor to spread it. Remember, those who gossip to you will turn around and gossip about you! Have you ever felt the hot breath of another’s Judas-kiss upon your neck? Has another felt yours?

Lord, keep my tongue from bringing shame on Your name. Let my words to others be always wrapped in love and lavishly filled with encouragement. Amen.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Wednesday, August 13

In the Cross

In The Cross

In the
Is set
What I
It is the blood of redemption of the Christ Who came to save
To lift us above a life of sin, to keep us from an eternal grave.
In the
At the foot of the cross
is where I’ll be.
Will you meet me there
on bended knee?

Friday, August 8

Worship Service

“The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” (John 4:23b NKJV) “For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, Him only you shall serve.’” (Matt. 4:10 NKJV)

‘Worship service’ is more than a phrase given to our church assemblies. Worship is service to God, as the priests of old worshipped God by their tabernacle or temple service. In Greek, one word for ‘worshipper’ means a temple servant, or one having charge of a temple to keep it clean and adorn it. Our word ‘worship’ is derived from the old English word meaning ‘worthship.’

We are all temple servants of God, doing our duty by taking care not only of the temple of the church building but also of the temple of our hearts. Paul tells us of the highest form of worship-service we can offer God, “I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you…to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.” (Rom. 12:1 AMP)

Our godly service then is keeping our temples clean and unspotted by the world, adorning them with acts of service, and having a lifestyle of holy living that honors the worthship of God. In all we do, we should “Worship and serve Him with (our) whole heart and with a willing mind.” (1 Chron. 28:9 NLT)

To worship the God of creation is to bow down in reverence to Him because He is worthy, acknowledging His divinity, to bow in humility and obedience, to bow to His will, His plan, and His purpose by relinquishing one’s own agenda, to bow in service to Him with one’s life, honoring Him as the One True God.

Do we seek the Lord’s Presence or His presents? Do we seek His handout or His hand? Do we always seek something from Him as the multitudes did, or do we lean upon His breast as John the beloved did, just to be with Him, to sit at His feet as Mary did, just to serve Him in worship by pouring out our thanks and tears as fragrant oil upon His body?

How lavish is your worship of the Creator’s worthship?

Prayer: Father, as You desire and seek true worshippers, may my words, my actions, my total life, be a service of true praise and worship that honors and glorifies Your worthship. Amen.

Saturday, August 2

Growing Roots

Jesus said, “I am the Vine; you are the branches…However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing” (John 15:5 AMP).

If you couldn’t find him, you looked in the garden. If he wasn’t there digging in the dirt, then my father was in his greenhouse sticking lifeless limbs and plants into his special soil mixture. In its own time, each plant came back to life in my father’s greenhouse.

Paul said, “Let your roots grow down into Him and draw up nourishment from Him,” (Colossians 2:7a TLB). When we allow the sucker branches of circumstances to sap our strength, the weeds of worries to weaken our faith roots, and the vermin of busy schedules to eat away at our relationship with the Lord, how much nourishment do our spiritual roots draw up?

One who does not keep his roots firmly planted in the special soil of God’s Presence and His Word will remain a Lifeless branch, separated from the Vine. Only when each soul-branch is “nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine” (1 Tim. 4:6 NKJV) will it come back to Life in the Father’s house. Then, “Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.” (Ps. 92:13 NKJV).

PRAYER: Father, as our roots of faith grow deep within Your Son, “like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots,” (Jer. 17:8a NKJV), we draw up the spiritual nourishment necessary to bring eternal life into all we say and do. Help us to stay firmly planted in Your truths, that our roots may be holy. Amen.