October 17, 2017

2014 – Seeking Him Encouragement

SeekingHimLogo

This past week, my friends Ahmee, Ann, Cynda, Laura and Tina have shared from their hearts as they thought back on this past year….

Cynda shared in Three Things some specific ways in which God changed her.

If God is for us, who can ever be against us?
Romans 8:31b NLT

She wrote, “…there are three things God has shown me that have changed my perspective and my faith:

  • Yes, but…
  • Lay Me Down
  • Pocket Prayer

(Click here to read more!)

Ann wrote about God’s revealing something to her in Seeking God Where He Is Found:

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness
and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 6:33

“When we came to the 31st December 2013 and as we were going into 2014, the Word of God that was very vivid to me was Matthew 6:33. I studied it and meditated on it…and, yes, I got revelation. Since then the year 2014 has been a year where “all things were added to me” and I am so thankful to my God for everything in the year 2014. God has been so faithful, loving, and kind to me and my family, friends, and relatives. ”

Ahmee wrote in Distractions,
“This year has been for me a year of understanding what lack of focus and distractions can do in your life…. The thing about a distraction—it only has power once it has your focus. However, I have learned that there are things we can do to help prevent ourselves from being trapped by distractions. Colossians 3:1-2 gives the best advice in regards to distraction.”

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ,
set your sights on the realities of heaven,
where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

In My Journey This Year, Tina shared some of the things that God has taught her.

She wrote, “I have learned to continue to look toward God for my Strength and my Shield…I have learned this year to focus and trust God more….I have learned to look at myself and know my limits…there and at work…At home I have learned to not be critical of others…I have learned to pray more and wait patiently for God’s grace.”

And Laura shared about all of the changes happening in our world in A New Year. “Our world is starting to crumble. The best thing I can do is to follow Christ with all my heart and try to live as He expects me to do—day in and day out. Maybe by doing this I can be an example to those who are living in the world but want something that the world cannot give them.
As the New Year approaches, I hope that I can grow closer to Jesus as the world continues to live in chaos. Life will be busy and hectic. Time will go by as quickly as it always does, but God comes (as He always should) first. I will continue to pray. I hope that all out there can do the same.”

And as each of them have reflected on God’s goodness this past year, I also want to do likewise.  But my reflection is full of thankfulness for the way that God works in the hearts and minds of each of these ladies…and their faithful efforts to write as He inspires them to encourage and bless us!

Our Seeking Him devotional writing team hails from all over the United States—North, South, East, West…as well as way over in Malawi, Africa!  None of them has ever met each other…not even once sat down over a cup of coffee to strategize or deliberate over what to write or who will write what.  Nonetheless, each week a unified theme from the Scriptures is presented that brings encouragement to each readers’ heart and mind no matter who has written each daily devotion.  Each of them has an individual style but they are all united by, and led by, the Spirit.

For it is God who is at work within you, giving you the will and the power to achieve His purpose. Do all you have to do without grumbling or arguing, so that, you may be blameless and harmless, faultless children of God…shining like lights in a dark world. For you hold up in your hands the very Words of life.

Philippians 2:13-16

They, individually and as a team, are an example to me of this truth in action that Paul wrote in this letter to the church at Ephesus.

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.  But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Ephesians 4:1-6

I am thankful to God, and to each of you Tina, Laura, Cynda, Ann, and Ahmee (along with Cheris, Clella, and Tonya, too!!!) for your example to us and how your example along with your words has helped to draw me closer to our dear heavenly Father! May He always be glorified through your lives!  God loves each of you…and I do, too.  

CHRISTLife — TwentyNine: Enlightened

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♬♪ I wandered so aimless, life filled with sin; I wouldn’t let my dear Savior in ♬♪
Then Jesus came like a stranger in the night ♬♪Praise the Lord, I saw the light

I saw the light, I saw the light! ♬♪No more darkness, no more night
Now I’m so happy, ♬♪ no sorrow in sight! ♬♪Praise the Lord, I saw the light

As much fun as this song is to sing, it is even more so a joyful proclamation of God’s redeeming grace in our lives!  No matter how ‘good’ a life one could possibly lead before accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior…life prior to that IS aimless and filled with sin.  It is only through the accomplishments of Jesus on the Cross as He fulfilled the plan of salvation that Almighty God alone could have put into motion that anyone can ‘see the light!’

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness,
righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—
and everything that is illuminated becomes a light
Ephesians 5:8-13

Oh, do you not just love the end of that passage? “…Everything that is illuminated becomes a light….” That’s us (you and me)! We have been illuminated…the darkness that filled every part of our heart has been dispelled by the Light of Christ!

When Jesus spoke to His disciples about truly ‘seeing’ and ‘hearing’ He was also including us in that group of people who are blessed!  We have heard the message of salvation and have responded to His call!

But your eyes are blessed because they do see, and your ears because they do hear!
For I assure you: Many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see
yet didn’t see them; to hear the things you hear yet didn’t hear them.
Matthew 13:16 and 17

May I encourage you to recognize the light that you are!  1 Thessalonians 5:5 tells us that, “For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.”  Being we now ARE children of the light, we should fulfill Jesus’ words (Matthew 5:16), “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

We do, for now, live in an evil, dark, perverse world.  But, by God’s grace we have the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Light of the World, living in our hearts.  We have been made new, we have received grace upon grace, we have His power alive within us and we are the children of the Light!  Let your little light shine!

…for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing,
that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God
without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation,
among whom you shine as lights in the world,
holding fast to the word of life….
Philippians 2:13-16

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CLiiakim022014

And here are Kim’s thoughts and her beautiful inner identity album page for this week; she writes:

This page really touches my heart as it is my life’s story!!  God turned my darkness into light.  My mess into my message. and just like Isaiah 61 says:

to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.

Hallelujah!