I heard Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, preaching on Gideon (on GOD-TV). He was saying that in a footnote in his Bible, it said that the correct translation would paint a picture of the Spirit of God clothing Himself with Gideon.
Isn't that an exciting thought!!
We are not limited to what we can do in our own strength.
When I yield to Him completely, I am the sock and Holy Spirit is the foot. I am the glove and He is the hand.
This past week there was a political debate in our state where one man expressed his view that every person is created by God for His purpose no matter what the circumstances of their conception. As you can imagine, that started a storm of debate and criticism of his "extreme" views on the right to life vs. abortion.
I remembered walking into our local hair salon shortly after my son Caleb was born. One of the ladies rushed up to have a look at him, and when she saw that he had Down syndrome, she blurted out for all to hear: "Well, he was obviously a mistake!"
I usually am at a loss at a time like that, but I believe the Holy Spirit put these words on my lips. "No, God had a plan for Caleb from before the foundation of the world."
Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
I sat in the back row at a Christian conference last week, where there was a little girl in a wheelchair siting in front of me who could not even hold her own head up. She had a little 2 year old sister next to her who would periodically check on big sister, patting her hand or giving her butterfly kisses on the cheek. I thought to myself: This scene paints a picture of what God thinks of each one of us, no matter what our circumstances or challenges may be.
"I believe that 2013 will begin the greatest harvest of all time, which will continue to increase. By 2017 I believe there will be a harvest so awesome that man has no idea how to comprehend what it will be." Bob Jones Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations as Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth as Your possession (Psalm 2:8).
Praying for people around the world to come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:14-19 NLT
We had some very windy days this week just as the autumn color reached its peak. From one day to the next, it seems the trees are shedding their foliage and rolling out a carpet of leaves along the path for me to walk on.
Maybe the leaves are showing me how to humble myself before the Lord. What do we do when the winds of adversity blow in our lives? We must go lower still. We must fall before the ONE who gave His all so that we might have life.
This past week, I was having a wonderful time in God's Word, when I was interrupted by someone who said something very cruel and totally untrue about one of my family members. In an instant, I went from "cloud nine" to the pit! I felt like my whole day would be ruined.
I was still furious about it when my grandchild arrived for a visit. She noticed my open Bible beside my chair and began intently turning each page. "What are you looking for?" I asked with smile, knowing she cannot read at age 3.
"I want to see Jesus!" she told me.
"My Bible doesn't have pictures," I explained. She kept turning and found a slip of paper that I had tucked between the pages a while back. She handed it to me. In my own handwriting, it said, "Don't become offended!"
Later I thought about the fact that all of us have done wrong. All have been guilty before God. All of us suffer from anxiety and fear and unforgiveness. All of us have a choice to stay in our mess or accept the peace Jesus has provided for us through His sacrifice.
He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole. Isaiah 53:5 Amplified
Then I heard a song:
O Lord, Your tenderness
Melting all my bitterness.
O Lord, I receive Your love. Graham Kendrick(click author's name to listen)
Let me never forget Your testimony. The testimony of Jesus: the covenant the Father made through His Son. Remind me of my own testimony: the many times you have come to my rescue and arranged divine appointments. Help me never again, when faced with an "impossible" situation, to give satan "top billing". Instead, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to You. May I tell THE REASON that I have a hope and a future.
God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him. This
is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven. 1 John 4:9-10
Your love oh Lord reaches to the heavens
Your faithfulness stretches to the sky
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountain
Your justice flows like the ocean's tides
And I will lift my voice to worship You my King
And I will find my strength
in the shadow of Your wings written by David Carr, Mark Lee, Mac Powell, Brad Avery
Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O Lord, You preserve man and beast.
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust
under the shadow of Your wings.
They are abundantly satisfied
with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink
from the river of Your pleasures.
For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.
Who do you know that glues his head to a rock and stays there for the rest of his life?
I remember seeing barnacles years ago when we had a boat at Lake Lanier. Only this week, when I was teaching fourth grade, did I realize that they are live animals. Barnacles are crustaceans that attach themselves to a stationary object and stay stuck there for life. Barnacles spend their youth swimming around, but then they settle down to adulthood, held permanently by one of the strongest known natural adhesives
This reminded me of the saying, "Build your house upon a rock."
After Jesus had done many miracles, and had drawn great throngs of people, He began to explain that He would die as a sacrifice for their sins. Many were offended and no longer followed Him. Then Jesus turned to His twelve disciples. "Will you also go away?"
"To whom would we go, Lord?" Peter implored. "You have the words of life."
Jesus is the ROCK, the WORD OF LIFE, that I want to "glue my head to".
The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.John 6:63
I am so thankful that God is showing me more and more how I have believed satan's lies. And they are stupid lies at that!
One example is that whenever I try to cook a meal for someone, I constantly compare myself with my Grandmother's cooking and think that I am not as good. Well, she was an excellent cook, but the thing is: the people I cook for never ate at Grandma's! They are coming over because they love ME! Hallelujah! And if the truth be told, I would have only eaten biscuits and jelly at Grandma's and I would have just licked the icing off the cake if I could have gotten away with it.
Isn't it crazy how we fail to see our own value in the eyes of our Loving Heavenly Father.
I confess Lord, that each of us special for a reason.
I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt. Psalm 139:14 CEV
I was reading a story about a modern-day real-life treasure hunter
who put his life savings into looking for a sunken cargo ship. He had
done a lot of research and was sure he had figured out where the ship
had sunk so many years ago.
A distraction occurred when
he stumbled upon a few bars of silver seven miles away from where he
was originally headed. He then went into debt and spent fruitless years
scouring that area but finding nothing else.
he decided to go to his original destination, and there he found the
sunken ship with millions of dollars in gold and silver still in the
original treasure chests.
This story got me to thinking about coming short of what God has planned for my life, or settling for good instead of best.
You have called me to love You and love the "treasures" you place right
in front of me every day. I pray that I don't detour from any plan
other than Your original Treasure Map!
In 1996, I was dealing with grieving the death of my son, recent divorce, and no job. The verse, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and they are safe," struck a chord with me. I was familiar with the covenant names: Jehovah Nissi, The Lord is our banner, and Jehovah Jireh, Our provider, Jehovah Shalom, our peace, and others. Then God put it on someone's heart to give me Kay Arthur's book, Lord, I Want to Know You. There I read the name: Jehovah Sabaoth, Captain of the Lord's Hosts (mentioned in 1 Samuel 17). God is the one who fights for us in our battles! This gave me great assurance that God was with me and for me in this valley.
My favorite Bible story as a child was from 1 Samuel 17, David and Goliath. I begged Daddy read it again and again. Now, years later, I am still seeing ways to apply the truths of that story in my life. This particular valley where Goliath stood to taunt God's people belonged not to the Philistines, but to the tribe of Judah (which means PRAISE).
Goliath stood in a valley that belonged to the children of God, and day after day denied the power of God. Morning and evening the enemy filled the minds of the Israelites with his accusations, curses, and threats. "If you can send a man who defeats me, this valley will be yours, and we will be your servants. But if I defeat you, this valley belongs to me and you must serve us."
Only young David had the confidence in the living God to face the giant. David essentially became the winner when he made this proclamation recorded in 1 Samuel 17:45. "You come against me with a dagger, spear, and sword, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel's armies— you have defied Him. (47)... and this whole assembly will know that it is not by sword or by spear that the LORD saves, for the battle is the LORD's. He will hand you over to us."
As Christians, we are not promised that we will never experience troubles, sickness and heartache. But we can shout the enemy down by praising God even in the valley.
Because of Your adversaries,
You have established a stronghold [of praise]
from the mouths of children and nursing infants,
to silence the enemy and the avenger. Ps. 8:2
You will open their eyes
and turn them from darkness to light and from Satan’s control to God’s.
Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and a share among
God’s people who are made holy by believing in me. Acts 26:18 God's Word Again and again I hear testimonies of people from countries that are closed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. People are being reached by the millions through courageous Christian witnesses, missionaries, Christian media, and angelic visitations and dreams. Lord, I pray for those who share the good news of redemption through faith in Jesus in spite of persecution and imprisonment. I thank you for the abundant harvest of souls for the kingdom of Christ.
My friend has two beautiful granddaughters who were adopted. When we were traveling to meet the second baby, we had the two year old with us. Sitting in her car seat singing praise songs, she would interrupt the adult's conversation with a hearty, "EBBY-BODY SING!!"
Psalm 126 is one of the songs that the worshipers sang as they made their pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the feasts of the Lord. In our day of planes, trains and automobiles, it is hard to imagine walking for days with our children in tow, but they went joyfully, with a song on their lips.
It seemed like a dream, too good to be true, when God returned Zion's exiles. We laughed, we sang, we couldn't believe our good fortune. We were the talk of the nations— "God was wonderful to them!" God was wonderful to us; we are one happy people.
And now, God, do it again— bring rains to our drought-stricken lives So those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest, So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing. Psalm 126 Message
The prophet Elisha asked the widow, "What do you have in your house?"
She replied, "NOTHING - but a jar of oil!"Elisha told the woman to gather empty jars from her neighbors - as many as she could get. (2 Kings 4) He told her to pour out what she had into those empty jars. Her container of oil did not run dry until every jar was filled.
Sometimes I also focus on what I can't do rather than what I've been given. In the Bible, oil often represents the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised to send the Spirit to live in the hearts of those who believe in Him. I have the Holy Spirit living in me!